In 2012, we saw intriguing technology shifts around Mobile, Cloud, Social and Big Data. There was a shift towards the cloud, enormous growth in usage of social media, explosion of big data, increased reliability on mobile technology and consumerization of IT.
Now that 2013 has finally arrived, these trends will continue to bring value and opportunity to the enterprise (and consumers) — so thanks to our distinguished advisers / personalities who had shared their ideas and thoughts with us.
Here are our findings:
1. Realizing the promise of Big Data
“The amount of data — unstructured, structured, semistructured — is growing at unprecedented speed. Companies today want to make sense of their rapidly growing volume of data. And that’s why we will hear more about Big Data Analytics; and that’s why big data tools such as Hadoop, and other NoSQL databases, as well as Data Analysts will play critical roles. Among the verticals where Big Data will have huge impact include Healthcare,Manufacturing, and Retail. For the retail sector, the value in unlocking and analyzing data relative to supply chain management and inventory control will allow retail companies to understand trends and customer behavior.”
At Exist, we expect to see more and more companies building a plan to take advantage of big data – so that means collecting, and strategically preparing for and managing the future growth of data. “Accessibility and scalability will be essential metrics. The important thing about Big Data is you have to know every step of the way. You need to store the data in such a way that it is easy to retrieve; that it should be effectively mined. The agility of your system to adapt to changes will also be important. Everything is about scaling.” – Jonas Lim, Exist Java developer
“Long time ago, we were just talking about terabytes and more recently, zettabytes. Did you know about yottabytes?… We anticipate collecting terabytes of information annually – albeit much of it in pictures and video – but which nevertheless will need to be correlated, analyzed, and acted upon. So Big Data is in the picture.” – Roger Strukhoff [more: Big data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending in 2013. On the other hand, IDC says Analytics will be a $51B Business by 2016, thanks to Big Data.
“We can’t talk about big data without discussing the cloud. IT departments can’t operate efficiently in their traditional fashion in today’s Age of Big Data. Cloud-based architecture (or the cloud, for that matter) enables enterprises to reduce storage costs while offering them unlimited compute power for analysis.” – Mike Lim, Exist Chief Technology Officer
2. A Serious Cloud Strategy
We spoke to Jerome Gotangco, Senior Sales Engineer at Morphlabs and he shared:
“This year, many enterprises will get serious about moving to the cloud. I mean, organizations looking for more scalable storage and compute options will definitely have a cloud strategy in place or start to explore cloud-based options. Locally (in the Philippines), that would probably be the top 1000 or top 100 companies that are already using public cloud or familiar with cloud computing services.”
“Although many businesses are still slow to transition, I think that for those that will start using cloud — they will never look back. They’d probably try different cloud vendors but it would still be cloud (or still be cloud-based). I mean, if we talk about infrastructure, a company may shift from AWS to Rackspace to say, mCloud. But they won’t look back. They will never use traditional again, that’s one thing for sure.”
“Startups will consume cloud services, primarily because of cost. Second is flexibility — in compute capacity, cost structure, packaged services, and in many other ways.” Cloud services appeal to startups because they need to stay nimble and flexible.
“For public cloud, obviously, we’ll see cost reductions through economies of scale. With the increase in the number of public cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon, Rackspace, etc, regional base providers such as telcos and ISPs become more threatened. So that’s why we’re seeing telecom companies offering cloud services. We are seeing it here in the Philippines (with Globe and Smart) and then there is Starhub in Singapore.”
“For private cloud — everything will be offered as turnkey solution — from software to hardware, from migration to managed services, from consulting services to support and maintenance. A lot of these will be based on services and not so much about infrastructure.”
SSD Comes to Cloud
With regards to cloud technology in general, there’s a trend that started last year to go SSD (Solid State Drive). SSD to replace conventional spinning disks would be the new normal, not just for private but also for public consumption, even if (at this point) the price of a 1 Terrabyte SSD remains quite expensive. Just as storage disks eventually dropped their prices, it’s foreseen too with SSD — especially since SSD is able to address demand for more flexibility and agility with the cloud.
Big Data and Cloud
Cloud will play a big role when speaking about Big Data. To store, manage, visualize Big Data and make relationships with other data sets — cloud will always provide the best way to process these things.
Tomi Määttänen, Chief Operating Officer at Ubisecure, a pioneering provider of standardized identity and access management solutions based out of Finland said that: “Cloud creates new business opportunities, savings, drives business innovation and provides scalability for businesses.”
We spoke to some folks from GridGain, a company developing a Java-based in-memory platform, and they said: “Companies will either hire people who understand the cloud or find a company who knows the cloud.”
3. Mobile Apps Empowering the Enterprise
“When I think about mobile or mobility, I think about convenience, such as the ability for a sales person to access customer information on the go or the ability for a consumer to browse on online retail stores, learn more about a particular product and then make a purchase right from his or her smartphone. Mobile provides a way for brands to expand their reach, in this sense.” – Mike Lim
That being said, “Payment is only the final step before making the sale. To achieve this (final step), brands will use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and Web browsers to engage customers and increase sales. In developed markets, apps will lead the way, whereas in emerging markets text messages are likely to dominate initially.” Quoted text from Gartner.
“Mobile applications can also reduce paperwork and increase productivity. We had designed Medcurial, a clinic practice management application, to be used by doctors via their iPad or tablet so that when they engage with their patients, they could easily and readily input and store information. There’s no need for re-encoding of what has transpired during the patient visit. What’s more — having a mobile application shall enable doctors to effectively and more efficiently track his or her patient’s health.” – Willex Perez, Product Development Head for Medcurial
“Small businesses like QuickDeliveryPH take advantage of mobile services to get our operations streamlined and to save on costs.” – Owner of QuickDeliveryPH [shared in a mobile conference we had attended in 2012]
A question for mobile app creators / mobile app developers is: which mobile platform do I use so that my app is future-proof? Or do I build something that will run across all platforms? This is challenging in Asia Pacific, which is extremely fragmented in terms of service availability, network quality, and which has a broader range of mobile devices. And this is perhaps where HTML and PhoneGap for cross-platform mobile application development make sense.
We want to hear your thoughts, so leave us a comment!
*This post was co-developed by Mich de Castro and Macel Legaspi and may contain non-verbatim statements, based from our interviews and correspondences with the individuals cited above.