I read somewhere that you should not be afraid to take a leap when necessary – because you cannot cross a gulch in two small steps. A former British Prime minister named David Lloyd George said this and I believe the same about how organizations often think of change.
What drives change for most people or organizations? Very simple, somebody needs to have a strategy and plan for the change process and to speak up about it. This person must have a vision and a plan for implementation and push the change forward. Organizations do not change without a need for it or if somebody suggests a business proposition that will demand change. Who is this person in your organization or do you want to be this person?
Did you attend this year’s SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas? Did you see the new SAS® Viya software? Did these new software possibilities inspire you? Thinking: “If I only had better tools and newer versions of my favorite software – then I really would be a beacon at work!” Did you wonder why your organization rarely upgrades your everyday SAS® Intelligence Platform and does your daily work and tools suddenly feel out of date?
Before I joined SAS Institute, I worked in a Nordic Insurance company. This was in the old days before we used regular client-server systems. We handled the ordinary SAS jobs running on the company’s BIG mainframe (MVS) – a machine so big in its nature - it was like a mid-size house inside the data center (at least it felt like that).
One thing we knew, all too well, was that the cost of running daily SAS jobs was high. The cost perspective was a constant buzz in the organization. - “It costs too much to run our SAS data warehouse environment for the actuaries”. I think they forgot one major thing. The work the actuaries did to generate the right models for pricing and scoring customers, meaning that the company made money, but at a high cost. Anyhow, the green 3270 terminal and MVS SAS was outdated a long time ago.
What did we do to help our company to modernize the old “Jurassic Park” of a SAS platform? We started to modernize two things:
- Where the SAS software run: we moved the SAS jobs from the monolithic MVS to a smoother and much cheaper AIX decentralized server. Saving a lot of CPU Cycles and money not running it on the MVS
- Convincing the people in the organization to work differently. Is it enough to prove that we save money? Is it enough to prove that new tools and a platform modernization will give them new opportunities to develop better models and work smarter?
This task seemed challenging at first and the resistance was huge from some of the SAS users. However, after training them and showing them the new flexible platform they gradually saw the potential in the modernization. By giving the SAS users in the organization better tools and new opportunities, they managed to look at the content of the business data and the SAS System in a clearer way.
Simultaneously, we worked with the business side to transform the organization to a new Governance model and. they were introduced to the modern world of SAS. After a while, they gained what we call “The Power to Know” and the inside out of their business data and SAS processes. This was a great driver to the business; to work continuously improving the system and the data quality, structure and to operate data better and cross these with other sources of data. This resulted in a more robust and agile organization along with a new governance model. Now, the business could measure how much the change of platform actually did to a positive ROI.
Figures of business value from a modernization should not be very hard to find, I believe. SAS Institute has released the new SAS® Viya Platform. SAS Viya and our current SAS® 9.4 Platform will work together – hand in hand. SAS Viya is an all-new platform making SAS more open and cloud ready. We have created a new, modern, open environment for analytics. SAS Viya answers customers need for multi-cloud deployment, it is open for innovative disruption and an extremely fast, in-memory massively parallel analytics environment. Both SAS Viya and SAS 9.4 can coexist and work together – however if you like to move to the SAS Viya platform you need to modernize – moving from current outdated software versions to the SAS 9.4 Platform. Only then, you will be able to reuse all that know how you have invested throughout the years with SAS in your organization.
If your organization still are using an older version of SAS – then you should ask us, at least the following two questions:
- When can SAS help you do the modernization?
- How can SAS transform the way your organization works to become more effective, faster and smarter?
The answer we will give you is to upgrade to the latest version of SAS and do the modernization project together with SAS experts. We will work with you to find flexible solutions and make you a happier SAS customer. Exploring into the “Hyperloop” of the next generation of Analytics with SAS Viya certainly will make you the Beacon at the office – if this is your driver – make that call.
Be inspired on your way to modernization by reading this white paper on SAS® High-Performance Analytics Products, or have a look at this webcast where we try to demystify In-Memory Analytics.