Blogs

3 signs your database may be out of date

Product Marketing Manager – Db2 database, IBM

For decades, a company’s database usually had a single job: operating as either an operational — also known as transactional — database or acting as a data warehouse. It was also typically deployed in a single location: on premises. 

Today, companies not only want more from their databases, but also expect greater flexibility concerning where they are located and how they consume data management resources. Even though organizations may recognize that these new demands on their databases exist, they may not fully realize when their business has outgrown their current data management solution. If that happens, problems will eventually occur and the business will slow or, worse, stop because the database cannot keep up.

Make sure to address that possibility before it happens by checking for these three signs that your database may be out of date:

1. A lack of on-time or real-time analytics from transactional data

With the significant level of competition present in every industry, if you are not running analytics on your data as soon as possible, your business risks falling behind. Data that is ready for analytics quickly is important for multiple stakeholders including data scientists who want to discover trends in your business, marketing professionals who want to run real-time promotions for consumers and executives who want to review the overall health of the business. If these professionals have access to this data sooner, they will be able to derive the insights your organization needs to outpace the competition faster. If your current database does not provide a way for you to understand your business in real-time, that may be a sign that an upgrade is needed.

2. Inefficient scaling or limited scaling of database resources

The volume of data continues to rise at an impressive rate, a fact which most businesses know by heart. The multitude of papers, blogs, podcasts and other media which continue to be created on the subject only serve to further increase the amount of data. Still, because no company is immune to the effects of this increase, databases must be designed to support continued data growth. 

Your database must be able to scale as your business scales, but your database should go one step beyond that. It should scale efficiently.If you are constantly feeding your database more resources, such as memory and storage, it might be a sign your database is out of date.  A modern database should scale resources up or down as needed without impacting users.  In addition, it should efficiently manage those resources so nothing is being wasted, including your budget.

3. No database deployment flexibility

By now, cloud deployments, whether public or private, should be part of your data center. So your database solution should be part of your cloud conversation too. Currently, there are multiple options for database deployment, and companies should consider which is best based on their existing needs and goals.

That can often be hard to predict or may change unexpectedly. Having multiple deployment options gives companies the flexibility to support the ever-changing needs of their business regardless of what they might have first envisioned. Make sure your database supports on-premises, hosted cloud and managed cloud deployments. Failure to provide even one of these options could result in the inability to effectively address your ongoing needs and is a sure sign your database may be out of date.

With both business and technology changing so rapidly, it’s always prudent to ask yourself if your current database is out of date and unable to provide support for emerging business needs. Inability to perform real-time analytics, scaling limitations and deployment inflexibility are all good indicators that it may be time for a change, but other signs do exist. More information can be found in the ebook “6 reasons to upgrade your data management,” which covers the signs above, as well as other concerns, such as support of new data sources and types, updated security functionality, high-availability options, and lower total cost of ownership.