It's an inescapable fact that with more business and consumer activities than ever taking place via digital channels, this year will see a huge increase in the amount of information that will be available to companies.
Therefore, what will separate the best-performing enterprises from their competitors will be how they harness this and convert raw data into useful insights that can guide decision-making and better serve customers.
Having the right big data analytics tools will play a key role in this – and one technology that's expecting to be central to the most effective deployment is in-memory computing.
In today's environment, where real-time and predictive analytics will be central to many big data projects, the need for fast results will be paramount – and this is where in-memory computing has a strong advantage over traditional data processing, which has to load data on to disks before information can be analysed. But as in-memory can conduct operations on RAM, it offers significant speeds advantage that can deliver results in a fraction of the time of traditional analytics platforms.
It was noted by Mathias Golombek, chief technology officer at Exasol, in an article for Data Center journal that in-memory has now become an accepted technology in the enterprise space, with more IT executives now viewing it as a crucial part of their highly-complex data management ecosystems.
"The need for high-performance in-memory layers on top of data silos will accelerate significantly in 2015, providing a critical role in extending the life of these older siloed systems before their eventual decommissioning and redeployment in the cloud," he wrote.
Mr Golombek also noted that demands for specialised, dedicated appliances that can provide performance, scalability and enterprise-ready capabilities will be accelerated by the availability of more business applications that are able to take advantage of insights gained from big data analytics.
Among the factors that may attract businesses to in-memory is falling prices for the necessary hardware, which have brought the technology within reach of more businesses than ever before.
With this no longer a barrier, firms can focus on other challenges. For instance, Mr Golombek observed that in the past, many businesses have held back from exploring in-memory solutions because of the confusion over the terminology and offerings surrounding the technology.
But as recognition of the importance of in-memory computing grows, the pressure to stay competitive will mean businesses need to tackle these challenges.
As a result of these demands, companies will increasingly find themselves looking to establish partnerships with a new guard of technology companies and providers. These firms can offer the expert advice and guidance enterprises need to fully embrace the new era of big data and achieve a step-change in their competitiveness.