Research@DBTA: In-Memory Technologies Support Analytics’ Need for Speed

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The Importance of In-Memory Technology

Nearly 75% of respondents believe that in-memory technology is important to enabling their organization to remain competitive in the future. However, almost as many also indicate they lack the in-memory skills to deliver even current business requirements. Just 9% of respondents to the survey claim they have a deep or expert-level understanding of how the technology works, and a large majority indicate they still need to improve their grasp of these technologies. The largest segment, 41%, say they have only a basic understanding of the technology, while another 26% acknowledge their understanding is either limited or nonexistent. Overall, a majority, 77%, admit they either lack or don't have sufficient skills to deliver in-memory technologies to meet current business requirements.

Respondents say in-memory is most frequently deployed to augment or accelerate existing data environments, including selective acceleration of analytics through replication of data from data warehouses (45%), and within data marts that complement data warehouse environments (39%).  In addition, respondents see a number of areas of opportunity for future use of in-memory technology. Close to half of respondents who are now making extensive or widespread use of in-memory say the greatest opportunity for future use is in providing real-time operational reporting. In addition, 43% say the in-memory system can serve as an accelerator to their current data warehouse environments. The same percentage say they see it complementing their data warehouse as an agile data mart. One-third of respondents see potential for in-memory systems to accelerate their transactional systems or select transaction processes. Another third say in-memory can play a role in delivering new types of applications not possible within their current data environments. (See Figure 2.)


In-Memory Areas of Opportunity  (Source: Accelerating Enterprise Insights: 2013 IOUG In-Memory Strategies Survey)

(Among current users only, using in-memory extensively enterprisewide, across three or more departments in limited use, or extensively within one to three departments)

Providing real-time operational reporting   47%

Acting as an accelerator to current data warehouse environment           43%

Complementing data warehouse as an agile data mart              43%

Improving the flexibility and speed of planning process            33%

Deliver new applications not possible with current technology               33%

Accelerating transactional systems or select transaction processes        31%

Managing and handling unstructured data 29%

Replacing current data warehouse environment         24%

Acting as a temporary sandbox to address short-term/ad hoc business requirements for analytics  22%

Providing the engine for predictive applications        16% 

(Multiple responses permitted.)


In-Memory Poised for Growth

In-memory technology is positioned for growth within the enterprises surveyed. Although in-memory is present at many of the organizations, its use is isolated within specific sites or pilot projects at this time. A handful of respondents, 5%, report the technology is currently in “widespread” use across their enterprises, while another 8% say it is in limited use across more than three departments within their organizations. Close to one-third, 31%, report that they are either piloting or considering this technology. Another 37% say in-memory technologies are not yet being used at all. The larger organizations in the survey had the greatest adoption levels at this time—24% indicate they either have widespread deployments of in-memory, or have it in at least three departments. This contrasts with 17% of the smallest firms. However, it’s notable that among larger organizations, adoption is still limited across various departments.     

The executive report of this study is publicly available, and IOUG members may log in to access the full research paper, "Accelerating Enterprise Insights: 2013 IOUG In-Memory Strategies Survey,” at

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