By Deon Cilliers, Pre-Sales Manager at SAP Africa’s business analytics and technology solutions division
Johannesburg — Decision-making is a crucial part of any business, and making good decisions even more so. Companies collectively spend billions of rands on data warehousing and reporting systems each year, all in the name of perfecting business insights to empower decision-making. But, Deon Clilliers at SAP, the global leader in enterprise application software, believes this isn’t enough and that there is much more value in business analytics.
“Companies have historically strived for understanding and insights into various facets of the business. The shift must move from gaining insights, to empowering action,” says Deon Cilliers, Pre-Sales Manager at SAP Africa’s business analytics and technology solutions division.
“The conversation is no longer about companies using quality information to make quality decisions – this is now a given. The key to gaining an advantage in today’s market is all about the speed in which you are able to make that decision,” he adds.
SAP recognises that companies no longer have the luxury of time to design and deploy business analytics systems. As such, the company is committing its resources to drive rapid deployment technologies, seeking to close the gap between money invested in these systems, and tangible value to the customer.
“The real value of business analytics in 2012 lies in rapid deployment, and how companies can take insights gained and get these into the hands of the people that need to make everyday decisions in the organisation – be they customer-facing or back-office operations,” Cilliers explains.
According to SAP, there are three main technology drivers that will change the decision-making landscape for companies in 2012: in-memory computing; mobility; and the rise of business analytics as a cloud service. While each driver in isolation is valuable to an extent, SAP believes that only a combination of all three will see companies realise true competitive advantage.
“In-memory computing drastically increases the speed of data analysis; mobile technologies enable information to be made available to decision-makers wherever they are; while cloud services remove the need for expensive and time-consuming deployments,” declares Cilliers.
In-memory computing, pioneered by SAP through its “HANA” technology (high-speed analytical appliance), uses sophisticated data compression techniques to store information in a database’s random access memory (RAM). This enables the analysis of large data sets to be performed up to 10 000 times faster than on standard disks, which drastically speeds up the decision-making process.
“The reality is that software is way ahead of business strategy. The company that gains ground on their competition in 2012, is the one that figures out how to leverage the mass data available to it, and translate it into action – quickly,” Cilliers concludes.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back-office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organisations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 183 000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Sybase) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
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