In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, “shortcuts make long delays.” I get it, we live in an age of instant gratification, with Doordash and Grubhub meals on-demand, fast-paced social media and same-day Amazon Prime deliveries. But I’ve learned that in some cases, shortcuts are just not possible.

Such is the case with comprehensive AI implementations; you cannot shortcut success. Operationalizing AI at scale mandates that your full suite of data–structured, unstructured and semi-structured get organized and architected in a way that makes it useable, readily accessible and secure. Fortunately, the journey to AI is one that is more than worth the time and effort.

AI Potential: Powering Our World and Your Business

That’s because AI promises to be one of the most transformational technologies of our time. Already, we see its impact across industries and applications. If you’ve experienced any of these, then you’re seeing AI in action:

Automated assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Google Assistant.COVID vaccines and/or personalized medicine used to treat an illness or disease.Smart cars that alert drivers like you, help you park and ping you when it’s time for maintenance.Shopping preferences that are tailored to your specific tastes and proactively sent to you.

Despite these AI-powered examples, businesses have only just begun to embrace AI, with an estimated 12% fully using AI technology.1 But this is changing rapidly. And that’s because AI holds massive potential. In one Forrester study and financial analysis, it was found that AI-enabled organizations can gain an ROI of 183% over three years. 2

That’s why AI is a key determinant of your future success. Businesses that lead in fully deploying AI will be able to optimize customer experiences and efficiencies that help maximize customer retention and customer acquisition and gain a distinct advantage over the competition. The growing divide between AI haves and have-nots is underway and at a certain point, that chasm will not be crossable.

For example, today airports can use AI to keep passengers and employees safer. AI working on top of a data lakehouse, can help to quickly correlate passenger and security data, enabling real-time threat analysis and advanced threat detection.

In order to move AI forward, we need to first build and fortify the foundational layer: data architecture. This architecture is important because, to reap the full benefits of AI, it must be built to scale across an enterprise versus individual AI applications. 

Constructing the right data architecture cannot be bypassed. That’s because several impeding factors are currently in play that must be resolved. All organizations need an optimized, future-proofed data architecture to move AI forward.

Complexity slows innovation

Data growth is skyrocketing. One estimate3 states that by 2024, 149 zettabytes will be created every day: that’s 1.7 MB every second. A zettabyte has 21 zeroes. What does that mean? According to the World Economic Forum4, “At the beginning of 2020, the number of bytes in the digital universe was 40 times bigger than the number of stars in the observable universe.” 


Data’s size alone creates inherent complexity. Layered on top of that are the different types of data stored in various siloes and locations throughout an organization. It all adds up to a “perfect storm” of complexity.

A complex data landscape prevents data scientists and data engineers from easily linking the right data together at the right time. Additionally, multiple systems of record create a confusing environment when those sources do not report the same answers.

Extracting value from data

Highly skilled data scientists, analysts and other users grapple with gaining ready access to data. This has become a bottleneck, hindering richer and real-time insights. For AI success, data scientists, analysts and other users need fast, concurrent access to data from all areas of the business.

Securing data as it grows

Securing mission-critical infrastructure, across all data in an enterprise, is a default task for every organization.  However, as data grows within an enterprise, more desire for access and use of that data produces an increasing amount of vulnerable security end points.   

Catalyzing AI at Scale with Data Lakehouse

The good news is that data architectures are evolving to solve these challenges and fully enable AI deployments at scale. Let’s look at the data architecture journey to understand why and how data lakehouses help to solve complexity, value and security.

Traditionally, data warehouses have stored curated, structured data to support analytics and business intelligence, with fast, easy access to data. Data warehouses, however, were not designed to support the demands of AI or semi-structured and unstructured data sources. Data lakes emerged to help solve complex data organizational challenges and store data in its natural format. Used in tandem with data warehouses, data lakes, while helpful, simultaneously create more data silos and increase cost.5

Today, the ideal solution is a data lakehouse, which combines the benefits of data warehouses and data lakes. A data lakehouse handles all types of data via a single repository, eliminating the need for separate systems. This unification of access through the lakehouse removes multiple areas of ingress/egress and simplifies security and management achieving both value extraction and security. Data lakehouses support AI and real-time data applications with streamlined, fast and effective access to data.

The benefits of a data lakehouse address complexity, value and security:

Create more value quickly and efficiently from all data sourcesSimplify the data landscape via carefully engineered design featuresSecure data and ensure data availability at the right time for the right requirements

For example, pharmacies can use a data lakehouse to help patients. By quickly matching drug availability with patient demand, pharmacies can ensure the right medication is at the right pharmacy for the correct patient.

Moving AI Forward

AI deployments at scale will change the trajectory of success around the world and across industries, company types and sizes. But first things first mandate that the right data architecture be put in place to fully enable AI. While data lake solutions help accelerate this process, the right architecture cannot be bypassed. As J.R.R. Tolkien intimated, anything worth achieving takes time.

Want to learn more?  Read this ESG paper.




[3] Finances Online, 53 Important Statistics About How Much Data Is Created Every Day, accessed April 2022



IT Leadership

KPN, the largest infrastructure provider in the Netherlands, offers a high-performance fixed-line and mobile network in addition to enterprise-class IT infrastructure and a wide range of cloud offerings, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Security-as-a-Service. Drawing on its extensive track record of success providing VMware Cloud Verified services and solutions, KPN is now one of a distinguished group of providers to have earned the VMware Sovereign Cloud distinction.

“With the exceptionally strong, high-performance network we offer, this is truly a sovereign cloud. Government agencies, healthcare companies, and organizations with highly sensitive and confidential data can confidentially comply with industry-specific regulations such as GDPR, Government Information Security Baseline, Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute, and the Network and Information Security Directive,” said Babak Fouladi, Chief Technology & Digital Officer and Member of the Board of Management at KPN. “KPN places data and applications in a virtual private cloud that is controlled, tested, managed, and secured in the Netherlands, without third-party interference.”

KPN’s sovereign cloud, CloudNL, reflects a rapidly changing landscape in which many companies need to move data to a sovereign cloud. Reasons why include a dramatic increase in remote or hybrid work, evolving geopolitical events and threats, and fast-changing international regulations.

“The more you digitize an enterprise, the greater the variety of data and applications you must manage,” says Fouladi. “Each requires the right cloud environment based on the required security level, efficiency, and ease of use. On the one hand, this might include confidential customer information that requires extra protection, and which must remain within the nation’s boundaries. Just as importantly, the information must never be exposed to any foreign nationals at any time. On the other hand, you have workloads that are entirely appropriate for the public cloud and benefit from the economy and scale the cloud offers.”

Fouladi stresses that this is why so many organizations are embracing a multi-cloud strategy. It’s a strategy he believes is fundamentally enriched with a sovereign cloud.

Based on VMware technologies, CloudNL is designed to satisfy the highest security requirements and features stringent guarantees verified through independent audits. All data and applications are stored in KPN’s data centers within the Netherlands – all of which are operated and maintained by fully-vetted citizens of the Netherlands.

ValidSign, a KPN CloudNL customer, is a rapidly growing provider of cloud-based solutions that automate document signings. ValidSign’s CEO John Lageman notes that the company’s use of a fully sovereign cloud in Holland is particularly important for the security-minded organizations the company serves, among them notaries, law firms, and government institutions.

“The documents, permits, and contracts that we sign must remain guaranteed in the Netherlands,” says Lageman. “Digitally and legally signing and using certificates used to be very expensive. Moving to the cloud was the solution, but not with an American cloud provider – our customers would no longer be sure where the data would be stored or who could have access to it. With CloudNL they have that control.”

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons to move data to a sovereign cloud, among them an increase in remote or hybrid work, changing geopolitical events, or fast-changing international regulations. KPN CloudNL empowers enterprises to handle these challenges with ease by incorporating sovereign cloud into their multi-cloud strategy.

Learn more about KPN CloudNL here and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Computing

Based in Italy and with more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises, from large international firms to emerging mid-sized operations, grow their businesses with technology, WIIT serves a rapidly expanding and diverse customer base. With a full portfolio that includes an extensive array of cloud offerings – including private, public, and hybrid cloud services – the company is well-known for its track record of success in helping organizations realize the full potential of the cloud while bypassing the complexity often associated with large-scale digital transformations.

Serving leaders in the energy, fashion, financial services, food, healthcare, manufacturing, media, pharmaceutical, professional services, retail, and telecommunications industries, WIIT works with organizations that have stringent business continuity needs, mission-critical applications, and crucial data security and sovereignty requirements. Customers draw on the company’s full suite of solutions which includes everything from digital collaboration tools, a full cybersecurity stack, extensive software development services, and innovations that let customers embrace the Internet of Things.

We recently caught up with Alessandro Cozzi, founder and CEO of WIIT to learn about the company, what he’s seeing in its burgeoning cloud business, and what he feels will be the next big thing. We also took the opportunity to learn why it was important to achieve the VMware Cloud Verified distinction, not just for WIIT, but the companies it serves in Italy, Germany, and around the globe.

“The traditional IT model is no longer sustainable,” says Cozzi. “Often the most value of the cloud lies in hybrid architectures that for the vast majority of enterprises are complex to design and manage. We offer a platform that secures and optimizes the full mix of disparate infrastructure, from edge computing to public cloud, that many organizations need. We also govern it with specialized expertise, certifications, and top-tier proprietary assets that enable us to exceed the most demanding service level agreements.”

Notably, WIIT offers a highly customized Premium Cloud that is uniquely tailored to each organization, a Premium Private offering for critical applications, and a Public Cloud that offers seamless connectivity to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. The company’s Premium Multicloud services enable customers to combine elements of each to best address their needs.

Cozzi notes that WIIT’s Premium Private Cloud ensures extremely high levels of security, scalability, and data reliability, while the public clouds are complimentary especially for applications that aren’t critical. He also points out that hyperscalers are becoming specialized, prompting more companies to rely on services from different cloud providers.

“The hybrid cloud is often the answer when there is a need to host systems in more than one location for international processes, regulatory needs, network latency, data sovereignty, or application requirements,” he adds. “At WIIT we engineer, implement, and govern custom hybrid cloud and multi-cloud models in conjunction with the complex IT architectures our customers need. And we make the most of the unique capabilities of different clouds and data centers to ensure that our clients can continually evolve their businesses.”

Cozzi stresses that VMware’s trusted technologies and new innovations play a pivotal role in these efforts. It’s what led the company to achieve the VMware Cloud Verified distinction.

“WIIT is among the most innovative cloud solutions and service providers in Europe,” he says. “Most of our customers rely on VMware technologies for critical services. Showing that we have deep expertise with them is yet another way that we provide peace of mind and a serene cloud journey.”

Not surprisingly, Cozzi only sees cloud adoption increasing in light of customers’ success in growing their businesses with the cloud and the new capabilities a flexible, hybrid approach makes possible.

“It gives me great pride that today we’re able to remove so much of the complexity involved in even the largest, most involved cloud deployments so that customers simply experience the full potential of the cloud,” says Cozzi. “But I’m also really excited about the innovations we are seeing in the world of applications and the advancements in cloud microservices now taking shape. The impact of the cloud will only increase.  We’re intent to grow a business that continues to offer customers secure and innovative cloud services that recognize not only people, but also the environment, as a strategic priority.  Ultimately, we are committed to being a key player not just in the realm of digital transformations, but also in just and sustainable transitions of infrastructure and the businesses processes and practices it is used for.”    

Learn more about WIIT and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Management, IT Leadership, VMware

Founded in 2011, Lintasarta Cloudeka is a division of Lintasarta, Indonesia’s leading provider of information and communications technology. Offering everything from fiber optics to data centers and satellite networks, Lintasarta has a presence throughout Indonesia, with 54 facilities spread throughout the nation and more than 2,400 enterprise customers. These include leading businesses in a wide range of industries, including agriculture, banking, government, health care, higher education, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, and technology.

We recently caught up with Ginandjar, Marketing & Solution Director at Lintasarta, to learn what he’s seeing in Indonesia’s rapidly growing market for cloud services and solutions, what’s accelerating cloud adoption in the country, what he sees as the next driver of growth, and what it means for the company to achieve the VMware Cloud Verified distinction.

“Throughout the country Lintasarta Cloudeka is known as the cloud provider from and for Indonesia,” says Ginandjar. “We have a really strong understanding of the needs of the industries we serve and provide end-to-end cloud services to a diverse customer base that includes large global enterprises and small- and medium-sized companies. We really pride ourselves on helping businesses realize the full potential of the cloud, and in the process enhance and grow their businesses.”

Lintasarta Cloudeka’s wide array of cloud solutions and services includes robust public, private, and multi-cloud offerings and an extensive portfolio of managed services, from full Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to Backup and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, cloud object storage, and everything in between.

Notably, the company’s Deka Prime public cloud solution and Deka Premium private cloud solution are both based on VMware technologies, as is the company’s IaaS, PaaS, and other offerings. Ginandjar notes that customers manage them, as well as on-premises VMware-based infrastructure, with ease from a single dashboard using VMware vCloud Director.

“Most of our customers require a flexible infrastructure that doesn’t require them to manage it on their own, but enables them to effortlessly spin up or spin down infrastructure capacity and computing power as needed,” adds Ginandjar. “With Lintasarta Cloudeka they only pay for what they need and use, which is a one of the reasons many enterprises initially turn to us. With other providers, they often receive surprising bills or are forced to pay for services they don’t use.”

He also stresses that reliability and performance are key concerns for most organizations. It’s a reality he says leads many to Lintasarta Cloudeka.

“Because we are directly supported by Lintasarta’s high-speed, high-performance networks that are renowned for their unflinching reliability, and we utilize VMware technologies that are proven and trusted by enterprises in every industry and our relied by most organizations in their on-site data centers, prospective customers know they are getting a solution that will free them to focus more on their applications and their business rather than their new software-defined infrastructure.”

The resulting peace-of-mind is something he believes will be even stronger because Lintasarta Cloudeka now holds the VMware Cloud Verified distinction.

“Achieving the VMware Cloud Verified distinction is not an easy task for any cloud solutions or services provider, says Ginandjar. “For customers, VMware Cloud Verified is more than a distinction – it’s how they seek a trusted cloud service provider. They can be certain that all technology was implemented using best practices by individuals that really understand the solutions being deployed.”

While Ginandjar still feels that some misconceptions about the cloud remain among many companies in Indonesia – including that the primary use cases for the cloud, albeit valuable ones, are storage and backup – he feels that that is changing.

 “We’re seeing a dramatic increase in microservices and autoscaling here in Indonesia,” he says. “And with VMware, we’re ideally positioned to speed up the development process involved. Now our customers can react faster and offer new services faster without ever worrying if they have the infrastructure needed to make them possible.”

Learn more about Lintasarta Cloudeka and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Computing, IT Leadership, Managed Cloud Services