Monday 29 October 2012

Major Benefits Provided by Enterprise Data Warehousing

Enterprise data warehousing is a topic rarely discussed in non-specialized mass media simply because the subject is not very attractive to inexperienced writers, not because the very method to store, process, and analyze data is not business-critical to a great number of enterprises worldwide. As its name suggests, data warehousing deals with enterprise databases that are used primarily to store essential business data and generate reliable reports based on these data. As a rule, most enterprise data warehouses use a software architecture layer where information is transformed into data that can be further processed to produce comprehensive reports provided to managerial staff within an organization.

The most obvious benefit of enterprise data warehousing is that data is cataloged and cleaned to to create a uniform database where business information is stored and retrieved when a report is generated. Creation of metadata provides great advantages when the matter in question is to make compatible different databases, for example following a corporate merger. In addition to metadata creation, enterprise data warehousing functionality includes methods to maintain data history, which is a crucial functionality since a good number of source transaction systems do not support such functionality.
Software developers and software vendors often take advantage of data warehouses, incorporating the above functionality into operational business applications to increase their added value. Those business applications may include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, while enterprise data warehousing is widely used in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used across a variety of industries. Business software applications that deal with databases usually require consistent codes to be assigned to every piece of information, which is made through migration to an enterprise data warehouse.

In the long-term, all and every functionality listed above adds to the benefits provided by data warehouses used in business by presenting the information belonging to an organization in a consistent fashion. Many industries, both manufacturing businesses and financial institutions, cannot operate smoothly without such databases and an extremely reliable method to process the information contained in these data warehouses. The same applies to a single common data model required by large businesses and government agencies across the world, while data warehousing as a method is able to provide the required functionality to all interested parties.

Another advantage, often underestimated, is that data warehouses are the main tool used to restructure information stored by organizations into data that can be easily read and understood by users. That said, data warehousing is really business-critical when under scrutiny is the ability of a business application  to present data in a way that makes sense to users, both novice and experienced customers. Data restructuring requires serious software development efforts to provide reliable results and secure the flawless operation of the respective business software system, thus those systems can be a costly investment, which, of course, depends on the size of the business and the complexity of the databases to be covered by the software.

Last but not least, data restructuring methods applied in enterprise data warehousing give a marked boost to query performance when analytic queries are performed, this is a common operation that sometimes causes corporate servers to go down. Those computer crashes often occur at operating system level, while data warehouses are designed to reduce operating system load usually experienced when computers process large volumes of database data. Therefore, enterprise data warehousing is undoubtedly a major factor in securing a business system's uninterrupted operation while the data warehouse itself deals with the zillions of bits of information a large organization usually stores on its servers, thus providing marked benefits to both businesses and their respective customers.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Why It's Worth Looking Abroad for A Reliable Software Consulting Firm

Contracting a software consulting firm that is located round the corner is not the smartest business move one would make although good number enterprises do not pay enough attention to the process of selecting the best fit for their software projects. A popular fallacy is that local software consulting companies are best equipped to meet the requirements of enterprises that are situated in the same vicinity. In fact, modern-day technological solutions require a lot more than in-depth knowledge of regional specifics although it is an important factor to consider when looking for a reliable software consultant.

The world of technology has changed markedly in the past decade, with countries previously not considered technology leaders now enjoying strong positions in the markets for technology related services like hardware and software consulting. Nations in Latin America and Asia/Pacific have emerged as world leaders in the field of software consulting through outsourcing of technology projects, while India has established herself as world leader in terms of software consultancy projects outsourced to local firms.

India now has a long tradition in software development and software consulting, given that the widespread use of software solutions in business and households is a young market, and the country continues to invest in infrastructure required to boost development of local technological hubs. At present, such world class centers are located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and other large cities across India, thus providing the basis for further rapid development of software-related services.

Business across the economically developed nations started moving their software research and development departments eastwards, while others outsourced software consultancy to foreign-based firms, looking not only for more affordable service cost but for quality those companies in Asia/Pacific now can provide. Slowly but steadily, world economy is recovering but those foreign businesses that benefited from software consultancy services provided by India-based companies are very unlikely to start looking to replace those service providers with local ones. Of course, no business in the this world would replace a beneficial service or product with a less affordable one that does not provide better service quality unless it is forced to do so by external factors like government regulations or regional hostilities.

Thus, most industry analysts agree that India is set to retain its world-leading position in the field of software outsourcing, software consulting services including. Whether the country will be able to widen further its market share is debatable and depends on a number of internal and external factors like continuous investment in proper infrastructure and sustainable development of local educational institutions in the sphere of technology. Nevertheless, there are no signs that foreign-based companies should be careful when hiring an Indian software consulting firm for long-term projects.

Government regulations in the United States and within the European Union may influence the future of outbound software outsourcing in these huge markets but adoption of strict regulations in this field is unlikely, market analysts agree. Both Washington and Brussels advocate free market economy which does not bode well with restrictive measures that can reshape an entire industry, therefore local enterprises will continue to look abroad in search of advantageous software consulting services.

In fact, a business in, say, Europe, might experience more difficulties selecting a software consultancy based in India due to the wide choice of reliable and experienced consultants in the region. How this came to happen is an interesting topic but undoubtedly one should bet that a software consulting firm in India can give good ride for the money to a software consultant based in the US or Europe which are traditionally considered strongholds where technological advancements are made.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Why A Software Consulting Firm in India Can Provide Better Service at Competitive Price

During the past decade software development outsourcing has become a widespread business activity and a software consulting firm in India is far better positioned to get a business contract from abroad and for good reasons. Global economic downturn has played a role in India's emergence as leading world provider of software development services within outsourced projects but other factors like government-backed investments in appropriate infrastructure and education have been the major drivers of such a development.

India inherited a relatively well developed educational system based on a British system that has a proven record in the course of centuries. The country managed to expand its reach nationwide and meanwhile created a number of technological educational centers that served as the stepping stone for development of modern research and development centers in the field of software and hardware engineering. Later on, India invested heavily in modern infrastructure required to maintain those facilities and attract foreign investors interested in outsourcing in part or in whole their software development and software support services abroad.

In the course of a couple of decades, software consulting companies in India gained enough professional experience to compete on equal terms with counterparts in leading technological nations in the West, backed also by the rapid expansion of local software development industry and the growth of India's economy as a whole. As the number of outsourced projects grew, local software consultancies gained not only valuable experience but got access to cutting edge technologies that are rarely accessible even to leading Western software consultants. Within a few years major world software vendors and hardware manufacturers set foot in India through local consulting firms or through direct investment in regional research and development facilities which hire local software experts. A good number of software professionals later moved to locally-owned software companies or established new software consulting firms that possess both the required professional know-how and cheaper labor resource to provide extremely competitive service.

India's software consulting firms are much better positioned when it comes to payroll expenses due to some specifics of the country's economy which provides great opportunities for career development of locally-grown software expenses but still can offer more affordable services in terms of labor costs involved in a technological project. Local software consultancies have been forced to increase remunerations due to prevent brain-drain of well-trained experts but are still able to prevent India-educated software engineers and consultants from fleeing the country, while providing decent standard of living to them.

Local companies involved in computer hardware and software industry have enjoyed a stable rate of growth for more than a decade, a growth rate much higher than the industry average across the world, thus they piled significant strategic financial reserve that can be used for further service enhancement and strategic investments in infrastructure development and continuous employee training programs. During a very short period of only a few years, foreign-educated Indian software experts started to flow back to India, attracted by markedly improved work environment, more lucrative remuneration packages, and last but not least possibility to work on complex projects that involve latest technological developments in the field of hardware and software research.

That said, a software consulting firm in India is better positioned to attract projects from abroad compared with peers in the region or any other country in the world. In fact, a software consulting firm in India can afford to lower the price of its service without sacrificing quality, backed by a combination of strategic reserves piled in the past and smart investment in locally-grown experts who are well-prepared to provide world class service to customers at home and abroad.

Monday 8 October 2012

Main Applications of Enterprise Data Warehousing in Business Applications

Enterprise data warehousing is used in a wide variety of business applications that deal with processes and info used in decision support, logistics and inventory management, forecasts in the field of financial data analysis, and trend analysis across virtually all and every business sector. Data warehouses are used to generate reports and analyze certain data, and although this is a very broad definition of data warehousing in the context of business software applications the nature of those databases can easily be described in a broader context since business data is only bits of information stored in digital format.

Business data, actually any data, is stored in those databases with the aim to catalogue information that may come from different sources and to transform it into data that can be processed for later use by managers at any level. Decision making is a process where data warehousing may be of great importance when at stake is to take a decision that could affect the overall business strategy of an organization, for example. Market research is another field where enterprise data warehousing is widely used. Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) are good example of business software that rely heavily on principles and methods used to store and analyze through the means of data warehouses. Those systems have to deal with large volumes of information that have to be retrieved from a database, processes in a specific manner, and then loaded into an analytical software module.

Actually, enterprise data warehouses have to deal also with meta-data, or data on other data, which is quite a challenging task to perform in the framework of large and complex business systems which may contain tones of information on different topics or myriads of items. A large multinational organization usually have data repository containing millions of records which have to be catalogued thus creating quite a complex meta-data object.

Business intelligence tools are considered crucial instrument for designing successful organizational strategies and rarely a high-class business intelligence application will lack functionality to connect to a data warehouse and get data from such a system. Consequently, software developers and software vendors have to design and implement complex software architecture to cope with the challenges offered by enterprise data warehousing. One of the main challenges is related to data coming from a variety of sources, often times in different formats, while the outcome should be data that can be used for analytical and reporting purposes.

As far as business intelligence is concerned, data warehouses will always play an important role in the overall process of creating a reliable business software application. Enterprise data warehousing is not simply a market niche where only large corporations can be considered as prospect customers but a must have tool that should be incorporated into applications used by small and medium sized businesses that do not want to see their competitiveness decrease. Naturally, the use of data warehouses is not limited to business intelligence but most market analysts agree that this is the segment where deployment of complex data warehouses will be crucial for eventual business development.

Bearing in mind that decision making has always needed adequate support by business intelligence the vast majority of market analysts are of opinion that future enterprise software applications will not be viable without a sort of enterprise data warehousing functionality. Business software solutions that feature such functionality are not necessarily cheap but investing in a software system that is enabled to take advantage of enterprise data warehousing will pay off in the long term through improved decision making process which in turn will boost overall performance of the organization.