Do digital business, big data and the Internet of Things play well together?

Senior Product Marketing Manager, IBM

Two years ago, everything was big data—nothing else mattered. And big data was and today still is the foundation for a successful business analytics strategy. Without data, you have no analytics. But with big data, you have the potential for great analytics. Why? Because big data is all types of data.

There are, of course, the many Vs of big data—and we’ll talk about them in an upcoming blog. Having access to many different types of data and technologies, such as predictive, prescriptive, cognitive and investigative analytics, enables us to discover new relationships and correlations that bring together broader and deeper insights, potentially resulting in—yep, you guessed it—smarter outcomes in terms of risks, costs and growth. me, “big data” has always been a transitional term to get each person to think beyond a siloed view of data. So let's just call it data, understanding that we’ve been re-educated on the whole concept.

Then there’s the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s an interconnected world in which more and more devices are embedded, increasingly mobile and smarter with each evolution, and in which they are all communicating with each other. Though many people focus on the devices themselves, including how they function, how they perform and how they look, I’m more interested in the data such devices are consuming and generating.

All this data, again, provides for richer analytics while also adding new dimensions to analytics. The smartphone, for example, adds time sensitivity and geographic location, driving analytics nearer to real time and influencing customers in that all-important “mobile moment.” We have become very impatient these days, expecting immediate response through our smartphones. So let’s just pause to think about it for a moment: devices having their own purpose in life, as it were, communicating, reacting with other devices, learning how best to act given a base set of rules—and, we hope, improving the lives of their even more complex carbon-based hosts, humans.

Now on to the digital business, which I think of as the intertwined interdependencies between humankind and technology. The lines between the physical and digital worlds are becoming increasingly blurred. Somehow organizations must take control of this proliferation of information lest opportunity turn into chaos and potential unseen threats be realized. Gartner, seemingly the thought leader in this area, indicates that a digital business needs the ability to spot and exploit opportunities that might last a few fleeting seconds before disappearing.

Stepping back in the real world, now as IT architects, we must consider what kind of infrastructure an organization must have to support such a concept of a digital business. How can it deliver insights closer and closer to real time without missing a beat, all while ensuring that the right controls are in place?

I have a great many thoughts on this as well—too many for this short post. But I’ll sum things up now by saying that digital business, big data and the Internet of Things play together very well indeed. To find out more, download the on demand webcast "Becoming an Enterprise Digital business - A perspective from featured Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg" to learn from thought leaders what all this means for you and your business.