|By Roman Stanek||
|November 19, 2012 07:00 AM EST||
Inventory levels. Sales results. Negative comments on Facebook. Positive comments on Twitter. Shopping on Amazon. Listening to Pandora. Online search habits. No matter what you call it or what the information describes, it’s all data being collected about you.
Thanks to new technologies like Hadoop, once-unquantifiable data (like Facebook conversations and Tweets) can now be quantified. Now, because nearly everything is measurable, everything is measured. The result: companies are spending big dollars to collect, store and measure astronomical amounts of data.
Show me the data!
There’s a name for this movement: Big Data. Not only is it a name, it has been the “it, it” of 2012, possibly trumping “the cloud.”
IDC defines Big Data as projects collecting 100 terabytes of data (hence the name), comprising two or more data formats. Earlier this year, the research firm predicted the market for Big Data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, from $3.2 billion in 2010. That’s an astounding 40 percent annual growth rate.
The interesting thing is that IDC expects most of this spending to focus on infrastructure — the plumbing that enables companies to download, collect and store vast amounts of data.
To me, this is a missed opportunity. Why? We need to focus on unlocking the real business benefits from all this data.
Companies have not yet grasped the business potential of all the data pouring in from hundreds of sources—think apps in the cloud, on-premise partner software and from their own enterprise. In effect, businesses haven’t figured out how to make money from this fire hose of disparate data sources.
My point-of-view is that Big Data’s only real value lies in businesses’ ability to transform data into insight they can act on.
This means enabling sales managers to quickly analyze sales reps’ results, view new contracts lost or signed, and react to how actual performance compares against the plan they set months earlier. Help-desk staff could see how individual customers affect sales and profit, showing them when to go above-and-beyond to retain certain customers while allowing low-flyers to churn. Or helping insurance agents to predict kinds and amounts of damage as hurricanes hurtle toward their region.
Steps to Monetize Big Data
To glean value from Big Data efforts, companies need to embrace the real-time value provided by the cloud. Viewing one’s data in real-time through the lens of cloud computing enables anyone, in any company, to make smart business decisions from the mammoth amounts of data, coming from all over the place.
Therefore, companies looking to monetize Big Data need to take these steps:
Use the cloud: These days businesses can tap into an enormous range of cloud services. They can subscribe to high-performance infrastructure services like Amazon Web Services, rent platforms as a service (comprising hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity) from salesforce.com, store information in services like Box or automate billings with companies like Zuora. These are just examples.
Companies can also pick and choose from a long list of cloud-based apps to handle business tasks, from customer relationship management and marketing to human resources and financial management. In fact, I would argue that cloud services become the business application suite, eventually displacing behemoth on-premise packages from SAP or Oracle. Emphasis on “eventually,” since few enterprises are ready to jettison their million-dollar investments in Oracle and SAP.
For this reason, I advise companies to:
Start with what’s important: Forget about separate data sources. Data today spews in from hundreds sources, be it sales and customer data from salesforce.com, inventory levels from SAP, logistics information from your suppliers and employee data from Oracle. Companies run into trouble when they start off boiling the ocean, which is why I suggest companies begin with a few sources and then build up from there.
Fortunately, there is a way, thanks to a new generation of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allows more kinds of software, from different software makers, to communicate with each other, regardless of location. As a result, any company, regardless of size, can access the data it needs to make better decisions.
Which is why my next point is:
Make Big Data insight democratic: Five years ago, only executives at very large companies had access to business intelligence tools that culled patterns from data.
The cloud makes everything democratic — not just access to the data itself, but the insight as well, including best practices that don’t require the expertise of a SQL or a MapReduce programmer. The cloud enables anyone, anywhere, to recognize patterns from data and make smart decisions, faster. And that means any business professional, at any company should be able to monetize their Big Data.
When Big Data finally becomes useful to the rest of us, and not just IT wizards, it will take on an even larger role today and into tomorrow.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,174
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 840
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
Nov. 26, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,248
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Nov. 26, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,092
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Nov. 26, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,179
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 567
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 549
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 547
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,385
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,362
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,814
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
Nov. 25, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,632
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,826
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,878
"Verizon offers public cloud, virtual private cloud as well as private cloud on-premises - many different alternatives. Verizon's deep knowledge in applications and the fact that we are responsible for applications that make call outs to other systems. Those systems and those resources may not be in Verizon Cloud, we understand at the end of the day it's going to be federated," explained Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,754
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 25, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,708
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,773
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,474
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 25, 2014 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,555
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,712