What are the real opportunities for big data in the digital world?

Human beings are an innovative species and digitalisation is proof of this. It is undeniable that the world is becoming more and more digital; today people rely on smartphones and tablets to order our shopping, research and find destinations, connect with friends, improve our health, control devices in our home, stream our entertainment and follow the developments in the world around us.

Next generation technologies such as IoT are going to rapidly accelerate this by connecting larger numbers of things to the internet. With modern sensors, we are able to measure, observe and share data for an endless number of applications. By 2020 there will be three times as many devices as there are people in the world, growing the volume of data to petabytes, exabytes, and even zettabytes.

>See also: Big data is helping reinvent companies through digital transformation

Data can be processed at a micro or a macro level to provide valuable insight around an individual or a society. Knowing this, government agencies and large enterprises are reshaping their approaches to better manage this data deluge. But today’s big data buzz is not new – for more than twenty years, big data has been evolving into the hot topic we see.

With so much data out there, organisations are feeling the pressure to implement big data technologies in order to stay ahead. However, the road ahead is riddled with speed bumps and potholes – namely, lack of budget and appropriate resources and skills, as well as legacy systems.

What’s so special about big data?

Big data provides a fuller picture. It allows organisations to understand the people they serve, choose better strategies, allocate their resources more effectively and operate smarter.

For instance, right now big data analytics is playing an important part in understanding cyber security trends. Using big data analytics, it is possible to detect vulnerabilities and identify breaches that are already happening.

>See also: How to manage big data in the age of digital

Plus, you can look at where the threats are coming from and combine it with cognitive computing to keep ‘unwanted’ people out. In this way, big data is now becoming a mission-critical asset applicable to all, and must be viewed as such.

Of course, many enterprises are also extending the use of big data to better serve their customers and to anticipate their requirements. Innovation, technical expertise and good technology leadership are seeing pioneering organisations redefine the way industries operate.

What’s holding things up?

As the old saying goes, good things take time, and widespread adoption of big data analytics is no exception.

However, a silver lining has appeared on the horizon in the form of the cloud. Cloud services allow access to big data tools and environments, bridging the gap in this modernisation push. As more enterprises adopt cloud-based solutions, they’ll have the benefits of big data analytics tools at their disposal, too.

Looking ahead, big data has limitless potential to advance businesses. The future of data analytics does not have to be daunting; instead this technology, working in sync with the cloud, is another piece of the IT modernisation puzzle.

>See also: Big data transforming the online world

Getting up to speed with big data

Big data offers many exciting opportunities, from increased efficiency to enhanced customer engagement, and now is the time for businesses to get involved. One challenge can be gathering the necessary skills together to equip the existing workforce with the technical knowhow needed to harness analytics and data for business benefits.

Carrying out transformation in-house will involve an investment of time, resources and money and the solution lies in finding partners to collaborate with, to become more competitive.

Partners who want to move into new technology areas can work with a distributor to help identify any skills gaps and find ways of filling these gaps, with that distributor’s own IT experts, with other partners, or through technical IT training and certification to develop their own in-house skills.

Once these gaps have been identified, partners can gain access to a comprehensive framework, like a Practice Builder, which provides enterprises with a clear approach to new technology areas, via workshops, technical and sales training and marketing programmes.

>See also: Big data and the legal community

Getting access to the right technology is also critical; a good distributor will have contracts and established relationships in place with a wide range of larger, as well as born in the cloud, vendors, saving you time and set-up costs.

Digital transformation is not an IT decision, but a business decision, so having the skilled people who can explain to a board of directors the business reasons for investing in changing their business is important. A good distributor will support you to develop a credible, logical and persuasive narrative.

Digital transformation and beyond

The transformation process is a journey. If you embark on this path, your customers will look to you to guide them as the technology evolves and as their business evolves. Rather than being seen as a provider of IT, you become a business innovator and someone who can help them gain a competitive advantage. That is how you become a valued trusted advisor to your customers.


Sourced by Victor Paradell, VP IoT & Analytics Europe, Tech Data


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...