In-memory computing: the SMB perspective

"The benefit of IMC is that you don't have to wait for the transaction to complete until you can perform all of the analysis on it and get an update. That can help keep customer dissatisfaction at bay, and of course, loyalty in today's economy is very short lived."

Cloud memory

For businesses unable to afford the on-premise route to deploying IMC, IDC's Lykkegaard says that cloud solutions give SMBs access to the technology without the capiital expenditure. Amazon, for example, offers Business One with HANA database and compute power on Amazon Web Servers for a pay-as-you-go hourly fee.

"Amazon offers small companies the choice of shifting computer tasks, computer intensive work out there to the cloud with very limited cost," he says. "That may allow retailers with the skills to do more exploratory work, or assist smaller specialised companies servicing larger ones."

"It's all about this democratisation of in-memory computing that is happening right now with the ability to purchase computing power and software in very small increments."

Gatner's Pezzini says that many SMBs are also already likely to be using IMC though subscriptions to software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud services.

"Quite a lot of SaaS applications are based on in-memory computing types of architectures," he says. "It means many businesses won't know they're using it explicitly, but it's embedded into certain types of applications, such as logistics, planning and other things of this nature."

Pezzini gives the example of Workday, the cloud-based financial and human capital management soutions provider, which is built on an in-memory architecture.

"In-memory computing enables Workday to implement functionality and provide the scalability and performance that would be very hard to implement using traditional architectures," he says. "They don't market the fact that they use the technology or give users a choice of whether they want it or not. It's just there."

IDC's Lykkegaard adds that cloud-based social media monitoring services, which allow businesses of any size to instantly analyse Twitter and Facebook activity, are also driven using IMC technology.

"This is another way of how these small enterprises will start to use in-memory computing," he says. "It's just going to be increasingly under the hood of some of these services and software that they are already using."

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.