Turning the spotlight on the darkest corners of the data ecosystem

Johannesburg, 05 Mar 2021
Read time 2min 40sec
Varsha Ramesar, cluster executive for data and analytics, iOCO
Varsha Ramesar, cluster executive for data and analytics, iOCO

Data virtualisation gives organisations the ability to take advantage of data they may not even know they have; enabling faster time to value and agile decision-making in a fast-changing environment.

ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit 2021

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This is according to Varsha Ramesar, iOCO cluster executive for data and analytics, and Louis de Gouveia, data competency manager at iOCO, speaking ahead of the upcoming ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit 2021.

Ramesar and De Gouveia report that South African midsize and large enterprises are showing strong interest in data virtualisation. But since it is a relatively new field, few have moved to virtualise their data ecosytem yet. Data virtualisation is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways  to integrate all the organisation’s data, so that it becomes easily accessible and usable from a single abstraction layer, says iOCO.

“Customers who implement our Denodo data virtualisation platform often find they have valuable data they didn’t realise existed. It may have resided in another business unit, or it may have existed in a ‘data black hole’ between data silos. Virtualising and integrating all the available data is like switching on a light in a dark room – suddenly they are able to see all the details,” says Ramesar.

In some cases, this new clarity gives the business completely new insights, while in others it supports the ‘gut feel’ of experience with hard facts. She notes that virtualisation and integration also support compliance by providing a centralised secure layer to catalogue, search, discover and govern unified data. “This is particularly important with the deadline of 1st July approaching for compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA),” she says.

“Having a clear view of all the available data allows organisations to make better informed decisions, move faster and become more agile. As we saw during 2020, agility serves enterprises well in uncertain and changing environments,” says de Gouveia.

Data virtualisation is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to integrate all the organisation’s data.


He notes that data virtualisation delivers measurably improved time to value. “Data projects in a virtualised environment can be 20 to 50 times faster than in a traditional data warehouse environment. Organisations can achieve ten times faster information delivery and slash the time taken to compile reports from weeks to hours,” he says.

Despite the clear and measurable benefits of data virtualisation, organisations in South Africa have been slow to move. This may be due to misconceptions and reluctance to change, as well as concerns about wasted infrastructure investment. However, data virtualisation does not mean ripping and replacing existing investments, says iOCO: it allows organisations to integrate cloud and legacy systems; connecting to any data source and combining any type of data.

Ramesar and de Gouveia will deep dive into the facts, trends and benefits of data virtualisation during their presentation at the ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit, 9-11 March. For more information and to register for this event, go to

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