Why You Should Be Riding The In-memory Wave

The in-memory revolution is here to stay. Mathias Golembek, CTO at database provider EXASOL, explains why you should embrace it

According to Gartner’s latest report, ‘Hype Cycle for In-Memory Computing 2014’, in-memory computing is growing rapidly, driven by technology maturation and decreasing costs.

Gartner states that in-memory computing has just passed the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ and is headed towards a natural ‘trough of surfingdisillusionment’. Yet the report also acknowledges a small number of high-impact in-memory technologies already out there ready for mainstream roll-out. The hype is over, now it’s time for in-memory to get down to business.

With so much global noise around in-memory, and the fact that the big players have been slow to the game, it is perhaps not surprising that there is confusion and that many businesses are slow to jump in. But businesses wait at their peril. In-memory technologies are starting to significantly change the IT landscape and the way companies do business. The provision of real-time analysis is giving those that have already rolled out in-memory, unprecedented access to new business insights and a significant competitive advantage.

Time to switch on the lights

Although the concept of in-memory is decades old, the falling price of RAM, increasing user success stories and a plethora of options on the market means there has never been a better time to become part of a revolution that is fast on its way of becoming the status quo.

In-memory’s sweet spot is its ability to quickly and effectively crunch and process consistently growing mountains of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data in real-time. This capability should not be underestimated. Real-time operations are helping businesses to significantly improve relationships with their customers, generate add-on sales to price based on demand, and enabling marketing teams to make quick-fire amendments to sales campaigns in response to current trends, such as the weather, or immediate customer feedback. And the benefits do not just stop there. In-memory can positively impact every area of the business – allowing operations departments to adjust fulfilment and supply chain priorities on the fly; internal audit departments to assess fraud and threat detection as it occurs; and human resources to reliably assess threats to employee retention.

In-memory is creating the environment for business management and technology to become synonymous with each other. It has redrawn the relationship in the departments and IT is now seen as integral to the business, not just on the periphery.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

The benefits currently being realised from real-time operations are just the tip of the iceberg. We are merely at the threshold of learning just what lightning fast data analysis can and will mean for business and how this will change the landscape of IT and business operations moving forwards.

However, although in-memory will certainly prove to be the stepping stone to the creation of new, innovative applications that will undoubtedly herald in a raft of new business processes, companies are advised to take their initial foray into in-memory, slowly. Identify the areas where in-memory will achieve the most positive impact to the business – perhaps budgeting, or planning, forecasting, marketing or sales – and then use it to measure the whats, whys, hows and wherefores that will ultimately give you the insights you need to start managing your enterprise more effectively.

In-memory is here to stay. Getting on board now enables businesses to learn the ropes early on, reap the benefits of faster, better and cheaper business operations, and ultimately pave the way for them to re-write their futures.