“Technical debtor’s prison” is a term I recently came across in a Forrester Research report, “CIOs’ Top Five Career-Ending Digital Transformation Challenges” by Bobby Cameron with Peter Burris, Rachael Klehm, and Rachel Birrell. The idea is that CIOs sometimes feel indebted to the specific technology that has a history of serving the organization well over time. They stick with that legacy technology because it’s the easiest course of action, works for what they’ve always done, they’re locked into a particular vendor, or because they don’t want to invest in upgrading to a different platform. But by failing to examine what other options and advances are available, those CIOs may be limiting opportunities to advance their business and their career. They’re locking themselves into technical debtor’s prison.

To move your business forward, you need to make sure you’re aware of and taking advantage of the best technology available today. This is particularly true in light of all the recent advances in data technology. The example of a global top-five energy company illustrates how understanding and testing data platform advances cannot only save you from technical debtor’s prison, but can also benefit your staff, customers, and ultimately your business.

Get out of jail

This particular global top-five energy company makes a point of knowing and testing its options when it comes to its crucial data platform. Recently, the company was concerned about supporting its growing customer base. They needed to increase data throughput to keep information flowing to their operations in countries across the world.

“We always have to think about increasing the productivity of our database infrastructure,” said the company’s team lead for database engineering design.

With increased productivity in mind, the company decided to test SQL Server 2014 Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) with built-in In-Memory processing capabilities. The result of the tests determined that SQL Server 2014 increased the throughput of the energy company’s database repository application by up to 17 times. In addition, with this test implementation, the company achieved improved reliability, allowing database administrators to decrease the amount of time they spent on troubleshooting and reactive maintenance. In fact, SQL Server has enabled the company to double the productivity of its database administrators.

This energy company avoided technical debtor’s prison by learning about new technology advances and testing them. In this way, the company demonstrated for itself that Microsoft is demonstrating a leadership position in enterprise data solutions, providing built-in In-Memory OLTP. In addition, SQL Server includes business critical advances in increasing application performance, continues to underscore its commitment to security, and builds on proven scalability and availability. As the energy company’s supervisor for database operations, puts it, “Each version of SQL Server includes new features that make it more reliable, more productive, and more cost-effective to use. That’s why it’s our preferred choice.”

Pay attention

In a recent conversation, Douglas McDowell, North America chief executive officer of respected consulting firm, Solid Q, talked about his experience with clients who are exploring data platforms. McDowell underscored the importance of staying abreast of technology to make sure your organization is benefitting from the best technology available today: “Microsoft is innovating at a heart-pounding speed that has moved them into leadership positions in most every category. So if Microsoft is the cost leader and innovation leader, anyone who isn’t looking at the Microsoft data platform is probably not paying much attention.”

To make sure you’re paying attention and avoiding technical debtor’s prison with your mission critical applications, read this white paper or visit our new data management and analytics site.