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Unlocking the full value of big data with cloud computing

Jul 30, 2013
Originally published in CBR Online (cbronline.com)

Today's IT leaders have to balance the often-competing demands of delivering greater flexibility, availability and responsiveness to change, with the need to manage costs. To that end, trends and technologies such as cloud computing and understanding the value of big data are becoming more prevalent.

Although the cloud continues to be a major buzzword in the IT industry, big data is closely followed behind. The prospect of accumulating, mining and using vast quantities of information to make better decisions, improve customer service and gain an advantage over rival firms is a big driver for businesses, of all sizes, to implement a big data strategy. With IDC forecasting the big data market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 31 per cent by 2016, it is important that businesses understand that to unlock the true potential of big data, they need to implement a cloud strategy first.

So how does a cloud strategy and big data work together? First of all, new computing models are increasingly being seen as the key to big data infrastructure. Cloud computing can provide organisations with new platforms to manage the rapidly growing sets of data and support the compute power to process it all into tangible and insightful information. The cloud has the ability to add great value to how we store data, with Gartner predicting a third of all content to be in the cloud in just four years. Without access to cloud computing, analysis of data would only be a dream for most organisations, as the high computing power systems are extremely expensive to run. Cloud computing together with big data creates powerful value and insight that helps businesses innovate. This symbiotic approach to big data and the cloud is one recipe that will ensure companies can build momentum in their space and stay ahead of their competitors.

Big data has become a major driver of IT spending and pushing organisations to realise the business benefits of cloud. Companies that harness the intelligence of big data and act on it accordingly can expect to gain a significant competitive edge. It is also provides organisations with the information that could potentially drive innovation and better ways of working. Similarly failing to act on this information can lead to missed opportunities.

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