For those who have been in the industry for as long as I have, when you read the words “relational” data, you will probably think back to the early days and Edgar Codd. If your memory doesn’t quite extend that far back into the past, most of the relational databases that are in widespread use today have their origins in Codd’s relational model.

Of course, back then, data was something that you stored and kept safe, unlike today when we talk about transforming your data into a strategic asset.

However, if we want to transform real data into real benefits, we need to think of what “relational” means in an expanded if not different light.

Back in October, I wrote an article titled “Customer Engagement Evolved: Curiosity, Trust, and Purpose-Driven Exploration,” in which I made the statement that “trust should be treated as a process and not a transaction.” And it is in this context relational takes on a whole new meaning in that we have to look beyond the bits and bytes of storage capability, to the people and the relationships that are the real drivers of data transformation and the corresponding benefits it will deliver to our clients and the greater world.

In other words, we have to not only think about data management from the standpoint of technology, but we also have to look at it from a relationship standpoint because the digital transformation is as much about people as it is technology.

Let’s consider digital’s impact on the healthcare industry. A recent #AcitvateDigital2018 Spotlight article talked about how digital transformation “empowers consumers by providing them with better access to higher-quality information and care options,” that would ultimately lead to a “higher level of convenience and satisfaction overall.”

While there is without a doubt tremendous benefits associated with technological breakthroughs, the article rightfully points out that to get to this point requires “greater insight and collaboration.” It requires stronger relationships that foster curiosity, trust, and purpose-driven exploration.

Besides inviting you to download our whitepaper Unleash the Power of Your Hybrid Cloud, I would also like to extend the invitation to join our NetApp team and me at Long View’s ACTIVATEDIGITAL 2018 Conference on February 27th in Guelph where we will have the opportunity to meet and lay the foundation for our relationship.