A lot has happened over the past few decades from
information technology point of view. Globalization was only thought of
and after Internet it seems as if it was a piece of cake. In technology
type of write ups, it is always easy to start with where we were and
what used to happen in the past but the difficult part is to catch up
the present and the future. Organizations have invested heavily in IT
infrastructure establishments to ensure operational efficiency and
effectiveness. Over the last 10 years organizations have changed their
focus within IT from HW approach to more like a business solution
approach and hence many leading IT organizations have come up with
something that organizations were really looking forward to. ERP
(Enterprise Resource Planning) the hottest buzzword in IT for the last 6
to 7 years has been pretty successful in terms of catching up
organizations focus. Many organizations invested like crazy in ERP
technology, yet with a lot of advantages there are few drawbacks
organizations have faced with the technology. Since the focus of ERP has
always been to help organizations achieve operational efficiency, so at
times organization felt threatened about their return on investments.
The lengthy implementation processes and its impact on the corporate
culture has been one of the greatest topics for organizations to
consider before going for such solutions. To overcome these issues many
organizations have played smart just to ensure that they get the maximum
benefit out of their ERP implementations. They realized that what they
need is not only operational efficiency rather they also require
organizational top line growth and bottom line performance through
decision support systems.
Datawarehouse is one great and interesting concept
that organizations are picking up in order to take full advantage of
their investments in IT. Since it is based on the decision making and
problem solving capability concepts hence quick returns has been one of
the greatest advantage that attracts companies to invest in it. Due to
the controversies of the success of ERPs, million-dollar question is how
do you maximize the ROI from your ERP system? The answer to this
question might just lie outside your ERP system.
Datawarehousing besides providing other benefits
provides faster and consolidated view of enterprise-wide Information and
packs in the ability to flexibly analyze it. Data Warehousing provides
the answers with an application environment consisting of a dedicated
database drawing on diverse data sources, designed to support advanced
complex query and analytical capabilities.
The most important point to consider here is that
since the focus of this solution is not subject-oriented hence it has to
have the capabilities to support complex ad hoc queries from a
perspective to get a 360 degree view of the organization whether it is
pertaining to the customers, suppliers, or the financial position of the
organization. It has to keep into consideration the single version of
the truth philosophy. Yet all of it is only possible when you have a
consolidated specialized database that can store and manage complex
queries and yet also provides you the scalability to grow linearly as
your organization grows.
Datawarehouse is a process; you grow your data by
integrating the entire operational systems at one place. Datawarehouse
grows with time and due to the complexity of a query there are key
features to remember while selecting the entire solution about
scalability. "Scalability" is a term that is widely used and
often misunderstood. Usually, two measures define scalability —
"scale-up" and "speed-up." Scale-up is the ability
to deliver the same response time if the workload and hardware resources
are increased at the same rate. If the hardware resources are doubled,
then a system with perfect scale-up will do exactly twice as much work
in the same response time.
Speed-up is the ability to do the same work faster if
more hardware resources are applied. If system size is doubled, a system
with perfect speed-up will do the entire workload twice as fast.
True scalability means that any change or combination
of changes to hardware resources, workload or response time has the same
directly proportional effect on each of the others, regardless of their
current magnitude. So quadrupling resources while doubling workload will
deliver all the work in half the response time, regardless of the
configuration's original size.
"Shared nothing model"; very useful for
growing systems because when hardware components such as disk or memory
are shared system-wide, there is an extra overhead involve to manage and
coordinate contention for these components. This overhead can place a
limit on scalable performance when growth occurs or stress is placed on
any component of the system such as the system internal bus.
Shared nothing configuration is able to minimize or
eliminate the interference and overhead of resource sharing, the balance
of disk, interconnect traffic, memory power, bus and processor strength
can be maintained.
Yet many vendors claim Shared Nothing Architecture;
but key questions need to be related to determine if it scales
predictably and on a one to one direct correlation between data volume
or workload. The solution must have a perfect slope of one scaling
factor and provides directly related, predictable performance
expectations as data or workloads increase.
Organizations whether they belong to a large sized
organization group, mid sized or small-scale enterprises cadre, the key
business question remains the maximization of the Return on Investments.
There is no recipe for success yet the directions are available, it is
only a matter of grabbing the right opportunity at the right time;
decisions must not be only based on our intuitions rather it must be a
mix of experiences and facts and figures only then we will be able to
achieve what we used to read about Rational Decision Making.
Organizations may like to consider investing more into technology for
problem solving and analytical capabilities that will help them in
rational decision making rather than investing into it only for the sake
of investing. To sell the right products/services to the right customers
will only be possible once we have a clear understanding of our
customers. Operational efficiency is not sufficient to survive in such a
competitive environment; datawarehouse is one excellent solution
available that is helping organizations around the globe not only in
strategic decisions yet also in their day-to-day tactical