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Business has changed, design approach needs to change as well
After the first wave of computerisation, during the 2nd and 3rd wave, IT started enabling the business and then creating new business models. We have seen the impact of e-commerce and virtual market place and how every business is riding on the technology backbone.
I feel time has come to rethink if the technology that was developed in 70s and 80s of last century is good enough to lead the business processes and business models of 2nd decade of 21s century. While the technology was being developed in 70s and 80s it reflected the business processes of those times, it could not imagine the world 40 to 50 years later, that we are in today.
Database technology is one such example. Database technology has brought robustness to the business, and provided a framework to collect, store and get reports from that data. Once the core of database technology was accepted, business followed the structure of database. It was so robust that we did not feel the need to revisit it.
But I feel things have changed in a big way. At times this older generation database design is imposing its own structure on how business wants to collect, store data and process data. Businesses are developing new applications to respond to market needs at a fast pace. These applications are developed by different business units, in different geographies and by different sets of teams. In this scenario it is not always possible to have uniformity in database design. Each unit goes ahead and defines it data structure and application goes live. However when we want to leverage this data for business insight, we face tremendous challenges in collating this data. We use ETL process, we deploy data warehouse techniques and build new data marts. We end up spending lot of money in sanitising the data. To address this problem in a different way some organisations impose lot of ‘do’s and don’ts’ on the business processes in order to maintain uniformity of data structure. Either ways we lose efficiency, we lose lot of time and spend lot of money in so called ‘cleaning and storing’ data from disparate systems.
I feel we need to look at the different approach to database design such as document store which basically reflect the new age business needs. This approach allows flexibility and agility at the same time provides tremendous scalability. It allows integration of data from various sources without imposing its own structure which is a great relief. Also this kind of design allows new applications to be deployed much more quickly without having to worry too much about centralised design structure. Because one can integrate this dataset into centralised application very easily.
We at Ashnik have been working with our technology partners such as MongoDB and EnterpriseDB to leverage this new age design and help organisations remove rigidity and inefficiencies. Our team has been writing about this technology in more details. Do read and give us your feedback.
– Sachin Dabir, CEO | Ashnik, Birmingham, UK
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