Businesses are now in an era where faster access to analytics has become a critical competitive differentiator. If you are running a line of business or are responsible for a key application in your company, you need to make sure your underlying technology platform can support better and faster decision-making for you and your employees. Your future, and the future of your company, may depend upon it.
What does that actually mean for you, and what can you do to influence IT? Let’s start with what it means for you:
- Bigger, better, faster: Organizations are creating much more data than ever before and, at the same time, are becoming much more adept at putting that data to use. Big data analytics, for example, has been characterized as one of the pillars of the next dominant computing platform and is growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 25% a year through 2019.1 It’s all about being able to make better decisions faster, using real-time data and real-time analytics. If your organization is not using analytics to drive decision-making, you are susceptible to losing competitive advantage to companies that are. Look at what Amazon is doing in retail, or what Netflix is doing in home entertainment. These are new business models that are being driven by advanced analytics.
- Deploying new applications: One of the other important trends is what is often referred to as “IT consumerization.” The basic concept is that individuals—employees, partners, customers and others—are bringing new sensibilities to their business interactions driven by their experiences in the consumer world. As a line-of-business (LOB) manager or application owner, this means that you have to develop your applications much faster than ever before and they have to be glitch-free right from the outset. They also have to support mobile platforms. In addition, your applications need to take advantage of the types of analytics that are driving today’s decision-making. To accomplish all this, you need to ensure that your developers have access to technologies that simplify and accelerate testing and development.
In terms of influencing IT purchases, this means you have to be able to leverage technologies that support better and faster decision-making and better and faster application development. Many LOB managers and application owners have viewed public cloud services as an option, but you will be much more effective working inside the company with the IT department and not becoming part of the “shadow IT” movement. By working with IT, you can ensure that your applications are secure and have all of the enterprise-class features that you may need, particularly for any customer-facing applications or business services.
Oracle databases are the foundation for many of today’s business-critical applications, so that has to be a key area of focus for you. In today’s environment, the best way to make sure your Oracle databases can deliver the speed, reliability, accuracy and agility you need for analytics and application development is to use an all-flash storage platform. Why all-flash?
- Performance: You need to meet your service-level agreements and you need to be able to leverage analytics for better and faster decision-making. All-flash storage is much faster than spinning disks: Flash can accelerate access to analytics dashboards and reports 15-20 times faster than spinning disks.
- Reliability: Developers can leverage self-service capabilities with the mixed workload capabilities of flash storage to set up test and development environments that don’t impact existing production infrastructure. Flash offers many of the benefits of the public cloud without the risks, particularly if you deploy a solution with a modular architecture. Uptime and availability of applications are critical. Every moment of downtime can be extremely costly—in lost revenue, missed opportunities and customer goodwill. Modern all-flash solutions deliver five 9s reliability along with a resilient architecture that doesn’t tolerate even planned downtime.
- Faster application development: In addition to self-service capabilities and support for mixed workloads, all-flash storage solutions can leverage extremely efficient snapshots and cloning technologies to rapidly accelerate application development. With all-flash storage, developers can have access to an entire data set almost instantaneously.
For LOB managers and applications owners, the bottom line is the bottom line—you need to drive revenue and profitability. With all-flash storage underpinning the Oracle database, your applications will run faster, you will be able to leverage advanced analytics more strategically and you will get applications into the market much quicker. That’s a pretty good bottom line.