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The Upcoming Data Explosion and Its Impact on Your Future Success as a CIO

Author: Adrian Velez, HP Enterprise Group – Content Strategist


It’s no secret that the amount of data is continually increasing. For CIOs, this is both a danger and an opportunity.


Consider: By one estimate, the global volume of data will increase 44-fold from 2009 to 2020.1 Mobile networks will experience a 33X jump in traffic during that time.  The danger is that the flood of information will become too unwieldy. The opportunity is that hidden in the data are nuggets of information that can transform a business. For example, back in 2004, Walmart used big data to analyze buying patterns before a hurricane. Some items that sold – like flashlights-- were obvious. One, however, was not: Pop-Tarts. This is the kind of information that can make businesses more reactive and smarter.2SUP.png


Some 75% of digital enterprises in showcased in an HP best practice said they leverage big data throughout their organizations.3SUP.png Those are firms that adopt and exploit digital technology to produce real business outcomes.


To keep up with the tide, today’s CIOs need to continually challenge themselves to flow data, manage data and analyze data better than they have before. As a recent McKinsey report4 states, “CIOs must reimagine their role, seeing themselves – and encouraging others to see them – as chief executives of an information business.”


Accessing such data quickly is a challenge for most legacy data systems. “As the need has arisen to integrate social media data with the traditional transactional and warehouse data, information literally pours into the organization—often, ending up in a ‘Big Data lake’ built with Hadoop,” says Balaji Subramaniam Venkatesan, HP Technology Services. “Although this data provides valuable insights, organizations are realizing that the faster the processing can be done, the more powerful it can be. Thus, Big Data solutions often call for additional compute and storage capacity as well as increased bandwidth requirements.”


In the past, computing power was akin to horsepower. That is, faster processors and greater memory helped handle ever-growing workloads. The new watchword is agility. A key example is flexing – adjusting to peak demands that could be up to 100 times the normal run rate. Flexing in turn relies on a business-aware resource allocator. Ideally, an IT system would determine where a heavy burden is being placed on the system. For instance, an ecommerce firm should be aware that Cyber Monday is likely to be a drain on its consumer-facing apps. 

That’s why when making IT buying decisions, it’s important to ensure the technology uses intelligent analysis to know where the problems lie. This way, automation can be employed. 

A business-aware resource allocator can anticipate a business application’s request for more (or fewer) resources. Such intelligence can also formulate a process based on patterns of usage that will ensure that an IT system can’t become overloaded. 

Another component to handling the strain of a data overload is self-healing systems. In the current model, faults in the system are detected by people. With a self-healing system, glitches are caught by independent monitors and self-management modules baked into the software. This innovation can limit potential downtime and saves the IT department’s valuable time.

For IT departments, the adoption of flexing and self-healing systems is being driven by competition from cloud services. As Jan De Clercq, Senior Architect with Hewlett-Packard, recently noted, “IT departments are being seen as expensive and slow--so that’s why a lot of business players go directly to commercial cloud offerings and they kind of bypass the IT departments,” he said. “As a result the IT departments really need to focus on agility.” 

On the other hand, the cloud’s efficiency may itself become a casualty of this data explosion. As Jim McGregor, founder of Tirias Research and former chief technology strategist for In-Stat, notes, “If you have to pass masses of data between two process steps, one in the data center and the other in the cloud, the theoretical advantage of cloud may be eroded.”5SUP.png

Either way, savvy IT departments are girding for the data explosion in two ways – by anticipating the demands on their systems and looking ahead to the bounty of information as a potential boon to their businesses.


Is your organization creating a data-driven enterprise? Are you aligning the needs of the business with what your infrastructure can support? Have the analytics projects you’ve initiated so far been one-off or point-in-time exercises, or is your goal to make analytics part of the company’s DNA? HP’s Best Practices: How the right infrastructure empowers Big Data provides insights on what industry leaders are doing to address these issues.


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


[1]Gantz, John and Reinsel, David. "The Digital Universe Decade – Are You Ready?" IDC – iView. Sponsored by EMC Corporation, May 2010. 

[2]SUP.png"A Different Game." The Economist. Feb. 5, 2010. 

[3]SUP.pngHP Best Practices: How the right infrastructure empowers Big Data

[4]SUP.pngAkella, Janaki, Sam Marwaha, and Johnson Sikes. "How CIOs Can Lead Their Company's Information Business." How CIOs Can Lead Their Company's Information Business. McKinsey & Company, May 2014. 

[5]SUP.pngEnterprise 20/20 E-book. Volume 1: CIO 20/20. HP.


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