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In the past few years, no other topic has been more urgent for IT leadership than data management. The onslaught of data rushing into companies from all directions – and the demand to understand it instantly – has made data management one of the top concerns for IT management at all levels of the organization. As Bill McDermott stated recently in a global affairs journal op-ed piece, “Big Data is literally the main ingredient … to do more with less.”

However, the limitations of IT budgets are often a more pressing concern. To get a more detailed picture of what IT managers are up against, IDG Research Services conducted a survey of 100 senior-level and 100 midlevel IT managers who represent a variety of business and government / nonprofit sectors and sizes.

First, the survey asked them to prioritize their top concerns for the coming 12 months. Here were their three top responses:

  • 56%     Managing costs and efficiencies across a complex infrastructure
  • 46%     Enabling better access and analysis of real-time data (both operational and aggregate data) 
  • 41%     Improving support for the remote / mobile workforce

The survey also asked about the biggest challenges IT managers were facing. Here were their top three responses:

  • 54%    Managing cost and budget constraints
  • 45%    Supporting the increase in data volumes
  • 33%    Integrating and managing siloed data and applications

Given the world economy’s ongoing problems, it’s not surprising that respondents named managing costs and budgets among both their top objectives and challenges. As IT leadership looks to solve the challenges of providing better access to real-time data, it’s important to remember that there’s more to total cost of ownership (TCO) than cost. Here’s an example from one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, Procter & Gamble.

How SAP HANA Is Changing the Game at P&G

P&G has operations in approximately 80 countries and sales in more than 180 countries. The sheer volume of data generated by these offices often meant that running reports could take days.

In this brief video, Jim Fortner, VP of IT Development and Operations at P&G, talks about how the SAP HANA platform gives P&G the potential to completely rethink the architecture of its transactional systems and their surrounding analytical engines. P&G has already begun applying SAP HANA to its financial management processes to enable real-time reporting. Reports that used to take several days are now available in seconds, generating greater depth and variety in what business leaders are able to analyze. Watch the 2-minute video:

TCO Helps Tip the Scale

For senior IT managers struggling to balance infrastructure costs with the demand for greater access to real-time data and analysis, it’s clear that TCO helps tip the scale. Doing business in real time will reinvent the capabilities and responsiveness of virtually every area of the company.

Real-time business means being able to gather and act on business intelligence, develop promotional and marketing tactics, control and adjust production processes, manage inventory, identify and manage business risks, close and fulfill sales, and meet customer needs – faster and more accurately than ever before. In other words, real-time business enables companies to do more with less, at speeds never before


To read the full report of the IDG survey, download Data Management Wish List: IT is Open to Big Changes.

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