The ongoing adoption of digital technologies has created mountains of information for the private sector, enabling decision-makers to capture, analyze and use resources to improve operations. This occurrence, commonly known as big data, is one of the main drivers behind cloud computing adoption strategies because the flexible hosted environments offer firms a scalable, on-demand infrastructure that is perfect for managing the ever-increasing volumes of information.
Gartner recently highlighted the growing demand for big data, noting that 42 percent of companies have either already adopted the strategies or plan to do so within the next year. This suggests that 2013 will be a major year for the trend, giving the private sector new opportunities to leverage information to their advantage.
The report said necessity and conviction are the two main reasons to leverage big data, though many firms are still in the early phases of adoption and have yet to understand the best ways to embrace technologies associated with the movement.
“Business and IT executives regularly say that information is one of their company’s greatest assets,” said Doug Laney, research vice president at Gartner. “Businesses are increasingly managing and deploying information more effectively than ever, but certainly not with the well-honed asset management discipline applied to their traditional material, financial or other intangible assets.”
The big data-enabled future
While the big data phenomenon is not necessarily a new trend in the business world, it is rapidly picking up momentum as organizations continue to use tools like social media and mobile devices that produce mountains of information per use. In the coming years, leveraging big data will be a necessity to remain competitive because the insight gathered will allow firms of all sizes to reduce costs, improve customer service and strengthen efficiency in the workplace.
Gartner noted that roughly 20 percent of Global 1000 organizations will have developed an information network by 2015 that is equivalent to their application management program. In many cases, these initiatives will include the cloud because of the hosted environment’s inherent scalable and flexible qualities.
“Most organizations are still in the early stages and few have thought through an enterprise approach or realized the profound impact that big data will have on their infrastructure, organizations and industries,” Laney said.
By leveraging the cloud, however, companies will make more efficient use of big data.
How does the cloud factor in?
Cloud computing has been gaining momentum in the private sector during the last several years and will likely continue doing so as the technology matures and evolves. As decision-makers recognize the burden big data puts on their current offerings, many will opt for a cloud infrastructure that is agile and adaptable enough to keep up with the ever-increasing volume of information.
A study by CloudPassage highlighted this occurrence, noting that the number of organizations using the cloud to manage big data will increase by 70 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.
“Big data might very well be the catalyst that will push adoption of public cloud into overdrive,” said Roman Stanek, CEO of GoodData Corporation. “Real-time scalability will be key and a secure cloud will be the enabler.”
As executives become more familiar with big data and cloud computing, the two technological initiatives will blend as more organizations recognize the trends’ ability to go hand in hand. Forward-thinking decision-makers will plan these initiatives carefully to avoid unnecessary challenges, giving their firm a leg up over the competition.