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Outgrowing the Database – Understanding the Limitations of Database-Centric Applications

Thought Leadership

While enterprise energy companies have access to some of the most advanced technologies in the world, they are still behind when it comes to achieving the agility they need for long-term scalability.

This is largely due to the technical complexity of traditional software models. Thus, they are left with latency in data transmission and often struggle to derive actionable insight from the data when (or if) it finally does arrive.

Today, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the reasons why traditional database-centric applications fall short of what’s required and expected to be competitive in the energy sector.

The Limitations of Traditional Database-Centric Applications

Slow Processing

The architecture inherent in traditional database-centric frameworks cannot deliver the processing power necessary for companies in the energy sector to sense, analyze, and act on streaming data quickly enough to be effective.

It simply does not offer the bandwidth for the copious amounts of data streaming constantly. The only solution to improve the foundation of these systems is to rely on real-time data.

Generally, traditional database-centric systems rely on analysis after the fact, which also poses a dilemma. These applications cannot evaluate massive amounts of data in real-time. There’s a lag time between the event and the ability to analyze the data given to make a rapid response.
Operational Silos

Another problem with database-centric applications occurs when integrating multiple technologies. This causes an overwhelming amount of data to pour in and without a central source of truth to combine and analyze all the data it can overwhelm the system.

However, without a way to centralize and streamline the influx of information, the result is actually data overload, with little clarity and actionable insight.


Another issue that most energy enterprise organizations find is that it’s nearly impossible to connect the dots while maintaining regulatory oversight and allowing components to work both independently yet interconnectedly.

With massive amounts of data being consistently added to systems, the need to separate and analyze not only becomes critical but necessary for real-time data results. Companies typically do not have the ability, out of the box, to visualize data and draw cohesive analysis.

The inability to separately manage components and rapidly transfer information can have dire consequences, especially during a crisis. These separate, siloed systems simply do not have the bandwidth to operate in an accelerated capacity.

Latency Issues

Another typical dilemma of traditional database systems is the network communication latency from system overload can come to a point where servers can not communicate. It creates a delay that could hinder data transfer, delay response time, and even crash systems.

With traditional software systems, there is an increased probability of data overload. This puts all of your organization’s information in jeopardy as the risk of data loss could be catastrophic to the organization at worst, and delay competitive advantage at best.

During an episode of Inside the Strategy Room podcast, Margaret Mulligan, Board of Directors of Canadian Western Bank, said, “I think a robust focus not just on enterprise, but a real focus on enterprise risk, is terribly important. And not just as an annual check-the-box exercise but a real, living, vibrant function.”

We’ve learned the necessity of thinking beyond annual expectations, and have started considering the need for real-time application platforms that can keep pace with events as they occur, and prevent disasters.

The Future of Modern Energy Management

As it stands, energy companies will inevitably have to face the music when it comes to upgrading their application platforms to accommodate the extensive scale of data and its processing complexities.

Event-Driven Architecture

Additionally, technologies that allow for real-time data analysis are necessary to advance the energy sector landscape. At the accelerated rate of growth in the energy sector, it’s only a matter of time until event-driven architecture is standardized.

The Vantiq platform’s ability to increase agility, adaptability, and innovation through real-time digital transformation is drastically changing the energy sector’s business scope. Think of Vantiq’s platform as a nervous system for your business operations, providing instant clarity and connection for all lines of communication.

Edge Computing Capabilities

Vantiq is revolutionizing how we collect, interpret, and use data, not just through event-driven architecture, but also through edge computing capabilities.

Edge computing goes hand-in-hand with event-driven architecture. With copious amounts of data constantly being created, organizations don’t just need better visibility into their operations, they also need to be able to act on that data in an expedited way.

Edge computing allows you to move processing closer to the source to increase performance and create greater efficiency.

To learn more about how Vantiq is enabling leaders in the energy sector to increase situational awareness, improve business agility, and modernize the grid, we invite you to join us for a webinar, How Real-Time Systems Help Reduce Carbon Emissions and Achieve Safe Operations on 5/5 at 10AM PT.

Learn more and register here.

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