Whether your company is big or small, innovation will make you successful. Gaining insights about your market before your competitors will give you a distinct advantage in delivering exciting new products and services to your customers. And, in my experience, there’s no surer way to gain insights – and innovate – than by analyzing data that’s critical to your business.
The problem is that, even in smaller organizations, the amount of data is staggering. Without advanced technology, analyzing enough of it is a serious challenge. But in the real world, most small and medium business executives balk at the IT commitment necessary to deploy a state-of-the-art in-memory database appliance, especially one that is unlikely to have the utilization it would in a large company. The upfront capital cost for servers and software can be a barrier to some; for others, the scarcity of IT talent to support the technology holds people back. The barriers to deployment are steep.
Or were. Cloud computing has blown apart those barriers.
Now you can get the most advanced analytics in-memory database on the market for less than one dollar per hour. Through Amazon Web Services, companies can test drive SAP HANA, the world’s most powerful database, on big slices of their data using an array of SAP tools, such as SAP BusinessObjects, to glean knowledge about their business.
All you need is a credit card number and some data to become a user of the most advanced database available. Not that long ago, advanced software was either too expensive or too complex for small and medium businesses. Cloud computing has leveled the technology playing field for all companies.
But this new service is not just for smaller enterprises with modest IT budgets. It’s also a tried-and-true method for larger organizations to, for example, quickly develop and test application prototypes without having to make a large-scale investment before the application concept is field-proven.
Cloud computing does impose modest performance overhead versus having HANA running in-house. Estimates are less than a 5% penalty. But when the database is delivering performance improvements of 20-to-200 times (and higher), 5% will not be noticed.
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