|By Adrian Bridgwater||
|July 4, 2014 03:00 PM EDT||
The fundamental mechanics of business have changed.
Well, they haven't quite.
The basic laws of supply and demand still govern the economic principles inside which firms in all industries bring goods and services to market inside a common monetary system on an international level.
But a change has occurred and it is an information-driven shift.
Our core accounting systems used to represent the motherlode of all company information. Onward from there... somewhere around the end of the last millennium we added so-called Customer Relationship Management to the corporate information arsenal and started to build up the commercial data bank.
Fast forward into the first decade of the new millennium and we found ourselves deeply entrenched (and enamored with) the world of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). In the ERP-enabled world we started to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and use business metrics in a more mathematically sensitive way than ever before.
What makes a truly data-centric firm?
Today we take ERP as a given element of a wider total corporate data stack. The modern firm captures data from accounts, from customers, from business units (in the ERP sense) of course, but that's just the start. A truly data-centric firm also captures information from employees, external competitors, business equipment (in the capital expenditure CapEx and operational expenditure OpEx sense) often with Internet of Things style sensors and more besides.
To clarify our argument one crucial step further, this (above example) is not a truly data-centric firm; this is only a data-aware firm. A truly data-centric firm is also capable of capturing these multi-level information streams and being able to analyze them for operational (and so therefore) commercial advantage.
Future investment brokers won't ask to see profit and loss statements; they will ask "how good is your Big Data information capture and analytics procedure system?" or such like. Okay yes they will ask for P&L too, but you get the point.
This practice of analytics is defining the modern 21st century business. Knowing what customer movements mean is important, but knowing how to analyze what connected ancillary factors will influence customer behavior before it happens is what really makes the difference.
This overall trend for change toward analytics has certain effects. Firms need the same mix of salespeople, IT, finance, admin and other staff; but now they need a defined specialist to serve as a Data Scientist (CAPS intended to denote job title) -- or, at least, they need to be able to outsource the consultancy services needed to supply that analytics intelligence.
Patterns and anomalies
Companies who "get" the analytics challenge are using a variety of tools to surmount and conquer the Big Data challenge. The data scientist (lower case from herein) is using elements such as the Apache Hadoop open source software framework for storage and large-scale processing of data-sets on clusters of commodity hardware. On top of Hadoop the data scientist is using In-Database and Hadoop In-Memory Analytics to start to uncover patterns and anomalies to get new insights and make decisions based on facts discovered.
The data scientist uses Data Vizualization tools to (in theory if he/she does it right) begin to uncover patterns in both internal and external data and start to perceive and act upon the resulting analytics at hand. These same analytics tools can of course be turned inwards so-to-speak and focused on the firm's own operations to uncover trends and perceive and predict actions that could and should be taken to maximize profitability and welfare of employees and customers.
Analytics used at its most effective level becomes a tool for firms to drive their ability to compete and innovate.
Nobody's perfect (with data analytics) yet
This is the pure (as opposed to applied) theory of data analytics where it sits in perfect post-deployment harmony inside a Hadoop (or other) managed Big Data framework. Not all of this theorizing is easy to pull off over night and we know that Hadoop installations are complex by their very nature. But taking the purist pure view is a good exercise to undertake at this comparatively still early stage for cloud, Big Data and analytics (and let's not forget mobile too). We need to discuss what is possible and then see how close we can get to perfect.
In this new world of business is it now fair to table our opening gambit again? Have the fundamental mechanics of business changed? For many real-world businesses today there is now an open admission and acceptance that data is the greatest commercial asset that they have. Not every firm has complete control of its data asset base, but this is precisely why we are having this discussion.
The fundamental mechanics of business have changed and the non-data centric company will ultimately be history. Soon after that, the non-analytics company will also be a distant memory. Senior management is (largely) agreeing with the need to shift resources toward data-driven decision making and wider Line-of-Business strategies are also falling in line.
A mindset for the future
The sophisticated data analysis innovator has fine-grained business control and a stable strategic growth path planned out that is capable of constant and continuous dynamic change. We're not re-inventing the light bulb or the wheel today, but we are re-inventing our core operational business ethos and mindset. Nonbelievers in the data revolution will be historical figures sooner than they think.
This post is brought to you by SAS.
SAS is a leader in business analytics software and services and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.
Sep. 3, 2015 10:48 AM EDT
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:45 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 277
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,596
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small, but are focused on specific tasks. The ability for developers to deploy multiple containers – thous...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 107
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 199
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 206
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 647
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 278
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Sep. 3, 2015 09:00 AM EDT
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Sep. 3, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 314
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Sep. 3, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 103
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Sep. 3, 2015 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,022
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Sep. 3, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 493
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
Sep. 3, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,594
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Sep. 3, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 735
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Sep. 3, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,688
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Sep. 2, 2015 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 239
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Sep. 2, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 471
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
Sep. 2, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 405