The Magical Impact of Digitization and the Mighty Feat of Achieving a Cloud Based World

Krishna Kumar  Director,   Architecture and Technology Office,   Custom Development,   SAP LABS INDIAIn the last decade, a key to our big success in digitization and game changing innovations was because of the disruptive nature of technology advancement that happened all over the software industry.

Whether it is the database layer that changed to in-memory technology, or architecture that moved into a completely stateless nature, or the deployment advancement into a multitenant cloud landscape, or the boom in the efficiency of storage systems, the world has seen an explosion of new trends.

Software paradigms have completely changed and the data driven decisions, enable market selling based on predictions. The e-commerce world has made a world of choices to the thirsty customer who is never tired of trying newer products. This was purely achieved by the right application of technology in the supply chain industry focusing all the way from UX design till complex routing algorithms.

According to the Harvard Business study on designing applications, the cost of complexity is high:

•Six out of ten survey respondents say complexity increased operational costs by at least 11 percent.
•Nearly 50 percent say their IT systems cannot respond quickly enough to deliver innovative business models or processes.
•43 percent say complexity slows growth, impedes their ability to respond quickly to competitive threats, and interferes with effective decision-making.

Let’s focuses on paradigm shifts on all layers of the software application but also aim at addressing the complexity question justifying the need for this transformation into the cloud era.

Cloud & mobile computing have changed how people work and businesses run. Solutions have to be best in class and easy to use, so that end users really benefit from them. They also need to be deeply integrated to other enterprise systems which customers have from different vendors. And apps & services need to be connected to the world through an open platform. The cloud businesses need to deliver on this vision of best-in-class applications built on an open platform with a globally connected partner ecosystem. The biggest challenge today in designing a cloud application is to decide the quantum of data that resides in the cloud.

A social media application or a chat application can be a best fit for a cloud based deployment, however deploying
the corporate ERP data on the cloud means a totally different ball game. For eg. SAP VORA leverages Apache spark and intelligently handles queries from the primary DB SAP HANA and any other data source like a Hadoop or Sybase IQ.

The power of big data and analytics should not be constrained by the bottlenecks of the middleware

Optimistic locking or Optimistic concurrency control(OCC)is a must for all applications that aims at a cloud deployment. Some database management systems offer OCC natively - without requiring special application code. For others, the application can implement an OCC layer outside of the database, and avoid waiting or silently over writing records. In such cases, the form includes a hidden field with the record's original content,a timestamp, a sequence number, or an opaque token. On submit, this is compared against the database. If it differs, the conflict resolution algorithm is invoked.

According to Wikipedia definitions, OCC transactions involve these phases:

•Begin: Record a time stamp marking the transaction's beginning.
•Modify: Read database values, and tentatively write changes.
•Validate: Check whether other transactions have modified data that this transaction has used (read or written). This includes transactions that completed after this transaction's start time, and optionally, transactions that are still active at validation time.
•Commit/Rollback: If there is no conflict, make all changes take effect. If there is a conflict, resolve it, typically by aborting the transaction, although other resolution schemes are possible.

Without all of the above, you cannot imagine a shopping cart or a sales order to show the same items the next time you open the app, even though you closed the browser abruptly the previous time without bothering a “save” click. The cloud application behavior breaks traditional boundaries. The flexibility of the solution and the removal of “wait” states needs a design level thinking so that all of that is achieved with the same data consistency and precision.

Forecasting and decision simulations have started anew enhanced reach for software capabilities by applying data science in a very systematic manner. Big data storage of past patterns combined with the analysis of current operational data, powered by proven scientific algorithms gives us insights into future. These engines powered by faster access to petabytes of data provide the necessary confidence for business investments that promise returns and real time tracking of such decisions in the implementation phases with planned vs actual dashboards.

Boardrooms now rely upon their live business data to make decisions across the organization. Such complex business insights are innovatively demonstrated in SAP Business Objects Analytics enabling companies to re imagine their business and prepare for the digital world.

The right choice of integration tools and cloud connecting frameworks that provide connectivity and integration to the cloud and on premise worlds decides the success of a transformation exercise. The power of big data and analytics should not be constrained by the bottlenecks of the middleware.Businesses are faced with significant challenges in this rapidly changing world. With the disruption in every layer of software architecture, Innovation is bound to happen. Complex systems and coding practices are entering a phase of re-engineering to take their new avatars as faster and more importantly simpler solutions.

As companies strive to provide the best products and services at a faster time-to-market, enterprise digitization is rewriting the rules of competition.