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Posts Tagged ‘big data


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Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt envisions an explosion of “big data” and the simplification of powerful technology changing the world, from the spread of democracy to the introduction of self-driving cars.

A car is going to drive itself better, in our lifetimes, than we will,” Schmidt said in a speech yesterday at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “Especially if you’re drunk, but even if you’re not — people get distracted. Plus you’re not supposed to be tweeting — but you are — when you’re driving.

He said the availability of huge sets of data, and algorithms to make sense of them, leads to possibilities like self-driving cars, one of Google’s side projects.

Schmidt called for citizens to demand its leaders to use such data when making policy decisions about issues like global warming. He said the data clearly points to climate change caused by humans but little action has been taken.

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Media Tablets and Beyond.

  • Users can choose between various form factors when it comes to mobile computing. No single platform, form factor or technology will dominate and companies should expect to manage a diverse environment with two to four intelligent clients through 2015. IT leaders need a managed diversity program to address multiple form factors, as well as employees bringing their own smartphones and tablet devices into the workplace.

 

  • Enterprises will have to come up with two mobile strategies – one to address the business to employee (B2E) scenario and one to address the business to consumer (B2C) scenario. On the B2E front, IT must consider social goals, business goals, financial goals, and risk management goals. On the B2C front, which includes business to business (B2B) activities to support consumers, IT needs to address a number of additional issues such as surfacing and managing APIs to access enterprise information and systems, integration with third-party applications, integration with various partners for capabilities such as search and social networking, and delivery through app stores.

 

Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces.

  • The user interface (IU) paradigm in place for more than 20 years is changing. UIs with windows, icons, menus, and pointers will be replaced by mobile-centric interfaces emphasizing touch, gesture, search, voice and video. Applications themselves are likely to shift to more focused and simple apps that can be assembled into more complex solutions. These changes will drive the need for new user interface design skills.

 

  • Building application user interfaces that span a variety of device types, potentially from many vendors, requires an understanding of fragmented building blocks and an adaptable programming structure that assembles them into optimized content for each device. Mobile consumer application platform tools and mobile enterprise platform tools are emerging to make it easier to develop in this cross-platform environment. HTML5 will also provide a long term model to address some of the cross-platform issues. By 2015, mobile Web technologies will have advanced sufficiently, so that half the applications that would be written as native apps in 2011 will instead be delivered as Web apps.

 

Contextual and Social User Experience.

  • Context-aware computing uses information about an end-user or objects environment, activities, connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end-user or object. A contextually aware system anticipates the user’s needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service. Context can be used to link mobile, social, location, payment and commerce. It can help build skills in augmented reality, model-driven security and ensemble applications. Through 2013, context aware applications will appear in targeted areas such as location-based services, augmented reality on mobile devices, and mobile commerce.

 

  • On the social front, the interfaces for applications are taking on the characteristics of social networks. Social information is also becoming a key source of contextual information to enhance delivery of search results or the operation of applications.

 

Internet of Things.

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes how the Internet will expand as sensors and intelligence are added to physical items such as consumer devices or physical assets and these objects are connected to the Internet. The vision and concept have existed for years, however, there has been an acceleration in the number and types of things that are being connected and in the technologies for identifying, sensing and communicating. These technologies are reaching critical mass and an economic tipping point over the next few years. Key elements of the IoT include:

 

  • Embedded sensors: Sensors that detect and communicate changes are being embedded, not just in mobile devices, but in an increasing number of places and objects.
  • Image Recognition: Image recognition technologies strive to identify objects, people, buildings, places logos, and anything else that has value to consumers and enterprises. Smartphones and tablets equipped with cameras have pushed this technology from mainly industrial applications to broad consumer and enterprise applications.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) payment: NFC allows users to make payments by waving their mobile phone in front of a compatible reader. Once NFC is embedded in a critical mass of phones for payment, industries such as public transportation, airlines, retail and healthcare can explore other areas in which NFC technology can improve efficiency and customer service.

 

App Stores and Marketplaces.

  • Application stores by Apple and Android provide marketplaces where hundreds of thousands of applications are available to mobile users. Gartner forecasts that by 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. This will grow from a consumer-only phenomena to an enterprise focus. With enterprise app stores, the role of IT shifts from that of a centralized planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to users and potentially an ecosystem to support entrepreneurs. Enterprises should use a managed diversity approach to focus on app store efforts and segment apps by risk and value.

 

Next-Generation Analytics. Analytics is growing along three key dimensions:

 

  • From traditional offline analytics to in-line embedded analytics. This has been the focus for many efforts in the past and will continue to be an important focus for analytics.
  • From analyzing historical data to explain what happened to analyzing historical and real-time data from multiple systems to simulate and predict the future.
  • Over the next three years, analytics will mature along a third dimension, from structured and simple data analyzed by individuals to analysis of complex information of many types (text, video, etc…) from many systems supporting a collaborative decision process that brings multiple people together to analyze, brainstorm and make decisions.
  • Analytics is also beginning to shift to the cloud and exploit cloud resources for high performance and grid computing.
  • In 2011 and 2012, analytics will increasingly focus on decisions and collaboration. The new step is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action.

 

Big Data.

  • The size, complexity of formats and speed of delivery exceeds the capabilities of traditional data management technologies; it requires the use of new or exotic technologies simply to manage the volume alone. Many new technologies are emerging, with the potential to be disruptive (e.g., in-memory DBMS). Analytics has become a major driving application for data warehousing, with the use of MapReduce outside and inside the DBMS, and the use of self-service data marts. One major implication of big data is that in the future users will not be able to put all useful information into a single data warehouse. Logical data warehouses bringing together information from multiple sources as needed will replace the single data warehouse model.

 

In-Memory Computing.

  • Gartner sees huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the memory hierarchy in servers that has key advantages — space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Besides delivering a new storage tier, the availability of large amounts of memory is driving new application models. In-memory applications platforms include in-memory analytics, event processing platforms, in-memory application servers, in-memory data management and in-memory messaging.

 

  • Running existing applications in-memory or refactoring these applications to exploit in-memory approaches can result in improved transactional application performance and scalability, lower latency (less than one microsecond) application messaging, dramatically faster batch execution and faster response time in analytical applications. As cost and availability of memory intensive hardware platforms reach tipping points in 2012 and 2013, the in-memory approach will enter the mainstream.

 

Extreme Low-Energy Servers.

  • The adoption of low-energy servers — the radical new systems being proposed, announced and marketed by mostly new entrants to the server business —will take the buyer on a trip backward in time. These systems are built on low-power processors typically used in mobile devices. The potential advantage is delivering 30 times or more processors in a particular server unit with lower power consumption vs. current server approaches. The new approach is well suited for certain non-compute intensive tasks such as map/reduce workloads or delivery of static objects to a website. However, most applications will require more processing power, and the low-energy server model potentially increases management costs, undercutting broader use of the approach.

 

Cloud Computing.

  • Cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries. While the market remains in its early stages in 2011 and 2012, it will see the full range of large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services. Oracle, IBM and SAP all have major initiatives to deliver a broader range of cloud services over the next two years. As Microsoft continues to expand its cloud offering, and these traditional enterprise players expand offerings, users will see competition heat up and enterprise-level cloud services increase.

 

  • Enterprises are moving from trying to understand the cloud to making decisions on selected workloads to implement on cloud services and where they need to build out private clouds. Hybrid cloud computing which brings together external public cloud services and internal private cloud services, as well as the capabilities to secure, manage and govern the entire cloud spectrum will be a major focus for 2012. From a security perspective new certification programs including FedRAMP and CAMM will be ready for initial trial, setting the stage for more secure cloud computing. On the private cloud front, IT will be challenged to bring operations and development groups closer together using “DevOps” concepts in order to approach the speed and efficiencies of public cloud service providers.

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  • Cloud computing will be a key driver of net new IT spending over the next five years as public cloud service providers and the adopters of private cloud environments invest in the supporting infrastructure.
  • According to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC), ‘Worldwide Enterprise Storage for Public and Private Cloud 2011-2015 Forecast: Enabling Public Cloud Service Providers and Private Clouds’, overall spending by public cloud service providers on storage hardware, software, and professional services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 per cent from 2010 to 2015.
  • While enterprise spending on storage for the private cloud will experience a CAGR of 28.9 per cent. By 2015, combined spending for public and private cloud storage will be $22.6 billion worldwide.
  • Despite current economic uncertainties, IDC expects cloud service providers — both public and private — to be among the most expansive spenders on IT products and services as they continue to build out their facilities worldwide and expand their service options,” said Richard Villars, vice president, Storage Systems & Executive Strategies, IDC.
  • The most significant driver of storage consumption over the past three years has been the emergence of public cloud-based application and infrastructure providers. Many of these cloud-based service providers (e.g., iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook) act as content depots, which are primarily in the business of gathering, organizing, and providing access to large quantities of digital content.
  • Meanwhile, other cloud-based service providers have emerged with a focus on delivering IT infrastructure and applications in an “as a service” model (e.g., salesforce.com, WebEx Connect, Amazon Web Services, etc.). Over the past several years, these companies have undertaken massive storage build-outs as they have expanded their service offerings, entered new markets, and extended their geographic reach.
  • Enabling more efficient delivery of information/applications to Internet-based customers
    • Reducing upfront infrastructure investment levels (i.e., cutting the cost and time associated with deploying new IT and compute infrastructure)
    • Minimizing internal IT infrastructure investment associated with “bursty” or unpredictable workloads
    • Lowering and/or distributing the ongoing costs associated with long-term archiving of information
    • Enabling near-continuous, real-time analysis of large volumes and wide varieties of customer-, partner-, and machine-generated data (Big Data)

1) Next-Gen Mobile – Smart Devices and Tablets

 

  • It’s obvious to the casual observer these days that smart mobile devices based on iOS, Android, and even Blackberry OS/QNX are seeing widespread use. But comparing projected worldwide sales of tablets and PCs tells an even more dramatic story. Using the latest sales projections from Gartner on tablets and current PC shipment estimates from IDC, we can see that by 2015 the tablet market will be 479 million units and the PC market will be only just ahead at 535 million units. This means tablets alone are going to have effective parity with PCs in just 3 years. Other data I’ve seen tells a similar story.

 

  • So, while it’s still early days yet, it’s also quite clear that enterprises must start treating tablets as equal citizens in their IT strategies. So why won’t they? For several reasons:

 

Key adoption insight

  • A likely approach that will scale is to do as JP Rangaswami advocates, and “design for loss of control.” This doesn’t mean letting go of essential control such as robust security enforcement, but it does mean providing a framework for users to bring their own mobile devices to work in a safe manner, including use of apps with business data under certain prescribed conditions. This unleashes choice and innovation and vitally, splits the work of adoption and rollout with users that want to use their favorite mobile devices/app to solve a business problem.

 

2) Social Media – Social Business and Enterprise 2.0

 

  • While mobile phones technically have a broader reach than any communications device, social media has already surpassed that workhorse of the modern enterprise, e-mail. Increasingly, the world is using social networks and other social media-based services to stay in touch, communicate, and collaborate. Now key aspects of the CRM process are being overhauled to reflect a fundamentally social world and expecting to see stellar growth in the next year. As Salesforce’s Marc Benioff was very clear in his dramatic keynote at Dreamforce last month, leading organizations are becoming social enterprises.
  • There now seems to be hard data to confirm this view: McKinsey and Company is reporting that the revenue growth of social businesses is 24% higher than less social firms and data from Frost and Sullivan backs that up across various KPIs. The message is that companies are going to — and have every reason to — be using social media as a primary channel in the very near future, if they aren’t already. It’s time to get strategic.

 

Key adoption insight

  • There are a growing number of established social media adoption strategies, but probably one of the most effective is to engage by example. Both leadership inside the company as well as top representatives to the outside world must engage in social channels to show how they’d like change to happen.

 

3) Cloud computing

  • Of all the technology trends on this list, cloud computing is one of the more interesting and in my opinion, now least controversial. While there are far more reasons to adopt cloud technologies than just cost reduction, according to Mike Vizard perceptions of performance issues and lack of visibility into the stack remain one of the top issues for large enterprises. Yet, among the large enterprise CTO and CIOs I speak with, cloud computing is being adopted steadily for non-mission critical applications and some are now even beginning to downsize their data centers. Business agility, vendor choice, and access to next-generation architectures are all benefits of employing the latest cloud computing architectures, which are often radically advanced compared to their traditional enterprise brethren.

 

Key adoption insight

  • Until cloud computing workloads can be seamlessly transferred back and forth between a company’s private cloud and public/hybrid cloud, adoption will be held back and favored largely for greenfield development. Technologies are now emerging to make this possible, however, and for now, companies should invest in cloud standards (to the extent they exist today) to build private clouds in order to be in position to start selectively transferring services out on a trial basis (and being able to bring them back in safely as needed.)

 

4) Consumerization of IT

  • I’ve previously made the point that the source of innovation for technology is coming largely from the consumer world, which also sets the pace. Yet that’s just one aspect of consumerization, which some like myself and Ray Wang are calling “CoIT” for short. Consumerization also very much has to do with its usage model, which eschews enterprise complexity for extreme usability and radically low barriers to participation. Enterprises which don’t steadily consumerize their application portfolios are in for even lower levels of adoption and usage than they already have as workers continue to route around them for easier and more productive solutions. Another decentralized and scalable solution is, as with next-gen mobile, to help workers help themselves to third party apps that are deemed safe and secure.

 

Key adoption insight

  • Consumerization seems especially pernicious to IT departments because it happens all the time, without their involvement. Stats vary on “shadow IT”, which is in the lower double digits, but much of it is for consumer apps. IT departments can begin programs in partnership with other large companies (to distribute the work) to certify SaaS, cloud, and mobile apps and train workers on data safety, backup, and integrity for example. Longer term, companies will imbue their IT service design, solution acquisition, and delivery with user experience and design approaches and fresh ideas from the consumer world. This will drive more worker productivity, less user support, and higher innovation in IT solutions.

 

5) Big data

  • Businesses are drowning in data more than ever before, yet have surprisingly little access to it. In turn, business cycles are growing shorter and shorter, making it necessary to “see” the stream of new and existing business data and process it quickly enough to make critical decisions. The term “big data” was coined to describe new technologies and techniques that can handle an order of magnitude or two more data than enterprises are today, something existing RDBMS technology can’t do it in a scalable manner or cost-effectively.
  • Big data offers the promise of better ROI on valuable enterprise datasets while being able to tackle entirely new business problems that were previously impossible to solve with existing techniques. While most companies are still addressing their big data needs with data warehousing, according to Loraine Lawson, one need only scan the impressive McKinsey report on Big Data to see the major opportunities it offers on the business side.

 

Key adoption insight

  • Big data requires a mindset change as much as a technology update. This means making open data a priority for the enterprise as well as an operational velocity that hasn’t been a priority before. Big data enables solving new business problems in windows that weren’t possible before. It also means infrastructure, ops, and development must be part of the same team and used to working together. This means organizational refinements must be made to tap into the greater potential.

read more at ZDNet


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