By Marie Goodell
With the smell of pumpkin spice lattes in the air and Trick-or-Treating just around the corner, it's an opportune time for developers to examine the skeletons hanging in their IT infrastructure.
As more organizations ramp up their focus on digitally transforming their business models and processes, IT management is a central component that executives are not taking lightly. In fact, 70 percent of executives see IT as an integral part of digital transformation and have implemented digital business.
One of the first steps in optimizing your business operations is to bolster your database infrastructure in a way that guarantees high performance, a speedy response rate, and an improved data management environment. After all, databases are the framework of your application and analytics needs, serving as an information collection hub that organizations can leverage to make more informed business decisions.
Unfortunately, building and maintaining a database capable of integrating complex information (often from diverse sources) is not a flawless process. Holding on to, or worse, being oblivious to, the ghosts haunting your data system can mean disaster for your operation.
Here are three creepy skeletons that may be hiding in your "data closet," ready to spook your business:
1. Data Unmasked
When your data is nearing death, it needs more than just a check-up. A database's core function is to serve as a nucleus for your digital information pathways, providing access to vast amounts of information from different sources and integrating them into a single information source.
One of the best ways to ensure that your database is providing access to all data is to fully assess your data management capabilities: Are you able to access data wherever it resides? Can you integrate essential data into the database when needed? Having flexible data acquisition tools helps to avoid faulty or missing information that can arise from using outdated technology.
Unfortunately, inefficient data collection is commonplace and can limit your businesses' growth and ability to differentiate from the field. More effective data management lays the foundation for successful business operations.
2. Your Data Is Moving at Zombie Speed
Despite businesses' efforts to invest in digital transformation, antiquated systems are still creating inconsistent operations. Depending on its age, your data may need more than a cup of coffee.
Failing to make necessary updates can leave your data insights lurking in the shadows and put you behind your competitors. Actually, "disappearing data centers" is the top-ranked technology trend, with 28 percent of physical servers being ghost or zombie servers that aren't running workloads. Sub-optimized systems can produce long delays that defeat the value and opportunities afforded by leveraging data insights in real-time.
Your database processes should be equipped for agility and stability because rapid, intelligent decision making can mean the difference between finding the next technological breakthrough and a database glitch equivalent of buffering your favorite song on Spotify mid workout.
3. Don't Be Spooked by Change!
Although it is important to ensure your current infrastructure is up to date, it is equally critical to anticipate future needs. Many organizations struggle to find a balance between managing existing business processes and maintaining stability in their core platform while investing in innovation that will future-proof their business for years to come.
To ensure long-term sustainability, applications must be scalable to actively adapt to security threats and a variety of external factors. Optimizing your database to easily implement change enables your business to shift away from primarily focusing on current operations to leading the field in innovation. Unfortunately, based on industry trends, we still have a long way to go when it comes to digital transformation adoption.
Bringing It All Together: A Data Renovation Breeds Innovation
Real-time, data-driven insights are the way of the future, yet many organizations fail to recognize the old skeletons within their databases. Revamping your business models and processes requires advanced IT systems that can simplify your operations and manage complex data.
After all, investing resources into your database systems enables an agile application development environment—allowing you to shift focus away from mundane data management troubleshooting and freeing up time to develop innovative solutions and services.
More data has been created in the last two years than the whole of human history. The need to organize huge volumes of information quickly and securely is more evident than ever before. A database renovation serves as the foundation for a business' mission-critical applications. Not doing so can leave your business exposed to all sorts of ghosts and goblins!
About the Author
Marie Goodell, Vice President and Head of SAP HANA Platform marketing, is a highly accomplished marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in technology.
Marie has held several roles at SAP with increasing responsibility. Currently, she manages a global team responsible for marketing SAP HANA, an in-memory platform that combines ACID-compliant data with application services, high-speed analytic processing, and flexible data acquisition tools for rapid innovation and simplified IT.
Before this role, Marie helped shaped the SAP Big Data strategy across the Platform and Analytics divisions. She began her career at SAP as a manager in the SAP NetWeaverproduct portfolio. In 2014-2015, Marie was selected as an inaugural member of the SAP North America Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP)—a program dedicated to helping develop women as executive leaders.
Prior to SAP, Marie held leadership roles at Oracle and IBM.
-  "Gartner's IT Market Clocks for 2016: Digital Transformation Demands Rapid IT Modernization," October 4, 2016 by Monica Basso
-  "Gartner's predictions—a look at the top 10 tech trends," October 18, 2016 by Patrick Thibodeau, Computerworld