While information technology is synonymous with change, it seems change never happened so quickly. Over the last few years, cloud computing and mobility have become widespread, while social networks and analytics have penetrated all corners of the enterprise.
The explosion of data will remain among the biggest concerns for the IT industry as the Big Data begins to become more prominent. The exabytes requiring management and analysis will be a factor in planning discussions, and petabytes will become the new standard for data centers. Much attention will focus on secondary data generated from copies and backups, and obsolete data that are not needed immediately, and whose retention and maintenance consume a significant portion of the IT budget.
There’s also the infiltration of mobile devices to consider. Employees will have multiple smart devices that will be used to create and access the necessary data, which will increase productivity of companies for sure. But this style of work will also create new headaches for the IT department in terms of storage and management requirements. The total cost of ownership for data storage will go through yet another change, since the lower capital and operating costs will pose greater importance.
Prediction for 2013
Big Data is everywhere. Increasingly, companies have started to include technology management and analysis of large data volumes between its strategic pillars. It is a wise investment: the proper analysis of information influences decision-making, reduces the margin of error and paves the way for cost savings.
It is therefore a booming market and Gartner forecasts global spending on information technology (IT) will increase by 4.2% to reach $3.74 trillion in 2013. The global enterprise software sector is projected to reach $296 billion this year, expanding 6.4 percent from last year.
The strongest growth categories for 2013 will be devices and enterprise software. Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $296 billion in 2013, a 6.4 percent increase from 2012. This segment will be driven by key markets such as security, storage management and customer relationship management and other information management initiatives, including enterprise content management, data integration tools, and data quality tools.
New possibilities in 2013
According to MarketsandMarkets, the big data analytic industry is positioned to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 54 percent through 2017.
The dominant trend for 2013 will, again, be Big Data, and more industries are choosing to embrace data analytics in order to process the growing volume of information. IBM in its 2013 Big Data predictions says both structured and unstructured data present new opportunities for buyers, service providers, researchers and consumers as a means for better understanding the world.
Converged infrastructure will play a bigger role in bringing compute, storage, and networking components to create a unified IT system that is manageable and easier to scale. According to the Wikibon analyst group, the converged infrastructure market will reach a $402 billion total available market (TAM) by 2017.
Noteably, companies like HP, Dell, EMC, NetApp, Oracle, Google, Amazon, IBM, HP, Cloudera and Hortonworks all have interest in converged infrastructure, and have all contributed to the Big Data revolution of 2012. This trend will likely continue in 2013.
The new era of Software-led Infrastructure
The possibility of seeing solutions that combine hardware and software to meet the needs of this evolving market is emerging that will result in operational and application changes.
Wikibon and SiliconAngle research termed this revolution as software-led infrastructure (SLI), which will take in all aspects of the infrastructure – servers, networks, and storage – virtualized combined with application portability & functionality, data placement, and automation within and between datacenters.
Wikibon research also shows that software-led infrastructures are leveraging the latest SSD technology to bring large enough savings in database licensing. Traditional database technologies are evolving to perform specific data management tasks, such as large-scale transactions, which are providing increased control of system performance and improved operational flexibility.
What about data science skills?
Large data sets and the growing need to manage them have created a new job in the market — that of the “data scientist,” a role dedicated to making sense of all this information. It’s already provoking increased growth in the global economy, and will create many new job opportunities.
Despite the increasingly common use of IaaS and SaaS, organizations are looking for talented professionals to create centers of excellence of technical expertise that will drive innovation. As a result, the demand for talented data scientists, who can think strategically with a laser focus on your business, far beyond the management of servers and storage devices, is increasing.
Evolving role of data science
According to IBM, the data scientist role will continue to evolve, and the role of the data scientist will take many forms in the years to come, requiring the right mix of business and technical disciplines.
IBM’s VP of Big Data, Anjul Bhambhri elaborates, noting the specialized skill sets that will be required to handle enterprise software for the interpretation and analysis of data. This is a key aspect of data integration as far as quality is concerned.
“To realize value from this data – IT already knows how to set up the proper infrastructure. The’ve done it already to manage application data. It needs to be augmented to take in machine, social and other data,” she says. “But now, once you have all this data, you need fishing experts, which, in the software world, are data scientists.
“I think, for the next wave of demand in skills (and I’ve been saying this for the last year or so), will continue to be around the data scientists. Everyone will eventually figure out they can bring in all this data, but if they don’t have the right people…it could become a garbage dump of data.”
Tomorrow’s data scientists may be today’s current employees–an application developer or a database administrator, someone who possess mathematics, statistical, and computer science skills, or someone simply partaking in a series of exercises/classes to better understand the various business departments, from marketing to procurement. Regardless of industry, the data scientist role will continue to evolve, playing a crucial role in helping to align the CMO and the CIO, says the IBM report.
Which industries will apply Big Data in 2013?
In medicine, the IT sector has to solve a tight bunch of problems related to confidentiality and data protection, as well as the expansion and upgrading of infrastructure.
The introduction of mobile technology, cloud computing, virtualization, and clinical analytics tools, along with Big Data, have transformed the widespread use of technology in the healthcare industry.
As I mentioned before, both structured and unstructured data presents new opportunities for buyers, providers, researchers and consumers as a means for better understanding Big Data. The institutions that use health IT are beginning to use advanced analytics to study the health of the population, which is increasingly important in the transition to the co-operative sector, responsible for the application of medical Services.
Obviously, the Big Data sector in health care promises a lot of employment opportunities for technical specialists. The year 2013 may be the year when the career of those who have knowledge in any of the above areas will rise dramatically.
IT means business
For many years there has been talk of the need for strategic IT orientation. Then suddenly, it was no longer just a wish but a categorical demand. CIOs and other IT leaders are beginning to realize this fact, but to make the necessary changes is not easy.
We are at a stage where you cannot separate the business strategy from technology strategy. Indeed, the business units are increasingly deploying their own systems, and mobile applications, and IT departments have a thorough knowledge of how these systems and integrate them into the overall structure.
Strategies will evolve to the point of more specialized analytics technologies, and the appliance approach for specialized analytics workloads will emerge as the preferred strategy. It also means that strong reconciliation of not just IT but other departments, such as marketing, sales and customer support, will enhance the system by combining advanced analytics and Big Data.
IBM predicts Big Data will get closer to customers, refining the ways in which businesses engage to improve retention and growth, and other business departments will identify their own uses for Big Data and start to exploit its true value.