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Big data gets even bigger - so what lies ahead?

Mon 25 Jan 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

We saw major transformations in information technology (IT) last year, as many organisations looked towards being more effective in managing and leveraging their data for decision making.

The focus on smart-city types of initiative that drive trends like enhanced connectivity, improved mobility, and generally the proliferation of and access to data, in Asia Pacific, further pushed up the significance of data for businesses, both big and small. 

In 2016, we will see an even wider shift in this regard as data will be further embedded into decision-making processes across businesses and industries. Business decision makers will want to, if they have not already, tap on data-driven initiatives to gain a competitive advantage and play a part in the connected universe.

In fact, this is becoming inevitable for businesses as the data-culture is already permeating into our daily lives. Think smartphone apps that analyse traffic data and advise users on the best route to take for getting around a city, wearable fitness trackers that help users monitor and live a more active lifestyle, etc.

As big data gets bigger and the world gets even further dependent on it, the following is a list of trends that stand out for 2016:

Where business and technology collide More than ever, organisations will look to technology and data to solve real business problems. In the past few years, we have seen popular use cases, such as organisations developing a 360 degree view of customers to build revenue streams, driving efficiency in product and service delivery, as well as managing risk, compliance and cybersecurity.

This year, companies will look beyond the technology and see the business value of these use cases – they will realise, even more, the true meaning of turning data into dollars. Now, organisations will derive greater value by aligning data and technology to business objectives. 

The modernisation of traditional enterprises More traditional enterprises will start functioning like modern enterprises, becoming more open to being data-centric and information-driven. These traditional enterprises will overcome the challenge of different silo systems that they traditionally have with the help of easily available, modern data management analytics platforms. They will continue to become less application- and process-centric, resulting in a higher competitive advantage for their products or services, regardless of what size or growth stage their business may be at.

Data as a skillset While the trend to leverage big data for insights has grown quickly across the globe, the general awareness of the value that can be extracted from data has been low in the Asia Pacific region.

Now that organisations across all verticals are increasingly using technology to extract value from big data, it is clearly driving demand for data-related skillsets. As such, we will continue to see a crunch in skilled data professionals.

This gap can only be filled with more education and training opportunities – schools that will teach data analytics and data science, and private sector companies that take the lead in supporting skills upgrade. The industry will come together to cultivate a new generation of IT professionals who will fill the skills gap for employers in the region.

The Internet of absolutely everything When it comes to big data, the manufacturing industry deserves special attention. We have seen the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) over the last couple of years, but in manufacturing, whether it is for vehicles, mobile phones or household appliances, we will increasingly see sensor-run applications that will enable predictive maintenance.

Ultimately, these can be features that send information back to a product’s manufacturer, allowing technicians to predict and fix problems quickly or engineers to develop better designed next-generation products. We will see a quality-enabling evolution, thanks to data technology.

Other industries will also continue to go through a data evolution. Healthcare organisations, for example, will be able to learn much more about their patients through data and using the information to solve medical and patientcare issues effectively or in a shorter time. IoT will continue to transform industries in 2016.

In open source we trust (not just us) This year, we will see an increased amount of trust that enterprises place on open source, as it becomes an even more critical component of IT.

Open source data management is flexible, scalable and cost-efficient, making it ideal for companies with a large amount of data.

In a recent poll we did for industry players, 83% of respondents said they are using open source to some extent today, and 91% said they are either using open source now or plan to adopt open source technology by 2020. 

This is no surprise as open source systems are becoming more secure than before with data encryption, user authentication or authorisation techniques, and more.

By Daniel Ng, Senior Director, APAC, Cloudera

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