The following excerpt has been republished from the Microsoft Canada blog originally posted May 6, 2019.
Few startups have more transformative potential than Cinchy (www.cinchy.co). Founded in 2016, this Toronto-based technology company may well capture the imagination of the business world with its bold rethinking of the role of data in application development.
By offering data-as-a-network, Cinchy radically changes the game—saving technology teams months of work and corporations hundreds of millions of dollars.
Who owns the data you create? That question made big headlines and inspired a lot of debate among journalists and pundits in recent years.
While you might assume it’s you—”well, we do, of course!”—it’s traditionally the application builder. If nothing else, in today’s SaaS market, we expect application developers to host the data we create for us, securely, privately, and conveniently in their cloud.
But what happens when organizations use multiple, disparate systems, apps, and platforms?
Then, the data created using all those solutions is de-facto fragmented. Meaning, each application stores and accesses its own unique database of information, and it’s up to the organization using the app to integrate that information.
“We saw how many problems centred around the complexities of data, and how the conventional approach to enterprise applications was at the root of the issue. We created Cinchy to solve that complexity.” – Dan DeMers, CEO
Case in point
Many Canadian and American consumers use one financial institution for multiple services, like banking, credit cards, investments, and insurance. While the services share a brand, the lines of business just don’t share information. When you call them with more than one issue to resolve, you inevitably get transferred to another line of business, only to start over with someone else. Grrr!
The enemy within
In fairness, the professionals are not to blame. Data fragmentation is the culprit! Like so many enterprises today, these institutions run thousands of internal, interdependent systems, programs, and utilities. Each app creates, stores, shares, accesses, modifies, and/or duplicates data. This fragmentation forces financial institutions to spend billions on data integration efforts—including developing data lakes—every year. And all because of the breathtaking complexity of their own, internal data estate!
“Worldwide, organizations spend about $400 billion every year to simply reuse their own data! That money translates into time and people. And all because, every app needs a separate database.”
Yes. Most organizations several years into a strategic data program build an enterprise data lake. These incredibly powerful platforms enable analytics and machine learning on consolidated copies of data. However, data lakes only collect raw data, not organize and standardize it into a clean dataset. And they don’t change the speed at which new applications get delivered and enhanced.
A bold solution
What if those organizations could somehow separate apps from their data? What if—instead of creating new databases for each application—these systems, programs, apps, utilities, and widgets, all shared a single, secure data network instead? If realized, the disintermediation of applications and data could change everything, starting with chopping application development times dramatically.
Cinchy cures data fragmentation and duplication by eliminating the need to create new databases for applications. The platform enables organizations to build their own secure, cross-application, internal data network, in a private cloud or on-premises. With Cinchy, applications reuse data instantly and securely, without complex integration. Organizations can save months of time and millions of dollars in app dev, plus unlock huge security benefits.
The Techstars experience
Cinchy recently graduated from an intensive three-month accelerator program with Techstars, where they were selected from over 650 startups who applied from across the globe. Techstars gives promising early-stage companies like Cinchy access to an unparalleled network of mentors and advisors. Click above to watch their recent demo day presentation.
Data as a Service
Consolidating their data into a single, secure network unlocks big benefits, starting with dev teams. With Cinchy, they can deliver full enterprise systems in half the time, without cutting corners. Imagine building APIs in minutes, and a full enterprise backend in days. Cinchy enables data to be shared across applications without complex integration or data duplication, unify web and/or mobile apps, and much more.
Everyone else benefits, too. Cinchy makes data accessible for users to view and change through a single, business-friendly interface (see graphic above) that crosses traditional application boundaries. Their fully configurable interface offers granular access control, data versioning, and approval workflows. Even in the toughest regulatory environments, organizations can consolidate, standardize, organize, view, and share all their data compliantly. And they can fill data gaps to enable better analytics and machine learning.
“Our customers view cleaning up their data as the first step in their digital transformation. They use Cinchy as an agile database to enable machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics, at scale.”
SQL behind the scenes
Cinchy is built on the latest Microsoft technologies, leveraging the .NET framework along with SQL Server for physical data storage. .NET Core provides Cinchy with cross-platform support, while a SQL backend offers the transactional integrity required for usage in enterprise systems. These technologies make it incredibly easy for any organization to bring Cinchy into their ecosystem, through an Azure private cloud, on-premise VMs, or other IaaS offerings. Plus, Cinchy’s familiar, SQL-like syntax for interacting with the data network enables dev teams to produce results from day one.
What about security?
With Cinchy, customers keep their data with them, in a private cloud or on-premises. Customers maintain total control on a network level. They can configure controls and create rules down to individual cells of data. One universal data access policy governs the entire environment, regardless of how many applications interact with the data. Automatic controls ensure all data gets accessed and versioned properly. And because apps no longer store or duplicate data, there’s no data to breach. Brilliant!