When the concept first emerged, Big Data was seen as a technical project and, as a result, under the responsibility of the IT department. More recently, executives in large and small companies alike have begun to recognize that properly deployed initiatives deliver real, actionable business results. For this reason, various executives have taken Big Data endeavors under their wings in an effort to augment internal operations and improve external relationships.
As Big Data becomes more common in the workplace, however, decision-makers are recognizing that there are still some technical hurdles that must be overcome for the initiatives to be successful. In many cases, these issues relate to storage and management because traditional, inflexible environments simply can’t keep up with the constantly growing volumes of increasingly complicated information.
A SYS-CON Media report highlighted how the inherent complexity of the data being collected today is often too overwhelming for conventional infrastructures. Sometimes, the rigid characteristics of traditional architectures means those technologies are ill-equipped to manage the constantly shifting and evolving nature of Big Data. These environments also may not have the means to support the crucial business intelligence solutions needed to transform useless information into meaningful data that can be used to optimize operations.
So what can enterprises do?
Fortunately, companies don’t need to shy away from the Big Data movement, even if they’re still relying on older IT architectures. Cloud infrastructure technologies are widely available that can help organizations of all sizes implement cost-effective and highly scalable environments capable of meeting the needs of Big Data.
SYS-CON Media highlighted how the cloud can be a significant boon in the face of Big Data because the hosted services have the capabilities needed to keep up with data that grows indefinitely. By leveraging cloud solutions, organizations can not only implement a scalable environment that can expand or contract along with the enterprise’s data volumes, but executives can also deploy important analytic technologies. These solutions play a crucial role in how well firms can prosper by embracing Big Data. After all, if decision-makers simply gather growing volumes of information but have no way to analyze it, how will they experience any benefits?
By using cloud computing services, businesses can replicate, relocate, and store information anywhere in the world without losing real-time access to it, SYS-CON Media noted. Being able to do so is especially important as mobility comes into play and people increasingly work from home or elsewhere outside the office.
To cloud or not to cloud
Although the cloud is an option, the hosted services aren’t necessarily suitable for every organization. Evaluating data, on the other hand, doesn’t follow the same mantra. A CompTIA survey highlighted these findings, noting that roughly 27 percent of companies are investigating cloud storage for numerous reasons, including to support their Big Data endeavors. Conversely, nearly all firms are taking steps to analyze the information under their control.
“Not every business will need a Big Data strategy,” said Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA. “But just about every business will need to effectively aggregate, store, manage, and analyze the data they do have, regardless of its volume, velocity, or variety.”
In the coming years, organizations will likely gather increasingly large and complex data sets as employees and consumers pursue and demand new technologies. In many cases, cloud computing can help firms leverage more scalable and sophisticated environments that are capable of supporting advanced analytic solutions and massive volumes of information. With the proper planning and strategic decisions, enterprises can take steps to improve long-term operations.