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Informatica adds data governance with Privitar acquisition

By acquiring the access control specialist, the data management vendor hopes to better enable users to ensure data security amid the growing complexity of their data operations.

Informatica on Wednesday reached an agreement to purchase Privitar in an acquisition aimed at adding advanced data governance capabilities.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Informatica said the acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of this year.

Informatica is a data management vendor whose primary offering is the Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC), which it first unveiled in 2021. Recently, the vendor revealed plans to infuse Claire, its AI and machine learning engine, with generative AI through partnerships with Microsoft and OpenAI.

Privitar, meanwhile, is a 2014 startup whose platform is designed to safeguard the use of data. The vendor's tools include data access management capabilities that enable collaboration while ensuring data privacy using access controls.

It's those advanced access controls that address data privacy and security that make Informatica's acquisition of Privitar significant for Informatica's customers, according to Stephen Catanzano, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

In particular, Privitar's capabilities can potentially improve users' trust in their data.

Privitar strengthens Informatica's ability for customers to govern better and protect the data's privacy, which increases data trust. Data trust is a leading factor for decision-makers' use of data.
Stephen CatanzanoAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"Privitar strengthens Informatica's ability for customers to govern better and protect the data's privacy, which increases data trust," Catanzano said. "Data trust is a leading factor for decision-makers' use of data. No trust leads to poor decision-making, and if there is personally identifiable information and other security concerns, this leads to a lack of trust."

Addressing need

The importance of data access control is increasing, Informatica said in a press release.

The volume of data that organizations now collect is growing dramatically. So is the complexity of that data, which can be structured, unstructured or semistructured.

At the same time, the systems organizations use to manage and analyze their data are becoming more complex.

No longer do organizations keep all their data in a secure on-premises database. And no longer is data solely managed and analyzed by a centralized data team that parses reports, dashboards, models and other data assets only upon request.

Instead, most organizations store data both on premises and in the cloud, and they often use more than one cloud data platform to develop a mix of data warehouses and data lakes. Meanwhile, many organizations are also making their data available to business users for self-service analysis to eliminate the lag time it takes to go through a centralized team and make their business more agile.

As a result, data governance is more important than ever, including carefully determining which employees have access to what data to ensure regulatory compliance and security.

Once Informatica completes the acquisition of Privitar, Informatica said it plans to combine Privitar's platform with the Informatica Claire AI engine. Through that combination, organizations will not only be able to put data access controls in place, but also automate the process in support of complex data operations that include cloud analytics and data architectures such as data mesh, according to Informatica.

"[Privitar] is a very complementary solution to [Informatica's] cloud platform and a high requirement for organizations," Catanzano said.

And adding Privitar's capabilities has the potential to increase usage of Informatica's own tools, he continued.

Catanzano noted that IDMC includes a full range of data management capabilities. But because Informatica runs on all clouds and integrates with numerous other platforms, many customers only use IDMC for certain tasks.

"I see this acquisition as a way to horizontally expand the platform's usage by now adding this governance component," Catanzano said.

Next steps

Informatica's pending purchase of Privitar will be the data management vendor's 15th acquisition.

Before acquiring Privitar, Informatica most recently bought GreenBay Technologies in July 2020 to add AI and machine learning capabilities. A day before acquiring GreenBay Technologies, Informatica purchased Compact Solutions to improve big data governance.

With Privitar being added into the fold, Catanzano noted that data quality and data observability are capabilities Informatica could potentially add going forward.

"I think continuing to expand on data quality and data observability will be essential steps," he said. "I don't believe either is native to the platform and could be future acquisitions."

Eric Avidon is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial and a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He covers analytics and data management.

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