As the head of the data practice at Deloitte, I was on the front lines of digital transformation at some of the largest enterprises across North America. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everyone’s five-year plan became a six-month sprint.
Virtually overnight, businesses had to find ways to engage with customers digitally. For many, their outdated data platforms were not nearly robust enough to run analytics and deliver the insights needed. Some were trying to solve the problem internally, but they often encountered friction and hurdles that were too difficult to manage: How do you build the data infrastructure? How do you securely share data while dealing with privacy and legal issues? What if you’re in a multi-cloud environment?
During this accelerated period, we started to see which tools and platforms were helping organizations reach the next level. That’s when I witnessed the power of Snowflake. The Data Cloud became a go-to tool for companies to access, govern, and unleash the power of data.
Snowflake offers companies one solution that provides multiple capabilities. It centralizes virtually all data in a single, governed repository that enables easy and secure data sharing without moving or copying data. The multi-cluster shared data architecture that powers Snowflake’s fully managed platform delivers near-unlimited storage and computing practically in real time to virtually any number of concurrent users doing business in the Data Cloud.
It also functions seamlessly across multiple cloud providers and regions. And with Snowflake Data Marketplace, companies can securely offer, discover, and consume live governed data and data services at scale but without the latency, cost, and effort required with traditional marketplaces.
As I saw how Snowflake enabled companies to become truly data-driven, I was inspired to join its mission. As the new head of Snowflake Canada, I’m committed to helping more organizations discover the capabilities of the Data Cloud. Canada is home to an exciting and growing technology industry with startups that are innovating rapidly and a list of newly minted unicorns that are competing globally. We also have established, best-of-breed, global enterprises in industries such as financial services, retail, energy, and telecommunications.
But Canada, like many economies around the world, suffers from a data deficit. Whether it’s the private or public sector, small startups or large enterprises, much of our data is locked up, siloed, and fragmented.
To become globally competitive and to win in what Time coined the new economy,1 we need to invest in our data tools and infrastructure. We require rich data sets that are deep and diverse enough to run advanced analytics using AI and machine learning. And we need to be able to share that data easily among organizations, public and private alike.
As The Economist declared in 2017, data has become the most valuable resource in the world.2 And as far back as 2014, a McKinsey survey revealed that data-driven organizations are 19 times more likely to be profitable than non-data-driven organizations.3
Most organizations know they need to become data-enabled to compete, but they don’t know how to get there. Snowflake’s Data Cloud can empower startups to scale and grow quickly, and it can enable large enterprises to migrate from their restrictive legacy infrastructure to a modern data infrastructure that fosters innovation.
Snowflake is making significant investments in Canada. Snowflake’s Toronto engineering site is becoming a major global engineering hub. Last year, Snowflake acquired privacy-focused startup CryptoNumerics to enhance its product capabilities for simplifying data collaboration while complying with privacy regulations, and it plans to continue seeking strategic investments in Canada.
Our Snowflake Canada team is on a mission to even the playing field between large technology giants and established incumbents. As a native Canadian who’s deeply passionate and patriotic about this country, I’m excited to help build the infrastructure that will help Canadian companies compete in the new economy.
Bilal Khan is Head of Snowflake Canada.