By Tom Rosamilia
The world in which we work, live and interact is changing – quickly and drastically. Consider this: more than 6.6 billion people, or 93 percent of the global population, are using mobile and social technologies as a fundamental means of conducting business and interacting with the world around them. These connections generate 2.5 billion gigabytes of data – every day.
Increasingly, as society becomes even more interconnected, data volumes will continue to explode. This is big data – big in volume and even bigger in potential. According to IBM research, 90 percent of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years. In fact, IDC projects that by 2020 the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB), which is 40 trillion GB of data – or 5,200 GB of data for every person on Earth. The explosion of mobile transactions and social applications has fueled this growth exponentially.
What does this mean for organizations? We know companies already rely on IT to manage and improve operational efficiencies. However, as data exceeds our expectations in volume, velocity and variety, companies are requiring unanticipated levels of IT enablement, support and security.
Organizations need an infrastructure that integrates their front- and back-office systems to allow for better business decisions. Furthermore, customers expect faster, more personalized interaction. This means that companies need their IT to convert all of their data into meaningful insight for valued customer experiences.
Equally important is the fact that greater access to and transparency of this growing data is driving increased security and privacy risks. Having a trusted infrastructure is a must.
Every day, big data is opportunities for companies to deliver new value to their customers, their industries, and, in some cases, society as a whole while achieving better business outcomes – and integral to this is having the right infrastructure.
Take, for example, Memorial Hermann Health System, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Southeast Texas. After migrating from physical to electronic medical records, Memorial Hermann deployed IBM FlashSystem storage to manage and analyze the growth of digital patient information.
By implementing the right infrastructure components, the health system is able to quickly process medical records of all patients across all hospitals in real-time, making it possible to detect patterns and take action within minutes. Furthermore, the health system significantly reduced power consumption, cooling requirements and physical storage space usage.
At IBM, we have been talking about why infrastructure matters, for quite some time. Every forward-thinking business needs the right infrastructure; one that allows them to unlock the potential offered by big data, cloud computing, mobile technologies and social applications. Without it, a business can’t break new ground. And a business that isn’t breaking ground is falling behind.
So how can organizations stay ahead?
- First, they must invest in the right cloud infrastructure to support new workloads. High-value cloud environments use open technologies to ensure agility, responsiveness and scalability.
- Second, they must build an analytics-ready infrastructure that enables right-time decision-making and prepares them for the next generation of cognitive computing.
- Third, they must build an infrastructure that seamlessly integrates front-end devices, applications and engagement platforms with back-end systems to deliver a differentiated customer experience.
When a company gets these key areas of infrastructure right – cloud, analytics and engagement – it allows them to adapt instantly to changing trends, connect more personally with their customers, and drive profitability and growth.