DCN June 2016 - Page 20

Big Data & IoT SAY NO TO SILO Ricky Cooper of Digital Realty explains why, when it comes to the Internet of Things, no piece of data should be siloed. I nternet of Things (IoT) adoption among businesses will rise by almost half (43 per cent) this year according to the latest survey by Gartner. The firm believes there is now near universal acceptance of the importance of the IoT in a business environment. Yet, whilst businesses see the value in implementing this technology, most have yet to establish how they will manage all the data or reap the full gains available from it. 20 To my mind it’s clear that the value of the IoT is all in the data generated. But, when you think about it, the mere act of aggregating data from the IoT doesn’t actually provide any real business benefit. Nothing more than a collection of ones and zeros, data by itself can do nothing more than sit in electronic isolation. This situation only changes once that data is put to work. The question businesses need to consider when adopting the IoT is: how will they transform data from individual pieces to business value to demonstrate return on investment (ROI)?  Concisely, when data from the IoT can be immediately and efficiently accessed by software applications, it becomes a powerful resource. Combine it with data from other sources, however, and this power can be increased exponentially. That string of ones and zeros can now help businesses innovate and grow. From analytics used to improve decision making to customer personalisation to improve retention, the impact of data based capabilities on businesses is profound when data comes together. The bottom line? No piece of data should be siloed. The new age of data centres The process of transforming data generated by the IoT from bits into business value happens in a range of ways. From a hardware perspective, ultra connected and agile ‘digital’ data centres are the underlying foundation that supports this innovation. The new age of data centres provide secure storage and allow data to be immediately accessed across an organisation as and when it’s required. From a software perspective, the transformation occurs through the use of database optimisation and analytical tools. The data aggregated from the IoT can seem overwhelming. But correlations and patterns can be found within data that drive business activity and improve decision making. As our ability to put data to work becomes ever more sophisticated, the potential for positive business impact is vast, across every industry. Interestingly, the Gartner research revealed a marked shift in focus toward customer facing goals. The focus on improving customer experience from the IoT nearly doubled from 18 to 34 per cent for 2016. If the IoT is set to be a