Improving your business processes with Microsoft SQL Data Warehouse

15th August 2017BlogDominic Green

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1 5 August 2017

As an industry, we are often faced with a typical conundrum: how do we predict the capacity requirements necessary to support our organisation’s key business processes? The answer is –  with great difficulty.

As Heads of IT throughout the capital strive to stay ahead of the game, attempting to firstly anticipate the businesses’ needs and then be able to meet them as they arise, we are aware that all too often the IT function is caught on the back foot, reacting to events after they’ve occurred.

Best practice and experience shows that capacity management is essential. It enables CIOs to plan ahead, to respond to business requirements speedily and to manage resources efficiently.  Moreover, adopting capacity management tools as part of a wider IT strategy makes it possible to impose order on an increasingly complex IT landscape. However, even with careful performance and capacity planning, the periodic short burst of technology resources involved in repeatedly accessing, processing, modelling and reporting on data can be a “bottleneck”, or alternatively an expensive asset largely under-used outside of peak times.

Keen to share our knowledge on the subject we recently held a breakfast seminar entitled ‘How Microsoft Azure Can Improve Your Reserving, Modelling and Reporting Processes’.

Microsoft -Data Warehouse-Event

The Chivas Private Room at Searcys at The Gherkin

Throughout the morning, we debated and deliberated with some of the capital’s pre-eminent Senior Managers and leading Heads of IT on subjects spanning from the availability of analytics systems, to the benefits of AI and machine learning.

The event afforded Northdoor CTO James Cherry the opportunity to wax lyrical as he provided an explanation and demonstration of how core business processes can be executed dramatically quicker, at lower cost and more efficiently through use of a modernised data warehouse architecture that takes advantage of cloud technology, specifically Microsoft Azure’s SQL Data Warehouse.

For the uninitiated, Microsoft’s SQL Data Warehouse is an Azure cloud-based data warehouse that offers enterprise-class scalability, availability, performance and flexibility on a pay-as-you-use basis. Enabling companies to outthink their competitors without breaking the bank, Microsoft’s SQL Data Warehouse negates the complexity, inflexibility and expense often attributed to data warehouses, thus helping forward thinking companies to outthink their competitors.

Following the presentation, the event broke out into a roundtable at which time we heard a lot of the shared challenges, with attendees citing issues with traditional IT systems such as:

  • Small additional capacity requirements can lead to significant expense, e.g. licences, racks, etc. and have a long lead time to implementation.
  • Business growth can be difficult to manage
  • Demand peaks can be difficult to manage, or expensive to ensure headroom capacity
  • It can be difficult to stay within your current software licence parameters, sometimes straying over into a higher, more expensive tier.

We are all too aware that issues with the performance of business-critical applications can cause deterioration of an organisation’s business performance. Moreover, slow or not readily available applications that support key business processes can also cause revenue loss and declines in customer satisfaction, employee productivity and even brand reputation.  With many London businesses requiring a monthly, quarterly and year-end pool of reports, which typically entail a number of reserving, modelling and reporting processes for both internal monitoring needs and external market analysis, now is definitely the time for change.

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Are you looking for ways to modernise and enhance the reserving, modelling and reporting capability of your business? If so, we’d love to hear from you –

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