Businesses today face a veritable avalanche of data — customer relationship management (CRM) data, purchase history and entitlements, web click log data, and Internet of Things (IoT) data, to name a few. Though all of this information has the potential to help organizations gain insight into customers and processes, the reality is that most companies today are not equipped to tame, manage, analyze, store, and derive actionable business insights from that abundance of data. This makes it hard for them to realize the value of deploying trusted data efficiently, securely, and to maximum advantage.
The many barriers to well-managed data can be overwhelming for companies coping with an onslaught of data. SAP HANA Data Management Suite, which combines the power of SAP HANA and SAP Data Hub, is SAP’s answer to the challenges that confront customers in this data-rich age — data sprawl, data entropy, security and governance, as well as maintaining trusted data — and is a crucial solution for any business vying to become an intelligent enterprise.
Challenges to Well-Managed Data
Not all data is created equally, and most of the abundant data available to organizations today comes from various heterogeneous information such as unstructured data on cloud and mobile applications or social media channels that is not simple to access or interpret. Much of that data is stored in applications that are not designed for easy navigation or retrieval. Data sprawl leaves companies rich in raw data but poor in useable information. Like data sprawl, data entropy derives from the struggles inherent in the sheer volume of data that businesses are able to collect today. As information — and the many and diverse sources through which it is gathered — has increased significantly, companies have scrambled to expand their traditional on-premise data warehouses. This has resulted in an often unwieldy and far-flung data landscape that can obscure crucial information that a company needs to maintain a clear view not only of its customers but also of its own business.
Even if a company has created a sound data management system that masters sprawl and entropy and affords access and clarity, other challenges remain. Data security is on everyone’s minds these days, and for good reason. Businesses are being forced to reckon with data security and privacy thanks to recent headlines and new, comprehensive privacy laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But many companies remain woefully behind the times, storing data in low-structure distributed systems, open-source databases, and even on unmanaged devices. Given the potential risks that data security poses to a company, it is vital that businesses seek out technology that equips them to face the security challenges of today — including support for GDPR measures — and prepares them to meet future challenges.
Though not a hot button issue like data security, data governance is a related concern and is no less important. Organizations are gradually awakening to the fact that the data gold rush is no longer taking place in the wild west. Auditors want to see that a business application is reliable and know where its value comes from. This means that an organization must know where data is coming from, where it is going, and who is using it —which is no small feat if that organization is not equipped with a business model, impact analysis, and lineage metadata. Good data governance — along with consistent metadata management to discover, track, organize, and inventory data assets — is essential to establishing and maintaining trusted data. It requires information that is clean, secure, accurate, and organized with clear provenance and access guidelines.
All-in-One Data Management
SAP HANA Data Management Suite can help solve the challenges that confront SAP customers in the data-rich age. After a company addresses the scale and scope of its data management challenges, it likely realizes that a traditional, piecemeal approach to data management will not suffice. Rather, a next-generation suite of solutions is needed to overcome next-generation challenges; SAP HANA Data Management Suite has all the necessary capabilities for an open and governed data management suite and is comprised of a hybrid of on-premise and multi-cloud-based technologies.
SAP HANA Data Management Suite consists of two key components. SAP HANA — with powerful in-memory database capabilities that eliminate predefined aggregates, materialized views, and data duplication — offers companies the flexibility and agility to move data and applications across the cloud and on premise, making it a formidable foe to the challenges of data sprawl and entropy. The freedom of movement with SAP HANA offers users a myriad of benefits, including a smoother, more cost-effective path to quick and agile innovation in the cloud with the option to seamlessly shift a model or application on premise. The dissolution of barriers between on premise and cloud-based solutions will offer SAP HANA Data Management Suite customers more nimble budgeting and the opportunity to earmark innovation costs as operating expenditures.
SAP Data Hub is another crucial element of the SAP HANA Data Management Suite. Notably, it is a true hub, not just a simple pipeline from point A to point B. SAP Data Hub creates a central metadata management catalog, incorporating a unified view of cloud and on-premise data stores. SAP Data Hub then allows true multi-directional flow of information that — combined with the crucial industry and business process knowledge SAP brings to the table — offers a tangible and vital benefit to an organization: the power to not merely collect metadata, but to use and manage it in a way that maximizes its value to the business.
SAP HANA Data Management Suite is a comprehensive and multifaceted solution, but ultimately its nearly infinite potential is best summarized by Deloitte Consulting, who describes the 360-degree view of data it will provide as the “holy grail of data management.” 1
Positioned for Growth
The unceasing flow of information that is the hallmark of today’s enterprise can be managed in three main ways. If managed poorly or not at all, it can be a crippling liability, which is at best an enormous drain on company resources and at worst a potential security risk. Managed decently, data can be neutral, though neutral has a way of quickly slipping into the red when a business pours resources into management but is not able to reap any benefits. Managed expertly, however, by a comprehensive solution such as SAP HANA Data Management Suite, data offers limitless possibility for innovation, for growth, and for getting ahead in the data age instead of just getting by. To learn more, visit www.sap.com/products/technology-platforms/data-management.html.