The Modern Data Platform, or How to Remove Constraints to Meet Digital Needs

Greg McStravick

Posted by Greg McStravick on

President, SAP Database And Data Management

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What do you want to do that you can’t do today?

This question is top of mind for SAP as we approach our customers. We know that their needs for data management are getting more complex – but there’s a solution. Allow me to explain.

The proliferation of data, and the shift toward data-driven businesses, has had such a profound impact that every business is an analytics business, and every employee an analytics user. On top of this growing need, it’s no secret that the amount of data you must manage is growing dramatically as well. In fact, it’s growing at a rate of 80% every year. The impact of this data explosion is hard to conceptualize. Managing, ensuring the validity, and making sense of all that data is an overwhelming task.

It’s this need for analytics by a growing base of users, coupled with increasing volumes and the variety of data, that is creating a flashpoint. This is a critical inflection point in the evolution of today’s enterprise, the social enterprise; one that represents both a challenge and a huge opportunity. As workforces age, companies are hiring younger employees who expect to have the same speed and intelligent information they have in their personal lives via the web, available to them at their fingertips in the corporate world. And they expect it to be as powerful and easy to use as smart apps.
The data explosion is being driven by both a volume and velocity of data, and by the variety and validity of data. Yet, companies are still running business on the same lagging signals as the last 100 years, like financials in the form of income statements and balance sheets. But the distributed base of decision makers want and need to pay attention to a whole host of new and increasingly forward looking signals, including customer sentiment and social data, new business risks, uncertainty and non-financial information and data stored in a variety of places, including traditional data warehouses, but also data in the cloud and on their own devices.

So now is the time to bring data out from the hands of a few to be used by the entire organization. Businesses need to extend the reach of information across operations, empowering the right users to make decisions using the right trusted data, at the right time, through immediate and secure mobile, cloud engagements.

This can be done by combining existing assets with the new data to turn data into decisions. These signals change rapidly and users must be able to respond quickly. And because there are so many different signals out there, users also need to cut through the noise and isolate just the ones you should be paying attention to for the biggest business impact. Ultimately this is about driving a business outcome – making the organization as a whole more successful by giving them the power to turn big data into intelligent data and to use this to revolutionize the way you collectively make decisions across the enterprise.

We need new approaches to simplify this complexity that has been built up over the decades. An architecture of a Modern Data Platform that supports Bi-Modal IT – standardized applications plus rapid innovation – and a platform that minimizes data duplication, integrating radically simplified data access without moving data from place to place in order to act on it. We need compute capabilities where the data lives or “sleeps” instead of copying and duplicating data to other systems to derive insight. This will reduce infrastructure complexity that promotes agile delivery to allow new data “types” to be captured and managed without disrupting existing systems and processes.

SAP HANA has been designed to provide these capabilities. Deployable on-premise or in the cloud, SAP HANA is the in-memory computing platform that lets you accelerate business processes, deliver more business intelligence, and simplify your IT environment. By providing the foundation for all your data needs, SAP HANA removes the burden of maintaining separate legacy systems and siloed data. SAP HANA helps companies manage data in a single in-memory platform to take action in the moment and accelerate the pace of innovation to run live in this new digital economy. Combined with SAP Vora, which is an in-memory, distributed computing solution that helps organizations uncover actionable business insights from Big Data, businesses can run enriched, interactive analytics on both enterprise and Hadoop data, quickly and easily. Then add SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services, which is a performance-driven, robust Big Data solution that uniquely includes Hadoop and Spark operations services, and we have reimagined how Big Data should be done.

In summation, the Modern Data Platform with SAP HANA is a bi-modal way to deliver a single, logical model across an entire organization, driving value from information through powerful analytics engines in real-time.

Now you know the Modern Data Platform principles and execution. So what do you want to do that you can’t do today – and how can SAP help?

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