|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.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Sep. 2, 2015 02:15 PM EDT
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 2, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 262
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Sep. 2, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,570
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
Sep. 2, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,552
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 2, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 937
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Sep. 2, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,634
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Sep. 2, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 620
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 2, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 191
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Sep. 2, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 201
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Sep. 2, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 412
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Sep. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 271
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
Sep. 2, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 381
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Sep. 2, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,996
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Sep. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 494
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 184
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Sep. 2, 2015 09:00 AM EDT
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
Sep. 2, 2015 08:45 AM EDT
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Sep. 2, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 308
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Sep. 2, 2015 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 344
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Sep. 2, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 483