Data is Fuelling the Intelligent Enterprise of the Future

The speed of digitalisation has left organisations pondering whether their current solutions can keep up with their existing business requirements, let alone give the organisation a platform upon which to innovate.

The speed of digitalization has not only disrupted traditional business models, it has decimated about 70% of the Fortune 1000 companies in just one decade. However, many existing businesses struggle with this transition.  Whilst IT is only one half of the paradigm, it is an important foundation which needs to be setup in a way that enables innovation.

In the 21st century, new business models are being built upon data. As National Geographic data scientist Jake Porway puts it: “It used to be top down, where companies would go out and conduct a survey and collect data. Now we are walking around with devices that log everything we like, pictures we take, stores we visit. You don’t have to go out and find data. It is now coming and finding us.”

There is an increasing paradigm shift from historical data mining and batch reporting to real time insights and decision making, the hallmarks of the 21st century intelligent enterprise. At the core of this “intelligence” is a strong data foundation.

Why your legacy systems don’t cut it in the Age of Digitalisation

Client server architecture is today’s dominant system architecture paradigm. This has given rise to dedicated servers for applications and databases. Enterprise application integration (EAI) infrastructures allows for data exchange between applications in asynchronous batch runs but hinders real time insight and decision making that can be leveraged through in-memory technology.

Upon deeper analysis of the data foundations in legacy IT landscapes, a lot of the data residing in the multitude of databases are copies and remain inconsistent. This leads to artificially higher data volumes which in turn inhibits performance and demands significant hardware investment for marginal output and financial gain.
The business impact manifests in longer process durations, outdated information in reporting systems due to batch runs and overall poor data quality.  The operations and maintenance of these landscapes are expensive and often increasing costs are eroding bottom line. More importantly the business is not supported in the emerging digital arena and can’t provide today’s required agility.

Data Management matters

A Data Management suite provided by companies like SAP allows organisations to develop a common data model that brings together varying data types from various sources. The solution has been designed to handle the combination of large volumes of data outside of core systems and allows for the computation on the data at point of where it resides without the need to replicate it. This capability improves the speed to perform analytics or to feed the data into a machine learning system.

SAP HANA technology provides organisations with a relational data base management system, that combines online analytical processing and online transaction processing into a single memory database offering advanced analytics and high-speed transactions, thereby enabling decision making with real time data.

The intelligent enterprise can manage data from multiple sources from both cloud and on-premise applications. It is able to capitalise on emerging technologies and trends such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, big data and data intelligence. This allows the intelligent enterprise numerous possibilities through the discovery of new correlations and improved business process performance, making larger sets of data accessible for advanced analytics and intelligence, distribution of collaborative processes across an entire value network and finding new value in data assets for creating new business models.

The business value of innovation

An IDC survey of 10 SAP HANA customers from 5 different countries found that these customers achieved $19.27-million in average annual benefits per organisation compared to an average annual investment of $2.41-million over 5 years, as well as $52.6-million higher annual revenue per organisation, 40% higher productivity for 28% of users of SAP HANA applications, 23% more productive application development teams and 29% greater efficiency in database management.

This article first appeared on ITNewsAfrica.