Turn Data Into A Competitive Advantage

Ina Felsheim

Digital disruption affects different companies in different ways. The so-called “digital natives” were able to start with a blank sheet of paper and build flexible, innovative, platform-based business models around data. Larger, longer established businesses don’t have that luxury. Over many years of organic growth and acquisitions, they typically have evolved into complex, distributed organizations with equally complex IT infrastructures, systems, and processes that generate large volumes of potentially valuable data.

The dilemma for their CIOs is finding a way to balance the need to extract maximum value from these legacy systems – which represent a major investment and still provide essential core value to the business – and the increasingly urgent requirement for agile innovation.

So how can you accelerate your transition to a data-driven organization that works with live, fresh data? Here are three ways that in-memory computing can help.

Get more value from complex enterprise data

Data volumes are expanding all the time as new data sources continue to emerge. The challenge is extracting business value from this data – whether from enterprise systems or external sources – and turning it into a competitive advantage. In-memory computing can deliver groundbreaking processing performance, but be careful in your choice of vendor. Some offerings merely add an in-memory cache to a disk-based database instead of being designed from the ground up as a 100% in-memory database. A true in-memory platform can handle both transactions and analytics in-memory on a single data copy, avoiding latencies from moving data between the database and application servers. In addition to faster processing speeds, this results in a greatly simplified data structure and a significant reduction in storage costs.

Put data into the hands of the people that need it

The ideal in-memory platform combines a state-of-the-art database with advanced analytical processing, data integration, and data quality tools. This gives you a single, secure environment for all your mission-critical data assets going forward. The ability to manage large, live volumes of structured and unstructured data efficiently means you can get it into the hands of the right people across the business in an easily digestible format. Remember, your business users are digital consumers who are used to the simplicity and immediacy of Google, Amazon, and Uber and expect the same easy and engaging user experience in the workplace.

Make innovation quicker and more agile

Newer technologies like automation and machine learning are rapidly moving into the mainstream. Again, the ideal innovation platform will not only be designed as a 100% in-memory database, but will also provide an enterprise-grade platform that accelerates innovation by enabling you to leverage these technologies in your next-generation applications development. It should support business and IT transformation through agile pilots, connect with existing applications using open standards, and support a variety of programming languages. This all means you can develop new apps and embed new technologies, like machine learning and automation, into your existing enterprise applications in a controlled and cost-effective way.

For larger, more complex organizations, “bimodal IT” – modernizing the legacy environment at the core while innovating at higher speed and lower risk at the edge – provides the balanced approach the CIO needs.

SAP has defined a flexible digital framework to enable this bimodal approach, with our in-memory computing platform at its heart. It combines live transactional and operational data in one in-memory database to enhance the performance of your SAP applications and simplify your IT landscape. And best of all, it can accelerate your transition to a data-driven organization and help you turn your data resources into a real competitive advantage. Learn more.

Read about establishing an information governance practice here, including a free self-assessment.

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