An organisation’s data architecture should act as an enabler for business progression, not hinder development. Martin James, Vice President EMEA at Aerospike, highlights the criticality of effective data management for success and why technology leaders and the C-suite must factor in the importance of scaling infrastructure when planning – which includes the deployment of modern data platforms.
A rapid, accurate response to our digital demands is what we as consumers now expect. Never has the need for speed been so acute, whether we are asking Alexa for today’s weather forecast, waiting for Prime Video to stream a movie, loading up a bank statement from our mobile account or checking out an online purchase. The longer we wait, the more likely we are to lose patience and abandon the transaction. It is no longer seconds that count, but milliseconds, and today’s businesses are built on their ability to respond in less than a blink of an eye.
This is what we term the ‘Right Now Economy’, and driving it is data which facilitates everything from daily tasks through to critical business actions. Every connection made by every device adds to the ‘datasphere’, as IDC has termed it. In its Global DataSphere Forecast for 2019-2023, IDC predicts that there will be 55.9 billion connected devices by 2025, generating 79.4ZB (zettabytes) of data from connected IoT devices alone.
No business, large or small, can disregard the immense economic and social shift driven by data. It is placing unprecedented pressure on companies to ramp up their real-time response, forcing them to move beyond human speed, instead entering the age of machine speed.
Once, organisations understood that if they couldn’t be first, they should be better. They prioritised agility so they could pivot quickly when trends changed. Now they urgently need to add the processing of large volumes of data from multiple sources into the mix, because only this will give them the real-time decision-making power to serve today’s right-now economics.
Let’s put this into context by examining three every-day scenarios: e-commerce, banking and gaming.
Fast shopping online
If a consumer is looking for a specific product, they might access a retailer’s mobile e-commerce app. Here they can search via recommendations based on a fast data layer and select the item they want. They can benefit from pricing that has been updated in real-time to reflect market demands and inventory that is up-to-the-minute accurate and pay for it in a matter of seconds. They are sent updates on the delivery in real-time, up to the point where the item arrives and, again, they are sent a real-time communication to complete the transaction. This process only works smoothly and accurately if it can access the customer’s data in real-time and that depends entirely on whether the retailer’s infrastructure is built for real-time business.
Facilitating safe money flow
In the financial services sector, the only way for companies to compete is by excelling at connecting and streamlining information flow across all data sources and datasets to meet customers’ needs. This depends on capturing streaming data, preferably at the edge so it’s closest to where it’s needed, inputting robust AI and Machine Learning analysis and then pushing instructions and transactional outcomes back in real-time. This is how banks, insurance companies and payment service providers can rapidly authenticate digital identities, prevent fraudulent transactions without delay or inconvenience and provide customers instantly with the services they need.
Playing the game
In gaming, the need for real-time data processing is just as critical. Cloud gaming, PC and console-based gaming have long had appeal to consumers worldwide while emerging multi-player online games and eSports are attracting millions of gamers participating simultaneously against each other in real-time. This entails the storage, management and retrieval of massive volumes of player profile information, game performance data, statistics and rankings. Gamers rely on fast performance, low latency and high levels of security because many of the games involve virtual economies and the trading of virtual currencies where fraud is a constant threat. For games developers there is a never-ending race to introduce new revenue-generating games and features so they can stay ahead of the competition.
Despite their different needs, all three use cases demonstrate the demands that are now made on database applications and platforms if customer needs are to be met. From managing the sheer volume of data and ensuring that systems always have the necessary capacity to handle any load at any time, through to reliably storing data with automatic failover and preventing fraud in any scenario, modern data solutions are necessary in today’s fast-changing environment.
The message for firms is clear: data architecture should enable and support, not restrict progress and it must be optimised to analyse millions of events, billions of data points and petabytes of historical information in milliseconds. If we look at the direction of travel, what requires less than one terabyte of data today will likely need more than 30 terabytes in just 18 months.
For technology leaders and the C-suite to be prepared, they must factor in the importance of scaling infrastructure when planning and that includes the deployment of modern data platforms with predictable sub-millisecond performance. This is a non-negotiable scenario. Customer demands will only continue to grow and, regardless of industry sector, the need for speed is only going in one direction. It’s time for firms to act if they are to retain long-term loyalty and ensure business success.Click below to share this article