Evolving a legacy organization through tech

Aaron Gorham, Senior Director of Data and Analytics at J.R. Simplot, shares insights on navigating full-stack data operations and evolving legacy organizations. The contemporary data environment offers unprecedented possibilities beyond data storage. The use of advanced tools, techniques, and standardization, enables data practitioners to achieve things that were once unimaginable in legacy systems. Today, Aaron discusses evolving a legacy organization through tech.
About the speaker

Aaron Gorham

J. R. Simplot

 - J. R. Simplot

Aaron is Senior Director of Data and Analytics at J.R. Simplot

Show Notes

  • 02:00
    Modernizing the agriculture industry
    Contrary to popular belief, agribusiness is high-tech and run by high-level thinkers with multinational businesses. Companies in the sector are playing catch-up and making significant investments to meet customer speed and convenience needs and position themselves for digital success.
  • 05:04
    Evolving to meet tech savvy agribusiness buyers needs
    Companies like J.R. Simplot are focused on integrating data into solutions to improve customer experience and sell more products. The challenge is navigating the fragmentation of disparate internal, supplier, and customer systems and data sources.
  • 08:01
    Transforming legacy data warehouses into a cloud environment
    Utilizing modern tools and processes in the cloud significantly reduces development time, compared to old tools. Despite concerns about change management, the intuitiveness and capabilities of the new tools encourage teams to embrace the new technology.
  • 11:26
    Selling the value of building a long term data environment
    While winning over engineers is a significant achievement, the real challenge is convincing business partners to invest in building a resilient, long-term data environment. Articulating the speed and efficiency gains is key for change management efforts.
  • 13:48
    Building the business case for legacy data transformation
    Resist the urge to overhaul everything at once and, instead, focus on smaller initiatives to showcase the value quickly. By focusing on these achievable quick wins, teams can incrementally build a foundation of common objects and pave the way for bigger wins.
  • 15:52
    The value of embracing modern data environments
    Beyond data storage, the tools and expertise available in data environments currently enable transformations unattainable in legacy and on-prem data systems. The techniques and ability to standardize are going to transform organizations and the tools, and platforms they use today.

Quotes

  • "John Deere has turned itself into Apple. They're not building tractors anymore. They're building technological solutions to deal with different needs of different farmers in different areas." - Aaron Gorham

  • "The data engineering space is as vibrant as I've ever seen it. We're building this environment out in the cloud. Using the tools we have now, it takes us a third to half the amount of time to develop the same solution vs. the tools we had before." - Aaron Gorham

  • "It doesn't take a lot of small things to build out an inventory of common objects everybody can pull from. Start with the quick wins, and build off of those." - Aaron Gorham

  • "You're able to do things now with data environments that you could never do in the legacy world and an on-prem data center. It's something to get excited about in the data space." - Aaron Gorham

About the speaker

Aaron Gorham

J. R. Simplot

 - J. R. Simplot

Aaron is Senior Director of Data and Analytics at J.R. Simplot

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