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Big data, huge opportunity and a threat too

Peter Nalika | Dec. 17, 2012
For any company to be competitive in local or global economies today, it needs to look at big data aspect for its future operations. In other words, what is today's sales data not last month's, what kind of feedback are the sales people bring back to the organization with big data aspects.

What to watch

Therefore companies need to watch out for four things in this IT transformation era, self service, customers, on demand services and resilience.

In the 90s, the IT environment was a mess, it was not a nicely integrated, come 2000 and 2010 period IT shifted into the virtualization era, and in 6 years it was all about talks, companies' implemented virtualization only at the end of this period.

There was however a substantial improvement in terms of IT utilization then. So far IT become a service environment, the network, storage and processing facilities become a complete unit as opposed to separate systems that does computing, storage etc, even the network switching is no longer traditional, it is more like a server, and so companies needs to be convergent to new capabilities, competiveness and work capabilities in big data.

These three things are imperatives for big data and for any company to be competitive why is this? Because they can no longer divorce their IT environment from doing business, a company's IT cost has an implication on its product, a number of people are moving away from propriety systems into open standard solutions, and this is what is affecting efficiency.

Another aspect is to look at a company competitiveness verses the cloud environment, for example how competitive is a company investing on its own data centre than doing the same in the cloud.

"Cloud services in Kenya are a reality especially now that the country is cabled. Having your own data center rather than the cloud is no longer a CAPEX question but an efficiency question. So the current existing benchmark is a baseline of 10 cents per Vmh, this has come down a lot in the past year and Intel foresees that it will come down further", says Stelyn.The cloud or in house virtual hosting

Now the big question is if companies have their own data centre can they measure the cost per VM? And this is one thing CIOs need to look at, how do they quantify cost for running their VM and at what point should they decide what to keep in the cloud and what applications should they host in house.

Regulations that prevent data from being online and offline will change, they will no longer be a problem in future, for a CIO, he/she will decide what the cost effective solution is, and will they build their own solution in the data center to make sure that they are competitive?

With supercomputing, companies will be able to decide when to switch their applications to the cloud and having them in their own data centre depending on the time and cost. This is the competitive side of it.


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