Cloud Data Warehouse

Scalability is All About Getting a Smart Start

Traci Curran

September 6, 2022

Man showing a wide range of solutions illustrating an example of scalability

Scalability is for the most part, a peek into the future. That’s why organizations often bring it up when discussing growth and expansion opportunities – whether it’s scaling up operations to keep pace with increased customer demand or adapting to a new industry-disrupting technology.

Scalability is particularly important to business leaders right now, as the technology landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. A recent McKinsey study found that over 50% of companies think that scaling their business is a top priority, but just 22% have scaled successfully within the past ten years.

What’s often not discussed, however, is the difficulty of growing new projects from the ground up and the pain points encountered when integrating new datasets. This requires careful consideration and proactively planning for growth early on, as opposed to re-tooling systems and applications reactively to meet unexpected shifts.

Business leaders are faced with many challenges, from internal business complexities to external market forces. It’s possible to offset these hurdles by understanding data’s role in enabling scalability and integrating technology into enterprise stacks.

Scalability and What It Means Today

What does scalability mean for an enterprise? Scalability is defined as a measure of how performance changes as available resources or volume of input data changes. A truly scalable solution exhibits a proportional change in performance in response to a change in either of those two variables.

When adding resources to a system, there are two directions to consider:

  • Scaling up refers to increasing the available resources on a single node of the system. This is the traditional model of adding more CPUs, more disk, or more memory to a machine to increase performance.
  • Scaling out refers to increasing available system resources by adding additional nodes. This is the typical distributed cluster model, enlarging the cluster size to increase performance via cluster analysis.

Be it scaling up or scaling out, successful business leaders have an intrinsic understanding of what they can gain through strategic planning and preparation for future growth. Once a clear understanding of the direction of their scalability goals has been established, organizations can move forward and build an enterprise with a solid foundation that can grow as the business does.

Typically, when scaling a new initiative, enterprises can struggle with securing IT and cloud operations, and getting broad buy-in from leadership. To overcome these challenges, ambitious organizations and IT leaders should move their operational workloads to the cloud and offer support for cloud, multi-cloud, or hybrid deployments. This takes a technical backbone that’s built on a foundation of streamlined and democratized data for analysis across business stakeholders.

Building for Success from the Ground Up

Building this foundation requires having systems in place that make data easily accessible across departments. Gartner recently identified data-sharing and data analysis for business use as one of the top trends in data management, signaling that most enterprises have accepted that data is the lifeblood of their business.

Oftentimes, this data is stored in silos that are not only hard to break down but are also disparate from each other, which makes them difficult to access across the enterprise. The Actian Data Platform gives data managers the ability to knock down silos and free the data that’s generated from them to help drive their business forward.

With this platform, business technologists can leverage the power of the cloud to scale to larger and a greater number of concurrent projects, enabling them to iterate and innovate faster. Cloud connectivity helps businesses avoid incomplete and inaccurate insights from spreadsheet sprawl, data being stored in legacy warehouses or lake dumpsters.

This platform empowers business stakeholders to harness real-time data and analytics and get the maximum value out of their data pipelines. Faster innovation and agility ultimately make scaling easier – all with minimal risk or upfront investment into IT resources, CAPEX, and additional training.

The successful scaling of a project or initiative relies on the foundation it’s built on. Actian helps enterprises better understand their business, reduce costs, demonstrate value, and make decisions faster.

Traci Curran headshot

About Traci Curran

Traci Curran serves as Director of Product Marketing at Actian focused on the Actian Data Platform. With more than 20 years of experience in technology marketing, Traci has previously held senior marketing roles at CloudBolt Software, Racemi (acquired by DXC Corporation), as well as some of the world’s most innovative startups. Traci is passionate about helping customers understand how they can accelerate innovation and gain competitive advantage by leveraging digital transformation and cloud technologies.