February was an exciting month for Information Age – and indeed the whole industry – as we celebrated the UK’s top 50 data leaders and influencers at a glittering awards ceremony in London.
The pace of innovation in this space has been rapid and compelling, with Wikibon putting the market at around £50 billion at the end of 2015 and Gartner predicting that threequarters of companies will invest in it in the next two years.
Data is at the centre of the most transformative tech trends impacting people and business right now. As the world has become increasingly interconnected, we are creating new information 50 times faster than we did ten years ago. The potential for turning this into business value is tremendous.
However, huge challenges have also come with big data – not only in realising this value, but in dealing with such large quantities of data and the subsequent security threats that emerge, as well as giving people the skills to do so.
The Data 50 Awards are about bringing together the industry to honour the tech champions who have led the charge in overcoming these challenges, demonstrated how to make data impactful across a whole enterprise, and trailblazed the paths that make data a true business enabler in organisations today.
In this special issue of IA, we profile the entire 2016 class of the Data 50. And as if making this list isn’t impressive enough, we also reveal who won ten ‘Best in Class’ categories. With the quality so high, the expert judging panel had an extremely tricky job deciding who should be victorious, so these winners deserve all the credit they get.
But we mustn’t rest on our laurels. There’s still much to be done to make organisations truly data-driven, and to ensure that all big data investments are delivering healthy returns.
The inaugural Data 50 is full of IT leaders who have done a stellar job of engraining data culture across an organisation, but real data leadership requires full participation from the top.
A growing number of CEOs are seeing the value in this, but as big data cries out for standard practices in 2016, we must see more top-down data leadership, and greater harmony between IT, data and business unit heads.
Also in this issue:
- Cloud security: whose job is it anyway?
- Behind the flash exterior: a new era of storage
- Converged infrastructure: are data centre components better together?
- MapR's Matt Mills on why he bet everything on the start-up's data platform
- Are mobile collaboration strategies keeping up with workforce trends?
- Has the Fourth Industrial Revolution really begun?