The Importance of Database Technologies
Working in a 50 year old company makes you wonder how they survive through all the economic challenges they went through. The Almajdouie group consists of a group of companies diversified in different industries. It started from land transportation Company in 1965 to grow and become a group of companies working on logistics, automotive, metal industry, food industry, real estate and investment (Almajdouie.com). Along with this diversity, Database Technologies touch all core and cooperate departments within the Almajdouie business.
The Importance of Database Technologies
Organizations regardless of their reason of existence rely on recording, manipulating and tracking data accurately. Different stakeholders inside and outside organization need data for different purposes. For examples, finance departments use data to generate accounting reports while sales teams need data to estimate sales and procurement department use them to invoice their customers etc. Gathering, storing and processing information is an impossible thing to do manually, which introduced the database technologies to take this critical rule. Database Management System (DMS) is a software used to build and manage databases. There are two main types, single-file (flat file) database and multi-file relational (structured) database. A proven method to manage the relationships between the various database elements is the use of a relational database management system.
The critical reason of using database technology is to give business a distinct advantage compared to competitors. it is an essential technology for information management and processing, data analysis and statistics, data visualization and presentation, office and document systems and business processes workflow (Hanks, 2016.
Benefits of Database Technologies
Organization benefit in many ways from adopting Database Technologies. Below are main benefits:
- Sharing information can be much easier and faster in a more effective ways.
- Access control, security and data privacy are main features of DMS.
- When data management is improved, it promotes an integrated picture of an organization’s operations. The feasibility of operations and dependences are much clearer providing effective data integration.
- It is also unifying the version of data to ensure data consistency
- Faster access to data for better decision making
- The productivity of the end user is increased when data quality and ease of the system is use is at maximum.
- Faster decisions are made if data management, quality and access are improved using database technologies (RingLead Inc, 2018).
Disadvantages of Database Technologies
Despite all the benefits it provides, cons are very challenging. Major drawbacks are as follows:
- Database systems are complex. They are difficult and require lot of efforts, time and expertise to design
- Extensive and expensive hardware and software costs need to be invested from the beginning of adoption journey.
- Any damages or loss of data highly impact all organization stakeholders which requires proper business continuity plan which mandate high availability system and disaster recovery site when needed.
- Migration from legacy systems is costly and require lot of time.
- Poorly managing access and security of data could lead to fatal results.
- Lot of training for end users and developers and knowledge transfer needed in order to use systems as should be (Basu, 2016).
Additional Database Technologies
Almajdouie group uses database technologies for a long time now. Still, the power of data is not realized. I have always recommended management to emphasize on business analytics using the historical data when have. The use of big data and internet of things is almost absent. Nowadays, the group is restricting its subsidiaries with an eye on digital transformation that will be highly dependent on database technologies and the accuracy, frequency and types of data gathered for years (Vera-Baquero, Palacios, Stantchev, & Molloy, 2015).
Effective Database Technologies Utilization
Data is power. This can only happen if used effectively. In order to achieve that, many actions are needed:
- A manger should highlight database technologies features that help him and his team better perform their tasks and achieve targets.
- Managers need to make better understanding of available technologies and feature which need lot of research.
- Compatibility which other existing systems must be considered otherwise integrations benefits will not be realized and working in many different system could hinder staff from doing their jobs.
- Technical support agreements are not a joke. Even when systems are flawless, failures can happen at any time that require a reliable support.
- Systems can be very useful but other factors like servers, storage, network, security or computers used by employees could avoid us from using systems effectively. Proactive maintenance and monitoring help identifying the root cause of system unavailability, latency or access difficulties in order to fix them.
- Stress the importance of recording and maintaining accurate information. Some details may seem minor, but spelling the CEO’s name incorrectly or mailing a document to an outdated address reflects poorly on your business.
- Keep documentation always up to date is not an option. Many programmers develop wonderful things but once they leave for any reason, altering their work can be very difficult when no proper documentation is available. User guide must be useful and handy to all system users as well (MacNicol).
Almajdouie. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2019, from http://www.almajdouie.com/en/AboutUs/Overview.aspx
Basu, C. (2016, October 26). Disadvantages of Business Databases. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-business-databases-33951.html
Hanks, G. (2016, September 29). Why Are Database Management Systems Important to Business Organizations? Retrieved from https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/database-management-systems-important-business-organizations-21106.html
MacNicol, T. (n.d.). Using Databases Effectively. Retrieved from https://edwardlowe.org/using-databases-effectively-2/
RingLead Inc. (2018, September 27). The Benefits Of Using Database Management Systems. Retrieved from https://www.ringlead.com/blog/the-benefits-of-using-database-management-systems/
Vera-Baquero, A., Palacios, R. C., Stantchev, V., & Molloy, O. (2015). Leveraging big-data for business process analytics. The Learning Organization,22(4), 215-228. doi:10.1108/tlo-05-2014-0023