By Sri Ayyeppen, President, Chief Technology Officer of Keste, a leading worldwide Oracle solutions provider based in Dallas
If your small to medium business is experiencing high growth—or hopes to soon—you must make sure your database solution will grow with you. The reality is that in many cases, it can’t.
Many established SMBs own costly, hard-to-maintain, on-premises systems that can’t maintain performance as demands on the system increase. So, when you require massive scalability, you may hit a wall, since you now need to add extra processors or cores and more memory (which will probably come at an additional licensing cost).
Younger SMBs start their evolution by housing their critical accounting, customer and HR data in a few freestanding cloud applications. As they grow, they find that these solutions lack the power and scalability of the enterprise-level solution they’re quickly coming to need.
Let’s take a minute to go into detail on why you’ve probably already outgrown (or are about to outgrow) your current database solution and what that means for your business.
It is not called the Information Age for no reason. The tsunami of data—from the Internet of Things (IoT), customer marketing, and myriad other sources—is rising exponentially. Data is growing faster than ever before and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. Performance and scalability is hard when dealing with large amount of data.
In our experience, once a company crosses a certain line in its growth path, its database application footprint must enhance drastically. If your data capital is growing four-fold, eight-fold, even 10-fold annually, you need to take advantage of it with improved analysis in order to drive your business forward… faster than the competition.
To do this, you’ll need dramatically improved capabilities in three key areas:
Performance is important when it comes to internal processes, but it becomes critical for any customer-facing application. In this brave, new, on-demand world, customers have very little loyalty. If your systems don’t perform, your customers will go elsewhere.
Don’t believe me? Consider that Amazon loses 1% in sales for every additional 100ms it takes to deliver a webpage. Google, meanwhile, found that an extra 500ms in search-page generation time reduced traffic by 20%.
A best-in-class cloud solution can scale rapidly without any performance degradation, keeping you from losing customers and revenue.
If customers are that sensitive to millisecond delays, what will their reaction be if your system goes offline entirely, even for a short period? Many SMBs consider availability largely in terms of disaster recovery. They can respond to catastrophic failure in one data center by transferring traffic to a mirror site. But they rarely consider a second key aspect of availability: meeting customers’ 24/7/365 access expectations.
Achieving this level of availability means overcoming a less-than-catastrophic hardware failure within a single site. But in my experience, few SMBs ever reach this level of availability. With built-in, enterprise-level database clusters, cloud computing offers the continuous availability today’s “always on” customers expect—if not from you, then certainly from your competitors.
If data security is not your SMB’s topmost priority, it should be. As global corporations become increasingly difficult to breach, SMBs have emerged as hackers’ target of choice. Security provider Symantec reports that SMBs rank higher than big companies as cyberattack targets. Last year, SMBs accounted for 65% of reported breaches, up from 50% in 2011, with the most dramatic growth coming from smaller businesses.
Meanwhile, (according to the National Small Business Association) the cost of the average attack rose from $8,699 in 2013 to $20,752 in 2014—an increase of almost 140% in only one year. As you might expect, the smaller the company, the bigger the stakes. In fact, nearly 60% of small businesses that have been hacked fail within six months.
I find that few SMBs have a strong notion of what data security really means. Typically, SMBs do nothing more than install a security perimeter around their entire network. But if that single line of defense is breached, hackers have full access to your database. And if it’s like many SMB databases, yours is not encrypted. There is no clear privilege management to prevent unauthorized access. And few SMB database implementations have a transaction audit available if an unauthorized access does take place.
Upgrading to a best-in-class cloud database means benefitting from security built into every level of the software—including enterprise-level encryption, data hashing, login walls, and auditing. Your SMB will save the time, effort, and expense of continual security patching, not to mention the ongoing concern that you’ve overlooked any potential vulnerabilities.
Increasingly, your company’s database is its lifeblood. Unfortunately, many SMBs rely on solutions that can’t scale as smoothly as needed to meet growing needs. An enterprise-level cloud-based solution, however, can provide the performance, availability, and security worthy of your valuable data capital.
If you want to learn more on how Oracle's powerful database solution will help you Go to Growth in 2017, chat with a knowledgeable Oracle representative today or visit our Oracle SMB website for more information.