April 2023

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Trends and Applications

The pandemic significantly accelerated the pace of technological advancement and digital transformation, generating a need for new digital programs and solutions. The drive to meet this demand has increased pressure on IT departments, which, in turn, has heightened collaboration between IT and line-of-business (LOB) executives. Business technologists, or staff members who are not in the IT department but leverage technology to solve their business problem to improve the productivity of their department, are increasingly choosing the applications, technology frameworks, and platforms that help them solve their business problems without heavy reliance on IT.

In mid-2020, I got a chance to work with several government tourism agencies. Their mandate was to promote local attractions and offer support to partners such as hotels, resorts, and other organizations. As you can imagine, things weren't going well for these agencies. I remember looking at their data reports and seeing unprecedented drops in volume. With every country imposing restrictions and lockdowns, no one was traveling. One agency stood out; it was completely frozen by the situation. It couldn't decide on anything. Even publishing the latest COVID numbers was difficult.

Just a few years ago, no one would have imagined running their SQL Server databases on anything other than Windows Server. Now, with companies requiring data-driven capabilities for a range of needs, the idea of running SQL Server on a non-Windows platform has become almost commonplace—whether on open-source operating systems or in the cloud.

Are we finally seeing the democratization of artificial intelligence (AI)?  New research out of OpenAI and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that generative AI, thanks to open and widely available tools such as ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) models and GPT-4, will be part of the jobs of at least 80% of occupational groups.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Sooner or later, in business, even in IT, almost everyone must write something more than simple emails. Procedures, standards, business cases, proposals, plans: All kinds of things may need to be authored by everyone and contain descriptive narrative about the subject at hand. Much documentation can be found on the internet, but your organization's internal rules, goals, and desires cannot be found via a Google search. Even database designers and data architects must contribute to corporate internal literature.

Columns - DBA Corner

Organizations often force the DBA to take on the job of data modeling. That does not mean that DBAs are well-trained in data modeling, nor does it mean that DBAs are best suited to take on this task. The data administration (DA) team is best suited for modeling data. This is because data modeling requires knowledge of the business aspects of data resource management.

Columns - Next-Gen Data Management

2022 was a big year for observability. Many businesses made concerted efforts to gain a better understanding of its value. Leading technology research firms applauded its potential impact to simplify increasingly complex IT environments, with Gartner featuring observability in its "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends" report. Analysts predicted a bright future for the technology, with some suggesting observability adoption would increase at a compound annual growth of 8.2%.

Columns - Emerging Technologies

The biggest technology news of the year so far has undoubtedly been the release of the OpenAI ChatGPT technology. ChatGPT is a chat-bot style AI that can generate amazingly knowledgeable and human-like conversations. ChatGPT can also generate essay-type answers to exam questions, write halfway decent song lyrics, or even generate computer code. I was going to explain how ChatGPT works, but instead, I'll let ChatGPT tell you.