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Key trends affecting the development of big data

Organizations across the globe invested more than $130 billion in big data projects last year, according to research from the International Data Corporation. This figure is expected to grow exponentially as more businesses attempt to unlock the benefits that come along with enterprise analytics solutions. As the market for this technology grows, software providers expand their offerings.This momentum has spawned a number of key big data trends that are sure to leave a lasting impact on both the enterprise solutions industry and the firms that embrace robust backend systems.

Cloud services facilitate the analytics-based workflows synonymous with big data. An estimated 95 percent of organizations currently run, TechRepublic reported. Why? For one, increased data processing demands necessitate 100 percent adoption. Additionally, many firms are struggling to find in-house information technology staff with the requisite skills for managing business analytics platforms hosted on onsite.

Jason Carolan, the Chief Cloud Officer for Flexential, adds that "companies have a choice to use a cloud, or build their own. Many are choosing to use or rent cloud services, but larger companies — e.g. Facebook, SaaS platforms, etc. have chosen to build and operate their own clouds within data centers. Cloud provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and serves as a layer of technology abstraction that allows more efficient application lifecycle management — like making upgrades. It’s not the only way to do things but it provides tremendous value to help handle changes in apps, technologies, and it’s often easier to dial in resource costs and utilization."

Increased cloud adoption

Cloud services facilitate the analytics-based workflows synonymous with big data. An estimated 95 percent of organizations currently run cloud-based applications, according to research from RightScale. However, few are entirely committed to the technology, as hybrid solutions that employ both on-premises and hosted servers continue to dominate the space. That said, this state of affairs is starting to change, as more chief information officers take the plunge and sign agreements with cloud service providers, TechRepublic reported. Why? For one, increased data processing demands necessitate 100 percent adoption. Additionally, many firms are struggling to find in-house information technology staff with the requisite skills for managing business analytics platforms hosted on onsite.

Those moving to the cloud can take advantage of an ever-growing number of deployment options. Multi-cloud setups are slowly but surely gaining steam - and for good reason. Organizations taking this approach contract with multiple vendors, an arrangement that allows them to design tailor-made solutions and easily control costs. Firms with heavy data integration needs are most likely to adopt multi-cloud strategies at the present but analysts forecast further growth for this unique niche. Of course, as new methods rise, the old ways fall by the wayside. Private cloud adoption is taking a dive, according to RightScale. These proprietary environments are falling out of favor, as more public cloud success stories materialize and executive stakeholders conquer their data security fears. Even so, many business leaders still have serious concerns about how effectively cloud providers can protect sensitive digital assets.

In November of last year, the software firm Check Point connected with more than 200 IT professionals and discussed with them this very issue. Approximately 93 percent said enterprises continue to question the strength of data security protections in the cloud, listing unauthorized access, data leakage and denial-of-service-attacks as the most commonly mentioned fears among prospective adopters. This factor alone continues to hamstring cloud growth and, by extension, the big data movement. Service providers must continue to emphasize security to prompt further adoption and move the enterprise analytics arena forward.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is emerging as a powerful force within the technology world.

The rise of A.I.

Major firms like Google, IBM and Microsoft have dabbled with artificial intelligence technology in recent years. However, this experimentation has not translated to commercial adoption. This may soon change, according to Gartner. Enterprise A.I. solutions are ready for market and early adopters are already proving their worth. Bots are the most visible examples of working A.I. technology. Retailers like H&M and Sephora are using chatbots to connect with shoppers navigating social platforms like Facebook, The Washington Post reported. These advanced programs can hold conversations with human messengers and even make suggestions based on the data they receive. For example, when H&M shoppers provide their digital counterparts with clothing ideas, the chatbots can scan through the store inventory and formulate suggested outfits. This approach streamlines the shopping experience and engages young, social media-savvy customers.

Other organizations use A.I. for heavier workloads. IBM's Watson supercomputer is now the centerpiece of a cutting-edge health care solution designed to aid radiologists, according to the MIT Technology Review. The platform, called Avicenna, can actually review patient scans and offer potential diagnoses based on an encyclopedia of imaging knowledge. Additionally, the software learns as it comes into contact with medical images, picking up new visual queues with each review. The IBM solution is currently undergoing clinical trials at health care facilities across the country, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

While most enterprises are not currently testing A.I. to this extent, some have begun evaluating more toned down options in hopes of catalyzing efficiency and further bolstering their approaches to big data. That said, analysts at Gartner believe widespread adoption is right around the corner. The technology research firm predicts that within three years more than 10 percent of IT hires will be required to write scripts for customer service bots and 20 percent of companies will have staff dedicated to monitoring neural networks.

IoT moves forward

Technology associated with the Internet of Things continues to move forward. Businesses in almost every industry are integrating web-enabled devices into workflows of all kinds. Last year, enterprises around the globe adopted almost 2.5 billion IoT devices, according to Gartner. That figure is expected to surpass 3 billion this year as the trend grows. This technology is still developing, meaning new use cases are bound to materialize even as adoption rates crystallize. For example, many in the IoT community are heavily invested in catalyzing widespread interoperability, TechRadar reported. This push for easy-to-integrate operating systems is quickly gathering momentum as IoT use expands across the enterprise. Additionally, the emergence of 5G networks may soon take center stage, giving businesses the ability to tap into super-fast networks and roll out rapid data-collection methods.

Increased IoT adoption rates and the rise of new connected technologies will certainly move big data forward, lending the movement extra mobile oomph.

Blockchain everywhere

Online currencies such as Bitcoin have dominated the news cycle in recent years. While these digital dollars continue to generate hype, the actual technology that supports them, called blockchain, gains influence in the financial realm and other industries, The New York Times reported. Blockchain is the name of the original database that contains complete records for every Bitcoin transaction. However, the moniker has been re-purposed as of late to encapsulate a communal style of bookkeeping that bolsters transparency and cuts down on fraud. A single user or computerized entity does not operate the Bitcoin ledger. Instead, users manage it together, tagging every asset with a unique code. Should a user come across currency with identifiers that differ from the originals, he or she can safely say these items are tainted and then track them within the ledger to find out who exactly altered them. Financial institutions are drawn to this methodology, as it has the potential to bolster security and instill further confidence in customers. Of course, banks are not the only ones surveying the potential of blockchain.

Walmart recently used the method to improve its produce tracking operations, deploying blockchain to monitor fruits and vegetables as they navigate the supply chain, according to Wired. Theoretically, operations staff at the retail giant were able to halt a possible food poisoning outbreak by pinpointing altered products. Some have even suggested deploying blockchain to save the environment, employing unique tagging to ensure that sustainable products are not tampered with as they make their way from source to customer. Others say it could be useful for protecting patient data stored at hospitals and other health care institutions. Either way, the commercial opportunities for blockchain are virtually endless in the post-big data climate, making it an up-and-coming technological force.

With these trends in play, it seems the big data movement is in for further development. Companies that have yet to join the bandwagon would be wise to hop aboard, as data-based backend systems are quickly becoming industry standard across multiple sectors. Is your business prepared to embrace big data and take advantage of some of the burgeoning technologies above? Connect with TelcoSolutions today. We offer cloud computing and data center services capable of future-proofing your business. Contact us to learn more about our products.

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September 24, 2018
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