Brisbane-based Wardy IT Solutions has seen its data analytics business continue to grow, as organisations place a bigger emphasis on timely access to data and insights.
Wardy IT general manager Peter Ward said the company helps organisations with understanding their data and turning it into an asset they can leverage.
“We’re working with organisations to help modernise their data estates to a cloud landscape to allow them to ingest large amounts of data, at a faster cadence and importantly gain prescriptive insights out of their data,” Ward said.
“We’ve built up a reputation over the years of helping with big projects, helping customers move technologies such as Netezza, Oracle, Sybase or Teradata into a modern landscape inside Microsoft Azure Synapse.
Wardy has successfully completed these types of database migration projects for many companies such as ING Direct, Hunter Valley Coal Corporation, and most recently with UK-based grocer Iceland Foods. The recommendation to use Wardy IT stemmed from Microsoft UK, which was familiar with its achievements.
Wardy implemented Microsoft Azure Synapse from Iceland’s existing Teradata solution, which opened the door to new alternative options for managing a modern data warehouse -- with minimal disruption to the business.
“The old platform was difficult for new staff to understand and access and posed a challenge for recruitment. A lot of our staff had experience working with Microsoft products, so Microsoft seemed like a possible option,” Iceland Foods database administrator Phil Oldfield said.
Ward said the dilemma faced by Iceland Foods is not an isolated one, and despite the impact from COVID-19, its data analytics business has continued to flourish.
“Iceland Foods’ previous data estate had been in place for over two decades and, in addition to systematic improvements, the organisation could not tap into the evolutions of Cloud technology and advanced analytics during that time.
"They knew they required increased agility of the data platform in order to drive more value from the data but the perceived risks and downtime kept pushing the process to the back-burner,” Ward said.
“This is consistent with a number of organisations we have been working with, and we are definitely experiencing an acceleration of businesses coming to terms with the fact that their ageing data systems are simply not suitable to meet the demands of modern business practices.
"By delaying the upgrade, they are effectively holding their operations back from a myriad of opportunities that could improve the functionality and flexibility of their data. In the case of Iceland Foods this also translated to their bottom line,” he added.
In using its Virtual DBA service, Ward said it has been able to support not only the core critical database environment for their analytics, but also their broader database environment as well. Virtual DBA is a service that runs 24/7 from within Wardy’s Brisbane-based data operations centre.
One prominent factor that has differentiated Wardy IT from the rest of the competition, is the IP it developed to assess, de-risk and accelerate the migration from other database systems across to Azure - called Janus, Ward said.
“It’s a code migration and conversion tool that we use as part of that process that we’ve invested in over the years to help us as a solution accelerator and differentiator in the marketplace,” Ward said.
“We’re finding through the whole COVID-19 scenario is that organisations are realising having timely access to data and insights is even more important now than ever, and they’re continuing to invest into that space.
“Organisations are realising they need to pivot and data will help with personalisation and deeper customer engagement. Some of the traditional business models are being disrupted and it’s often data that underpins that disruption,” Ward added.
Last year, Wardy IT was acquired by publicly listed MOQ Digital, which Ward said will be fully integrated into the business as of 1 September.
“We’re now leveraging the broader capability that MOQ brings to the table in order to extend the data analytics solutions to the intelligent edge, and leveraging IoT and sensors to collect data. We’ll also start to introduce machine learning and artificial intelligence on the edge, rather than the traditional ingestion of mechanisms on-premises,” he said.