Maintaining Integrity: RDBMS As The Heart Of Your OrganizationFew moments are more disturbing than spotting a rogue charge on your credit card – unless it’s one on your debit card.

The feeling of dread consumes you as you mine through two, three more bank statements – all containing the same charge for something you know you didn’t purchase.

The recent Webinar “Database Decision Making” reminded me of this nightmare – and the technology that prevents it from happening more often: the relational database management system (RDBMS). An essential part of an organization’s technological DNA, the RDBMS provides clarity for the IT department in an increasingly cluttered and confusing landscape.

IT industry expert Robert Schneider explained that the explosion of Big Data and pervasive presence of M2M (machine-to-machine) interactions have opened up a slew of information categories for IT to manage.

Dan Lahl, a product marketing vice president at SAP, highlighted just how much work new systems have to support. For example:

  • On Wall Street: $90 trillion worth of derivatives positions cleared and settled each day
  • In the public sector: 100,000 transactions per minute, 9 terabytes of data, growing 2 terabytes per year
  • In healthcare: 5 terabytes of data with more than 3,200 concurrent daily users
  • In transportation: 16 million transactions per day with near-zero downtime

To say the RDBMS is the heart and soul of an organization is not an overstatement. It’s been at the center of IT for more than 30 years, a constant in the midst of fleeting fads.

Schneider asserted that choosing an RDBMS is one of the most crucial decisions an organization can make, and offers 5 factors to consider:

  • Reliability: The RDBMS protects data – and that means everything to the customer who’s been defrauded and wants every cent of her hard-earned money back.
  • Adaptability: Handling highly diverse workloads is key, from pulling a customer’s complete account history to monitoring customer sentiment on social media.
  • Scalability: Users – and customers – expect instant results. A sluggish RDBMS that couldn’t instantly display full transaction history might have further agitated me – causing me to direct my ire at the bank or lowering my opinion of its customer service.
  • Predictability: The RDBMS must handle growth – so whether I’m a customer for 20 minutes or 20 years, I have total, immediate access to my data when it matters most.
  • Manageability: You’ll want a system with streamlined installation, automatic error handling, and intuitive tooling – so employees with various experience levels can operate it.

SAP’s Lahl highlighted other things IT executives should consider when investing in an RMDBS. True cost of system ownership is affected by:

  • Software costs: Initial licensing, ongoing maintenance fees
  • Efficiency: Amount of servers, storage, power, floor space
  • Ease of administration: Staffing resources required to install, tune, and manage the database
  • Reliability: Downtime (planned or unplanned) resulting in missed or lost revenues
  • Time to market: Business opportunity costs associated with delayed deployment of new applications or functionality

RMDBS came to my rescue, storing and displaying the phony charges on my account.

“It’s a scam,” the teller said tepidly as she scrolled through the database. “You’re enrolled in a phony rewards program… and it’s been going on for quite some time.”

“How long?!” I demanded.

“Well, that’s for you to find out. How far back do you want to look?”

“As far back as my account goes.”

That day I recovered nearly $400 that had been drained out of my checking account in $10 increments. I had many people to thank for rectifying this matter – but I wouldn’t have received my full refund without the help of the bank’s robust RDBMS. And that is the kind of seamless experience that inspires years’ worth of loyalty.

To hear more from Robert Schneider and Dan Lahl on the renewed importance of the RDBMS, watch the Webinar replay.