Gartner: Security and analytics among the top IoT trends

26

Feb
2016
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Gartner: Security and analytics among the top IoT trends
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown into one of the most important new trends in the IT industry, as more and more companies realise the benefits it can bring to their employee and customer experience. 

Gartner has explained some of the top trends expected to affect the rollout of the IoT in the coming years, including security, analytics, operating systems and wide-area networks. 

The organisation explained that IoT security will be required to protect devices and platforms from information attacks, while encryption will be needed in order to address challenges including denial-of-sleep attacks that are designed to drain device batteries. 

Another big issue is that many devices use simple processors and operating systems that may be vulnerable to attacks from cyber criminals as they do not have sophisticated security approaches. 

Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said: “Experienced IoT security specialists are scarce, and security solutions are currently fragmented and involve multiple vendors.

“New threats will emerge through 2021 as hackers find new ways to attack IoT devices and protocols, so long-lived "things" may need updatable hardware and software to adapt during their lifespan.”

Gartner explained that IoT business models are capitalising on the data collected by devices in several ways, including understanding customer behaviour, service delivery, product improvements and how to identify and intercept data incidents. 

However, the group believes that new tactics are necessary in order to ensure that data is safe from the hands of hackers. As data volume increases through to 2021, the needs of the IoT could change even further, causing businesses to upskill radically. 

How will wide area networks affect the IoT?

Wide area networks are another key development in the IoT market, as conventional cellular networks do not offer a sufficient combination of technical features and operational costs for IoT applications requiring wide-area coverage. 

The long-term objective for wide area IoT networks is to deliver data rates from 100s of bits per second to tens of kilobits per second with nationwide coverage. While the first low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) were developed on proprietary technologies, emerging innovations such as Narrowband IoT are set to dominate in the future. 

What will be the biggest challenges for the IoT?

The IoT is continuing to grow across the world, though there are a number of challenges for organisations to consider, includin

Mr Jones explained: “A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. 

“Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges.”

Even though ecosystems and standards are not specifically technologies, Gartner suggests that standards and APIs will be vital because IoT devices will have to interoperate and communicate effectively, especially with companies needing to rely on sharing data across devices and organisations. 

Several IoT ecosystems will emerge and commercial and technical battles between ecosystems will dominate the smart home, smart city and healthcare. As well as this, organisations may need to engineer new variants in order to support multiple standards or ecosystems and be capable of updating products as standards change. 

Gartner: Cloud email rising in popularity

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Feb
2016
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Gartner: Cloud email rising in popularity
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Cloud email is rising in popularity across the world, as 13 per cent of identified publicly listed companies worldwide utilise one or two of the main cloud email vendors. 

This is according to Gartner, which found that 8.5 per cent of public companies use cloud email from the Microsoft Office 365 service, whereas 4.7 per cent use Google Apps for Work and the remaining 87 per cent use an on-premises, hybrid, hosted or private cloud email through smaller businesses.

Among organisations using cloud email from Google and Microsoft, Microsoft is ahead in the majority of industries, especially in utilities, energy and aerospace. On the other hand, Google is ahead in industry segments where there is more competition, including software publishing, retail, media and education. 

Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner, said: “Among public companies using cloud-based email, Microsoft is more popular with larger organisations and has more than an 80 per cent share of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion (£69.6 billion).”

Mr Mann went on to say that Google’s popularity is higher among small companies and close to a 50 per cent share of businesses with revenue under $50 million. 

In some sectors, particularly travel and hospitality, professional services and consumer products, the highest usage levels are among organisations with the largest revenues. Over a third of firms in these sectors with revenue above $10 billion utilise cloud email from either Microsoft or Google. 

Nikos Drakos, a research vice president at Gartner, also commented on the development of the industry, finding that both companies have been able to gain significant traction among enterprises of varying sizes and sectors. 

With more businesses now looking to free up as much space as possible, cloud email could be set to increase in popularity in the coming years as organisations look to boost their data security and reduce the chances of information falling into the wrong hands. 

Big data delivers benefits after 18 to 24 months

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Feb
2016
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Big data delivers benefits after 18 to 24 months
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Big data delivers a significant return on investment 18 to 24 months after it is rolled out, a new study has suggested.

Research from Computing found that 38 per cent of respondents expect to see positive benefits from the technology after two years, while 27 per cent said one year and 24 per cent said three years. 

On the other hand, just five per cent of respondents said five years whereas four per cent said it would take more than five. The study also found that Apache Spark is catching up with Hadoop as the top big data platform. 

Over 500 IT workers responded to the nationwide study among businesses that have 100 or more employees from different sectors, including chief technology officers, chief information officers, chief operating officers and IT managers.

“You expect to see a shift in your underwriting results, but that's at an absolute minimum a two-year timeframe,” said one insurance manager who was interviewed as part of the study.

Big data is becoming increasingly important for modern businesses looking for a way to manage information safely and securely, as the number of devices used by companies increases. 

By using the technology, businesses are able to identify new ways of utilising information to work out sales patterns and improve the development of products. 

The technology can identify failures, issues and defects and make a big difference to the efficiency of companies, especially in the modern age when such large amounts of customer data can be assessed.

As well as this, with companies increasingly concerned with their financial security, it is more important to understand the risks involved in particular projects and make carefully considered decisions. 

Public Cloud IaaS eclipses true private cloud adoption

25

Feb
2016
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Public cloud IaaS eclipses true private cloud adoption
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Public Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) technology implementations are over three times the size of private cloud adoption in the industry, a new study has indicated. 

According to Wikibon, IT organisations are aligning themselves into a position of limited value, as many companies are aiming to introduce technology modernisation initiatives. 

The group found that the overall market size of True Private Cloud implementations is $7 billion (£5 billion), which is significantly lower than the $25 billion value of the Public Cloud market in 2015. 

By 2009-2011, more companies moved towards the hybrid cloud in order to alleviate pressure about losing control over the Public Cloud. This shift in focus led to businesses having simpler access to cloud computing resources. 

Wikibon’s report also indicated that cloud skills are in high demand at the moment, but application skills are seen as being even more important. It was found that companies are now looking to make investments in order to ensure their private cloud environments are closely linked with the public cloud. 

In the report, Wikibon explained: “The upside to the future of Private Cloud environments is the demand and compensation levels for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) skills. 

“Not only do PaaS platforms (structured or unstructured) hide some of the underlying IaaS complexity that has held back Private Cloud to-date, but it is much more focused on application-level value back to the business.”

The group explained that the cloud is delivering services in order to simplify application development, application deployments and application usage, with PaaS more appropriate to those business demands. 

The cloud has become increasingly popular in recent years as more businesses understand the limitations of offline storage and aim to improve the security of their data. 

The Human Face of Big Data documentary airs tonight on US TV

24

Feb
2016
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The Human Face of Big Data documentary airs tonight on US TV
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A popular book about big data has been turned into a documentary and is due to air on the US television channel PBS this evening (February 24th).

The Human Face of Big Data was published in 2012 to much acclaim, with its author Rick Smolan being credited with bringing the topic to a larger audience.

As a photojournalist, Smolan has followed some of the biggest leaps in technological advancement from their inception to widespread rollout in recent years.

He managed to make the topic, which essentially centres around storage and converged infrastructure, into a topic of public interest.

This was mainly achieved through his ability to bring in elements of visual stimulation to what can be a very dry area.

Smolan also touched on the fact that this technology is moving forward at a fast pace, stating: “much of what amazes us today will seem primitive and crude” in the future.

The idea that we are still in the cave man era of big data has grabbed headlines and is fascinating for those in the industry waiting to see what advancements the future will bring.

In order for the documentary to be produced, a certain amount of family collaboration has occurred, with Smolan’s brother Sandy creating the film.

Describing the process of turning his brother’s book into a documentary, the filmmaker told Silicon Angle it was the hardest project he had ever undertaken.

His approach involved “finding a schematic thread to corral all this information into a focused narrative, and give it structure”, he said.

It’s no wonder that the task was such a daunting one, as big data reaches into every aspect of modern life, from advertising to government surveillance.

The documentary will be screened at 10pm tonight.

Big data is revolutionising the marketing industry

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Feb
2016
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Big data is revolutionising the marketing industry
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Big data is becoming increasingly important to marketers, as they begin to see that it is the future of their industry. Without it, they will find themselves a step behind their competitors, which is a situation nobody wishes to end up in.

While there are many different predictions about just how important the phenomenon will be in the future, there is one that stands out from the crowd. Computer Services Corporation (CSC) has released a forecast suggesting that annual data generation will increase by 4,300 per cent by the year 2020, reports I Media Connection.

What’s more, Gartner corroborated the fact that big data is set to become vital for marketing, stating that chief marketing officers are likely to outstrip chief information officers in IT spending moving forward. This may come as a surprise to many, but is worth bearing in mind.

In the spring of 2015, Forbes Insights garnered the opinion of a number of executives and senior data figures at various firms to find out how much of a priority big data was. At the time, 21 per cent said that big data was a significant focus for their businesses; 38 per cent put it in the top five priorities; and 80 per cent said that their revenues had been upped between one and three per cent as a direct result of big data findings.

If this was the case nearly a year ago, then think how things have moved on since then. Big data is a field that is striving forward with no sign of stopping anytime soon, and those who do not take advantage of it will see themselves and their businesses being left behind.

But it shouldn’t just be large corporations that make the most of big data. Mick Hollison wrote about the potential for start-ups in an article for Inc. He said that they may also benefit “because they are being born in the era of big data and are building capabilities to leverage it into their business models”.

While no longer a tiny business, Uber is known to be using geo-spatial data along with location intelligence to aid its operations. This is leading directly to the company being able to expand globally and gain insights into the markets it’s entering into.

Companies as diverse as Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage & Acquisitions, TickPick and Ion Interactive are all making use of big data. So what makes it such an important part of the modern marketing landscape? It's big data’s ability to show what trends and patterns are happening in an industry. This, in turn, can be used to drive business strategies in the right direction, which is of course aided by marketing.

To sum it up, there is no better way of putting it than how Scott Brinker, chief technology officer at Ion Interactive, did. He said: “Big data makes it cheaper and easier to test concepts, but marketing is still about coming up with the big idea. Algorithms are great at optimization, but terrible at imagination.”

TDWI: Almost half of organisations using analytics

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Feb
2016
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TDWI: Almost half of organisations using analytics
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Nearly half (47 per cent) of organisations are now embedding analytics into operational systems, a new study has found. 

Research from The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) revealed that 30 per cent of respondents introduce predictive models into business processes within one month, while 58 per cent do it between two and nine months and 14 per cent spend longer than nine months on the process. 

Some of the challenges that businesses face when it comes to introducing and operationalising analytics include poor data quality, an absence of skilled personnel and low budgets. 

The majority of respondents focus on past incidents in their analysis, though 19 per cent of businesses are using analytics to consider what could happen in the coming years. 

How is analysis technology being used?

TDWI found that enterprises are now introducing analysis into dashboards, devices, applications and databases. Employees are using these processes to make decisions that affect profit or cost, with applications using the technology to improve how they connect with customers. 

Fern Halper, director of TDWI Research for advanced analytics and the author of the report, said: “Consumability has become a hot topic because it makes analytics available to a wider group of people than simply those who analyse data or develop models and share it with a select few. As more people use analytics output, its value increases.”

The research found that 54 per cent of enterprises are now using analytics for planning and strategy, whereas 38 per cent are planning to use analytics over the course of the next three years.  

Sales, marketing, finance and operations are the main departments where analytics is used, with respondents suggesting that growth in these fields will be especially strong. As well as this, a third of respondents believe that users in the four groups will make use of analytics in the next three years.

How will analytics grow in the coming years?

Research from Technavio found that the global BPO business analytics is set to grow at a CAGR of 37.42 per cent between 2016 and 2020.  

It was found that the business analytics BPO services is enjoying significant growth, with organisations leveraging analytics to make better decisions about their customer needs and trends in the future. 

Technavio discovered that there is a high demand for providers capable of processing structured and unstructured data and create better insights to ensure improved decision making. 

The group found that business analytics BPO services will help organisations to leverage data assets and boost their profit and loss drivers including reduced costs, increased revenues and a better return on investment (ROI). 

With more data now available for businesses, it is important for them to understand how they can properly identify consumer behaviours and tailor their customer experience to ensure increased customer loyalty

Thanks to analytics, companies can identify how their audience uses their website and check whether they are properly engaged with their brand message. 

Could more money be spent on cloud analytics?

15

Feb
2016
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Could more money be spent on cloud analytics?
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Cloud analytics has become an important technology in the IT sector as more companies now rely on it in order to address their business’ performance. 

With more professionals now relying on online storage instead of spending money on hard drive space, it is clear that the technology is being embraced by a number of industries in order to improve security.

A study from Informatica found that 68 per cent of respondents will investigate or deploy cloud analytics solutions in the next year, whereas 74 per cent are set to adopt a hybrid or cloud-only method to analytics across the next three years.

The report shows that cloud analytics adoption is mainly being driven by growing end-user requirements for better analytics, with key factors including consistency of data across systems (81 per cent), real-time data aggregation and analysis (71 per cent) and better ways of exploring data in terms of visuals (70 per cent). 

What are the key considerations for cloud analytics?

Many considerations need to be made when it comes to cloud analytics, and Informatica’s study found that the robustness of the data security framework was the most important factor to evaluate (81 per cent), followed by ease of use (78 per cent), ease of on-going administration (77 per cent), the ability to integrate on-premise and cloud data (78 per cent) and the ability to cleanse data (74 per cent). 

Ajay Gandhi, vice president of product marketing for Informative Cloud, said: “IDG’s survey shows that cloud analytics is on the fast track to becoming the new normal for enterprise analytics, supporting user requirements for enhanced functionality, flexible data access and simplicity, and IT requirements for lower costs and increased agility. 

“The survey also makes it clear that as customers move to attain these advantages, they are not going to compromise on data security. It also reveals that they want the fullest measure of flexibility and ease-of-use from their cloud analytics solutions in order to empower the growing class of users who need analytic capabilities, but who lack the specialised skills required by legacy on-premise solutions.”

How is cloud analytics being used?

Cloud analytics is being used in a number of ways, with Informatica’s research showing that organisations are being used in several ways, with 43 per cent incorporating analytics into Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and other operational applications.

Some 39 per cent analyse cloud data sources including software-as-a-service (SaaS), social and IoT (37 per cent) and hybrid data warehousing (32 per cent). 

Cloud analytics is also increasing in popularity due to the need to access both cloud and on-premise data, including the need to analyse data from on-premise applications (55 per cent), on-premise data warehouses (55 per cent), cloud data warehouses (49 per cent) and SaaS applications (44 per cent). An additional demand is the support for big data sources. 

The study highlighted that one of the key benefits of cloud analytics is lower upfront costs (60 per cent), improved agility and faster time to market (61 per cent), cost-effective scaling for larger data sets (60 per cent) and self-service options for non-technical users (51 per cent). 

Dan Vesset, Program VP, Business Analytics and Information Management at IDC, said: “With most business analytics solutions today iterative development, experimentation, and incremental roll-outs have become the norm.”

Mr Vesset explained that the agility and adaptability of the solutions is one of the biggest selling points of cloud analytics services, as they allow customers to try and buy and address any new requirements. 

Gartner: Global business intelligence and analytics market rises in value

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Feb
2016
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Gartner: Global business intelligence and analytics market rises in value
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The global business intelligence and analytics market has seen a large amount of activity in recent years, a new study has indicated. 

Research from Gartner found that global revenue in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics market is forecast to reach $16.9 billion (£11.73 billion) in 2016, representing a 5.2 per cent rise from 2015. 

The study suggested that the BI and analytics market has now reached the final stages of a multi-year transition from IT-led, system-of-record reporting to business-led, self-service analytics. 

Because of this, the modern business intelligence and analytics (BI&A) platform is set to meet new requirements for accessibility and analytical insight. This will help to improve the amount of data and detail available to businesses and improve their efficiency. 

How important is analytics to modern businesses?

Gartner believes that analytics has become an increasingly strategic technology for many businesses, turning into a central element for the majority of roles. The organisation believes that every business is now focused on analytics, with company processes and employees now closely tied to analytics. 

Ian Bertram, managing vice president at Gartner, said: “The shift to the modern BI and analytics platform has now reached a tipping point. Organisations must transition to easy-to-use, fast and agile modern BI platforms to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources.”

In order to meet the time-to-insight demanded in today’s competitive business environment, many organisations now want to democratise analytics capabilities by using self-service technology and the movement could be set to continue rising in popularity in the coming years. 

What is different in BI and analytics platforms?

However, there is one key difference between modern BI and analytics platforms and traditional, IT-centric reporting: the amount of upfront modelling required to build analytics content. Creating analytics content via IT-centric reporting includes using IT consolidating and modelling data ahead of time. 

In comparison, a modern BI&A platform accommodates the IT-enabled development of analytics content. Analytics is also now moving into more applications and has now developed to the point where appropriate and inappropriate actions can be put in place for specific industry departments. 

However, BI is where companies truly determine the full value of their data. Without the right ways of interpreting information, it can be challenging for analytics to truly inform business managers about developments in their company. 

BI is designed in order to notice business patterns and trends and allow officers to report on findings, so it is understandable why its value has risen so much in recent years. 

Where could BI&A move in the next few years?

The BI&A market has already gone through significant changes in recent years, causing businesses to reconsider how they think about data management. 

Along with the growth of BI&A, companies need to rethink how to tackle a variety of cyber threats in the industry, ranging from phishing attacks to general common sense approaches to data management. 

With important information now kept on a variety of devices, it is vital that employees are aware of the dangers that come with leaving information unprotected. Encryption should be used on all folders and different passwords must be assigned to key information. Otherwise, companies could be at risk of disclosing vital information to criminals. 

Gartner: 90% of large organisations set to hire chief data officer by 2019

29

Jan
2016
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Gartner: 90% of large organisations set to hire chief data officer by 2019
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Some 90 per cent of large organisations are expected to hire a chief data officer (CDO) by 2019, a new study has suggested.

Research from Gartner indicates that increased efforts to drive competitive advantage and better efficiency through improved information assets is expected to result in a rise in the number of CDOs by the end of 2019.

These personnel are expected to face a number of challenges, with the organisation predicting that just 50 per cent will be successful by the end of 2019. A particular difficulty is that the role will be new in most organisations and many new CDOs will be developing their skills on the job.

They will also face the difficult task of creating an information strategy with appropriate metrics that connect their team’s activities to measurable business outcomes.

Mario Faria, research vice president at Gartner, said: "Business leaders are starting to grasp the huge potential of digital business, and demanding a better return on their organisations' information assets and use of analytics.

"It's a logical step to create an executive position – the CDO – to handle the many opportunities and responsibilities that arise from industrial-scale collection and harnessing of data."

Many CDOs already report high levels of change resistance, especially from IT departments regarding the control of information assets and how they are governed.

On the other hand, successful CDOs are working closely with chief information officers (CIO) to persuade professionals to adopt the new ways of working.

Mr Faria explained that it is important that companies account for the soft skills required in CDO roles, as their success in the position will be dictated by how they can gain the support of business leaders. 

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