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So Long SQL Server 2008: 4 Reasons You Need to Modernize Your Data Platform

Author: Mike Vogt Posted In: Data

With SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 reaching end of support, it’s time to move to a modern data platform if you haven’t done so already. The biggest concern is, of course, the security of your infrastructure. But there’s a few other things to know about modernizing your applications, to provide you with the best security and performance.

Here’s our top 4 reasons why you should consider a data platform modernization.

1. Retain support.
If you value the security of your data, the prospect of continuing with an unsupported database is simply not an option. While Microsoft will have some support available for SQL Server 2008, it will be very expensive. When support ends, your organization will be more vulnerable to cyberattacks, your customers’ data open to theft, and the trust and confidence in your company could be at risk. By switching to a modern data solution, you can work in a platform with support you can afford. Modern applications meet compliance requirements and provide ongoing security updates. This built-in security allows you to protect your apps and data while you continue to upgrade and innovate.

What’s this mean for you?
Highly regulated organizations (within industries like healthcare and finance) should be concerned as they run a big risk of an unwelcome software audit. Also, if you are running SQL Server 2008 – no matter what your industry – your databases will no longer receive security patches and updates.

2. Focus on your business rather than the infrastructure.
Is your time tied up managing your infrastructure in SQL Server 2008? Would you rather spend that time focusing on your business or further understanding your data insights? Sure, you would. Switching to an updated platform means the cloud provider handles the database, freeing you up to get back to managing your business.

What’s this mean for you?
You support multiple customers, shoppers, and their sensitive data – payment information, patient profiles, etc. – coming at you from multiple sources. This means your IT team is stretched thin managing massive amounts of data. Moving to a cloud-based solution means everyone stays focused on your core competencies, while the cloud provider automatically handles the computing infrastructure and scales with your business.

3. Cut costs.
Rather than using traditional, outdated systems, companies have spent the last few years moving to modern, more affordable data lakes that offer cheaper cloud storage. By transitioning to cloud storage, you pay as you go. No more spending millions on new servers – instead, you can shift the bulk of your expenditures from operating to capital expenses.

What’s this mean for you?
You can eliminate or significantly reduce costs for legacy items like data center upkeep (rack units, construction); networking (hardware, software, maintenance, bandwidth); storage (local disk, maintenance); and even electricity.

4. Make decisions faster.
Traditional business insights (BI) solutions look at data in the rear-view mirror. Data was analyzed say, once a month or week or night. By putting a modern data pipeline into place, that information can now be assessed in a matter of minutes. Using Always On technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, you can “speed up” your database performance.

Plus, in the new world of data, you use artificial intelligence and machine learning to move data based on live events, rather than the legacy method of waiting on a timer to set off data movement. That means you can add new self-service BI tools to your suite, enable ML-powered analytics and analyze data faster than ever.

What’s this mean for you?
Instead of looking at how your customers have changed over the last year, you can see how things have changed over the day – that day – and make better decisions faster. For example, purchasing trends can be collected over any time period (an hour, 4 hours, a week), analyzed, and then used to adjust inventory or supply based on those purchases.

One more thing: Don’t forget the trust

There’s plenty of reasons to consider a data platform modernization strategy now more than ever. But before you get too far, there’s one more thing to remember: Trust.

Those of us in the data field have heard it, almost like a bad joke: “Did you ever make a decision using bad data?” Nearly everyone will nod or chuckle, thinking about the time there was a letter in a number column. Or worse, a report sent to the wrong audience because of a faulty field – or whatever the horror story might be.

All the strategies, investments and plans are pointless if there’s no trust in the data. The concept is an entire blog post in itself. But let’s boil it down to these quick tips about data trust:

  • Start by revisiting your quality issues
  • Assign someone to be accountable for the trustworthiness of your data (often called a data steward)
  • Establish what determines “good” and what signifies “bad” data
  • Take steps to remediate and address the trust issues

As you consider your plans for data platform modernization, remember that by retaining support and handing over management to your provider, you can save money and time that can be refocused toward other areas in your business.

Ready to explore what’s next in the world of data? Find the data platform modernization plan that works for you.