On top of that, you have the Web. You have worldwide exposure. So it’s 7/24 worldwide with constant change. And at the same time, as the value of data warehousing is more appreciated and understood by companies, there is a combination that’s very, very good for the industry. Now, with that combination comes more pressure on the technology to deliver. So for instance, it must be available 7/24. It can’t go down. I need it to run my business. It’s a competitive advantage that I use against other people, using data essentially to better understand my customers and serve them. It puts pressure on the data warehouse that perhaps wasn’t there before.
Now, the new thing, not really new, but new in the last few years is how business intelligence has really become operational. Some of the lines are being blurred between data warehouse and transactional systems. As that happens, all of a sudden, you introduce a lot of the pressures that they didn’t have before: always up, can’t go down, service delivery, multiple different workloads at the same time, and an expanding amount of data. The question then is, how do you deliver the services that are needed by the business that are now strategic, that the business depends on, on a constant basis in an environment that’s constantly changing?
This also means there has to be the ability to monitor it, see it, and understand it, if you can. That has led to evolution over the last handful of years as well, where SLAs are being imposed upon the architecture that supports a lot of what’s going on. I get to hear a lot of stories about the demands that we put on systems. You hear of sub second service level agreements and guarantees from some of the systems. That wasn’t there a handful of years ago. A handful of years ago, we were happy if we could close the month end in under 15 days.