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Crossing the Big Data chasm


By Amos Ferrari, Global Strategist, HP Big Data Services


Amos-Ferrari_Badge_vertical_3.pngIn the 1990s, Geoffrey Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm became a handbook for high-tech companies marketing innovative new products. Moore proposed there was a chasm between product purchases by the early adopters of a technology (visionaries) and general acceptance by the majority of buyers. Product success depended on technology suppliers “crossing the chasm” to achieve widespread adoption and use of the technology.


Enterprises implementing new technologies encounter a similar chasm—the one between early limited deployments and the enterprise-wide offering of the new technology or service.


It’s certainly that way with Big Data.


By now, most businesses have realized the benefits of mining Big Data for business value. So most enterprises have done pilot projects or have implemented Big Data solutions for specific needs in specific businesses. When they achieve success, the next step is to make the technology and accompanying business value available to all programs and business units in the enterprise. Picture the difference between early email rollouts and corporate email as we know it today—readily available to everyone as a standard IT service.


That’s what enterprises want to do with Big Data. Early implementers of Big Data solutions—like early implementers of email services—are specialists who understand the technology and how to apply it. But deploying Big Data analytics on an enterprise-wide scale takes more than that. Enterprise-wide rollouts affect shared facilities like the datacenter and the network. You must assure security of the data. You must provide facilities for businesses to order, provision, and pay for services. And you must offer service-level agreements and support them with operations processes.


Perhaps most important, you must change the way data is thought of and managed – change it from information separated by business process or organization to data as a corporate asset available to feed an enterprise-wide Big Data framework. When you do that, you begin to reposition Big Data from a costly project to a business service that can bring value to every part of the business.


But crossing that chasm is a challenge for IT.


We at HP have been developing and are rolling out a new service designed to help IT organizations move Big Data analytics from limited deployments to an enterprise-wide service. It’s called HP Enterprise Planning for HAVEn. (Recall HAVEn stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security, and apps. It’s HP’s platform for Big Data.) As we work with you, we help you understand how your business strategy drives your IT strategy and how Big Data fits into that strategy. Then we help you architect your Big Data transformation and identify the technologies you will use to bring it to life. We show you how your existing infrastructure must evolve to support the new data flows. We help you develop an integration plan and the operations guidelines needed to make the service fit into your overall IT service offering.


HAVEn is already the number one platform for Big Data in the industry. Now we’re helping our customers use it to deliver the value of Big Data throughout the enterprise.


I’m doing a session at HP Discover 2014 in Las Vegas on Enterprise Planning for HAVEn (session TB3120: Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 in Murano 3205). I’ll provide more details about our approach and the outcomes and deliverables of each phase. We tailor the process to where you are on the Big Data journey, of course, so it’s a little different for each customer. But my HP Discover session is a good place to understand how we might help you. Come by and check it out.


I'll also take a deep look at the architecture for Big Data as a service in a blog post coming up soon. Watch this space!


Amos Ferrari is a global strategist and a certified project manager (PMI) specializing in business-to-IT alignment, IT agility, infrastructure transformation and strategic architecture for Big Data, mobility, private cloud, and unified communications and collaboration. Amos meets with senior level customers to understand their challenges and conducts workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps.


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