Transform and Adapt?

Friday 4 February 2011

I was reading an article on the web today about the modern day business information needs and an argument that ‘The good news is that existing BI architecture and its infrastructure, which includes powerful BI and database servers, are able to transform and adapt to meet the new analytical requirements’ of today.

What a cop out!

A skeptical way of interpreting this is ‘don’t worry… with a little bit of sellotape, a lick of paint and some marketing spiel that albatross of a system will evolve into a butterfly and solve your every problem’.

Cynical but true.

Strap a V8 to a milk float and it will go like the proverbial. It might not corner well and may no longer be the ideal storage medium for milk but it will meet your performance requirements.

It’s no longer good enough to make do with what we had.

You can’t just spruce it up, add some gloss and spangly bits and pretend you now have something new and made for today.

Talking about technologies such as OLAP as the answer to our analytical needs (a product of the 90’s), object databases (product of the 80’s), or relational databases (a revelation dating back to the 70’s) is pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

Just because the hardware is getting more powerful you can’t keep claiming that the same old antiquated way of doing things is the right way of doing things today. True adding a V8 helps but it’s not the solution.

It is true that search engine technology started cropping up as early as the 90’s.

Google came up with their BETA release as early as 1994, however, it’s really 2000 onwards where Google started to become the great new thing that everyone embraced and became a standard part of everyday life.

The rest, as they say, is history. Google is now a verb, you can use it with confidence in scrabble (although it’s worth a lot fewer points than it is pounds).

Google is referenced in the Oxford dictionary.

  • To OLAP
  • To Relational
  • To Object Orientate
  • To Google…

I am not a shareholder in Google (more’s the pity), however, I am an admirer in their technology.

  • Search engine technology is fast. In fact, it’s unbelievably fast.
  • Search engine technology is easy to use.
  • Search engine technology is now being applied in a host of different ways. 21st Century ways that fit in with the information requirements not only of today but tomorrow…

Don’t be fooled by the legacy database providers. Things have changed. A fundamentally better way of doing things exists that is visible to everyone with a computer, phone or another gizmo on the network.

Transform and Adapt — it depends on how old the things are that you’re trying to transform and adapt. For me, I’m following the innovators and looking for the next new thing not trying to re-invent the wheel or strap on some extra boosters to tide you over for the next 12 months.

Read the small print and don’t be short-changed!

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