Don't wait to act on big data

Joseph Waring
CommunicAsia Show Daily

Businesses need to think differently about big data and have a whole new set of tools to harness insight.

EMC Southeast Asia president Tom Zack asked in his keynote yesterday at the CommunicAsia Summit: What are the risks of waiting to act on big data?”

Like Tesla, disruptive forces are impacting almost every industry, he said. Car makers sat around and waited for someone else to do something first, and many are now trying to use regulation to block Telsa.  Similar disruption is happing in taxi markets around the world with Uber.

“There are powerful shifts that are impacting leading business.” He noted that it’s not just high-tech industries like electric cars that are being disrupted. It’s happening with mature industries like air conditioning with NES.

“Don’t think your business is protected...otherwise you’ll go away of the dodo.”

He insisted that businesses have to redefine what it means to deliver services to their customers. The new point of interfacing with businesses is essentially the mobile device. But the growth driver of data is not just mobile, it’s the move to the cloud and figuring out how to better leverage the infrastructure.

The IT industry, he said, has spent 20 years trying to get people connected to the internet. “Now the digital universe is essentially saturated in terms of people, but is transforming around the idea of the internet of things.”

This digital universe is forecast to reach 4.4 zettabyes this year. In just six years it will expand tenfold to 44 zettabytes.

To put that in perspective, EMC sold its first zettabyte of storage in 2010. The next year it had its first zettabyte quarter, and in 2013 had its first zettabyte month.

What does this growth in data mean to IT professionals?

There are an estimated 28 million IT professionals around the world now. Over the next six years, with data increasing tenfold, the number of new people in the industry is expected to grow by only eight million, so the workloads will jump sharply and they will have to manage five times more information than they do now, he said.

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