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Big Data vs. Resource Scarcity


Author: Adrian Velez, HP Enterprise Group – Content Strategist


 “Efficiency,” Peter Drucker once said. “Is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.”


As we enter the middle of this century’s second decade, Drucker’s words take on new meaning. We are living in a world in which the population will be closing in on 8 billion by 2020 and natural resources including water, arable land and precious metals will be in increasingly short supply.


For CIOs, this is both a challenge and an opportunity. The lack of resources – natural and otherwise – will force IT departments to emphasize efficiency over brute strength. The new style of IT demands a smarter approach to allocating resources.


Many industries that may not have been considered digital leaders are adopting this approach by necessity. In utilities, solid-state technology will help direct-current circuitry run safer and require less maintenance. Sensors can cull data to produce algorithms that will encourage consumers to in effect exercise self-imposed load-shedding and use power more during low-demand times and ease back during peak usage periods. 


Big data can also be applied to fields as diverse as agriculture and resource extraction. Even workers on the front lines in professions like construction and oil rigging could be outfitted with wearable technology that will help them do their jobs more efficiently.


A strict accounting of energy production and use could eliminate waste and cut down on pollution. Smart meters that are connected to the Internet manage energy consumption at home using algorithms.


This rosy picture depends in a large part on IT departments running as efficiently as the industries they aim to help. This depends on the use of automation. As Jordan Whitmarsh, Worldwide Mobility and Workplace Strategist for HP Technology Services Consulting said recently, the new style of IT relies on a software defined infrastructure that is moving towards automated, orchestrated technology. “Then you don’t have to have your people, who are very valuable and very talented, tied up in constantly changing and augmenting the infrastructure that’s underneath it.”


That’s not easy. Whitmarsh acknowledges that there’s a huge amount of risk in moving away from the traditional networking environment, but “the benefits are massive.” Municipalities around the world are heeding the call. In 2012, they put an estimated $310 billion to $360 billion behind energy efficient measures1 – a figure that dwarfs the budget for renewable energy. It’s no wonder that efficiency is often called “the fifth fuel” after nuclear, coal, gas and renewable sources.


Though benefits for society are obvious, moving away from the traditional methods of using and consuming resources can be painful.  The goal is laudable, though. Whether the idea is to be effective or efficient, in a world of finite resources, both are the right approach.IT should be leveraged as a tool to effectively influence the business to meet its goals – introducing not just technology, but the processes and workflows that enable growth, improve profitability, increase agility, boost productivity, improve the customer experience, increase innovation and reduce risk.


Your IT infrastructure should play a pivotal role in delivering the responsive services and positive experiences employees and customers demand today—serving as a bridge to a New Style of IT that integrates cloud, mobility, big data, and security. Read Best Practices: How IT megatrends impact infrastructure transformation and discover how to quickly, affordably, and securely deliver IT at a pace that keeps you ahead of the competition.


Bookmark HP Infrastructure Insights to get the latest updates on HP and the New Style of IT.


[1]Invisible fuel: The biggest innovation in energy to go without, The Economist, January 17, 2015


Best Practices: How IT megatrends impact infrastructure transformation

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