The View of Simon Porter on Hybrid Cloud and the IoT

Many of the companies I meet and work with have invested a huge amount of time and money ensuring their businesses are at the top of their game in terms of IT provision and are best placed to take advantage of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and analytics technologies that allows them to take advantage of the continuing onslaught of raw data which many companies now consider as the new natural resource of business.

Data is not just collected by traditional computers but also by many front office devices such as train wheels, aero engines, and even elevators.  This data analysis market is set to become an $11 trillion dollar industry by 2025 according to McKinsey. Much of that revenue will be generated by the tools used in analysing the data and building the hardware infrastructure that can cope with such large volumes of data.

To cope with these new challenges, technologies and markets have started to emerge to address new requirements in areas such as prescriptive analytics. In addition Artificial Intelligence technologies such as IBM Watson to spot keys, patterns and trends and present these in manageable and contextually intelligent ways that give users the ability to make better informed decisions. As these analytics are refined (Watson was born from a chess playing computer and now helps doctors diagnose cancers) they continue to become more widely available to broader market sectors on a Pay as You Go basis.

Algorithm markets will emerge for many data sources in just the same way that companies offer these services to financial trading platforms and derivatives markets today. A good example where large sets of raw data is collected and then routinely presented for a fee outside finance is weather data. These “as a service” solutions are likely to be cloud only “pay for information“ products.

However, despite all this positive progress, Gartner predicts that with this rapid expansion of stored data, privacy breaches will continue to increase and 50% of these will be down to data violations of some description.

Security aside, exploitation of IoT and Big Data for competitive advantage is happening now. Taking full advantage of the power it brings needs computing that is usually well beyond the means of many enterprises let alone SME’s that make up a vast majority of UK PLC’s income. This is where Hybrid Cloud computing can complement an existing IT infrastructure allowing these businesses to exploit this valuable resource.

Flexibility and speed are two of the key deliverables required to be successful when capitalising on the vast amount of information flowing around IOT applications. Just like the innovation financial institutions have gone through to ensure that financial information reaches them in milliseconds and that decision software to sell or buy shares make hundreds of thousands of decisions every day without human intervention. Other markets are going to be able to build systems that react in the same timeframe as the financial trading industry. The cost of building these in a silo is going to be financially prohibitive.

Adopting Hybrid Clouds is the smart solution. It uses companies that have invested in the hardware and software technologies to be able to connect at these millisecond speeds to public and private clouds and provision these “as a service” solutions along with large amounts of compute and storage to service the capture of data, forwarding  the relevant data, in some cases already analysed to existing systems where this real time data can help drive competitive positioning, customer satisfaction or regulatory/safety decision making.

Part of the perceived barrier to adoption is that many organisations which have invested in their own IT infrastructure feel that the they don’t have a route to use the more powerful  hardware technology that is emerging such as IBM Power 8 servers. This range has been specifically designed to cope with large data analytics volumes and big data base deployments with many more cores and threads than is available from leading Intel equivalents. Because of its compute flexibility and inherently designed security, it makes for a very powerful IoT processing engine.

This barrier is a misconception and it has never been easier to work with MSP’s that offer hybrid services which can take on board a business’s need to maintain an on premise IT environment while providing the interface with dedicated, multi-tenant or public scalable “as a service” capabilities that  are the prerequisite to any extensive use of big data and to accomodate the IoT. This workload shift is changing the way that businesses large and small view the way they access and consume IT.

An added advantage that addresses the security question posed earlier is that these specialist providers understand data security and data providence better than most organisations having to deal with sensitive data from a range of clients in their operations on a daily basis. They adopt data security measures far beyond that of most organisations, which means the data collected and the IP derived from it is in safe hands.

Whatever business sector you operate in, the use of real time, raw data that needs to be analysed to extract the business critical data that will drive informed decision making is coming - the question is are you ready and do you have an appropriate IT partner to deliver these services to you?

Come and speak to Vissensa to understand how on a monthly model we can help you take advantage of critical information and uptime from services ranging from Cloud, Data Centre Colocation and Managed IT.

Contact us on 01252 216 561 or email us at sales@vissensa.com

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