The game-changing, real-time enterprise

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Advances in in-memory processing capability and the growing effect of consumerisation are propelling enterprises to embrace real-time analytics to stay competitive.

So says Estelle de Beer of the SAP Data Warehouse Centre of Excellence, EMEA, adding: "Much like e-mail and cellphones were game-changers for enterprise, real-time BI [business intelligence] and analytics will be the next game-changers. It's an unstoppable wave, and the 'real-time enterprise' will become the new default way of operating."

De Beer notes that enterprises have been slow to adapt to the way consumers expect to interact with data. In the consumer environment, data is available instantaneously and changes are visible immediately.

"Corporates, on the other hand, are not yet ready to allow users to interact with corporate data in the way they can with consumer information. Now they are starting to re-evaluate their internal environments, with a view to going real time. The challenge is that most enterprise systems are built on data latency and most will find it difficult to simply switch to real time without major re-architecting of their current systems."

Because of existing investments in older systems, the challenges of changing the work environment, and the complexity of re-architecting systems, enterprises may be reluctant to move to a real-time environment without seeing a strong business case for it, says De Beer.

But the business case is unmissable. In fact, she says, in future, enterprises that don't enable real-time response in the way customers expect will simply lose those customers. There are many ways to adopt real-time processing and analytics without disrupting the current environments and architectures, which visionary companies are already deploying and benefiting from.

De Beer cites an example of real-time analytics in use: "If a telco has a 360-degree view of each customer - from where they live, to their call patterns, spending profile across all products and services, and what the customer just tweeted about the telco - when the customer calls in to a contact centre, the agent is able to answer any queries immediately. There are several business benefits of this: the query is answered immediately - saving valuable corporate time and cost; the customer is happier - driving customer loyalty; and there is an opportunity for an immediate up-sell to a different product or service. The business case is clear."

De Beer will speak at the upcoming ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit on game-changing innovation for real-time analytics on big and fast data. For more information about this event, click here.

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