Daniel-Zoe JimenezAssociate Director, Digital Transformation, IDC
Another day, another 2.5 exabytes of data created on the Internet. Wait, what? The amount of data generated through digital transformation (DX) fueled by the confluence of mobile, social media, cloud, the Internet of Things (IOT), and big data analytics (BDA) is staggering.
But beyond this number, the effect of transformation in connecting an ever growing number of people, and embedding deep and merging links across businesses, governments, and consumers, is already being felt across society. But what does it mean for the organization?
DX is an incredible opportunity for business, creating opportunities to strengthen relationships with customers, flatten organizational structures, and redefine traditional industries. In this environment, business leaders are challenged to move their enterprises to the next level, employing digital technologies coupled with organizational, operational, and business model innovation to create new ways of operating and growing their company.
Crucial to this opportunity will be the organization’s ability to leverage this explosion of data to transform key business processes, driving competitive advantage, growing revenue, and ultimately increasing market share.
The opportunity is huge. Organizations that analyze all relevant data and deliver actionable information will achieve an extra $430 billion in productivity gains over their less analytically oriented peers by 2020.
Beyond basic benefits related to lower operational costs as streamlined data-driven processes reduce redundancies and increase efficiency, productivity gains around leveraging IoT and BDA across the enterprise include creating smarter workflows as well as implementing leading-edge data visualization tools.
However, at the root of all of this business process change is the device, which connects, disseminates, and integrates data across the organization and provides the lifeblood for actionable decision making and enterprise agility. Unsurprisingly, IOT continues to command great mindshare among IT executives as a strategic imperative to drive growth, improve productivity, or maintain costs, but with a noticeable shift in focus over the last 12 months. Today, demand is centered on proving the value of IoT, the ancillary platforms required to support deployments, and the security requirements needed for these new edge devices. Paramount to this focus is a strategy that ensures that workers have access to the latest analytical tools to maximize ROI from IoT, and companies create clear end-of-use device strategies.
As such, properly aligning IT architectures with operational technologies (OT) is a critical step needed in this evolutionary change.
By 2018, 60% of Global 1000 companies will integrate IT and OT at the technology, process, security, and organization levels to fully realize the value of their IoT investments.
Of course, OT varies depending on the industry, but across verticals we are witnessing the proliferation of software and sensors in the organization’s physical infrastructure, converging into integrated cyber-physical systems capable of autonomously exchanging information, triggering actions, and controlling each other independently.
For the organization, the proliferation of these devices will necessarily lead to an explosion of data, which will need to be managed optimally in order to positively drive business outcomes.
In response, by 2019, 45% of IoT-created data will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to, or at the edge of, the network.
IoT generated data will either be processed at the enterprise datacenter or processed close to, or at the edge of, the network based on data and content rules and service levels, with a strong security overlay to protect these devices at the edge. However, the sheer amount of data generated at the edge of the network infrastructure will demand that the business process query be delivered to the data rather than bringing the data to the enterprise datacenter.
IoT processing at the edge will drive innovation in analytics, systems, and services management, ultimately increasing IT productivity and creating an interconnected, informed, interactive, intrusive, intelligent, and cognitive ecosystem.
The proper integration of IoT and BDA into the organization’s business processes is, either for the automated system or the physical end-user, at its core a demand for greater self-service.
Through 2015, self-service in the context of IoT and BDA has mostly been associated with visual discovery. However, latest trends show that self-service analytics must exist within an overall framework of self-service data acquisition and preparation. Leading to the point that, through 2020, spending on self-service visual discovery and data preparation market will grow 2.5 times faster than traditional IT-controlled tools for similar functionality.
Self-service analytics and data discovery tools are moving analytic capabilities into the hands of business users. This is fundamentally changing how organizations interact with data, how they develop new hypothesis and scenarios, and how they react to changes in the market. This driver is beginning to affect not only the “last mile” data visualization and exploration software but also the data acquisition and preparation steps of the full analytics life cycle.
So, where is your organization in this business process revolution? Companies need to think of IoT and BDA in terms of the business value that they can generate, but there are multiple ways to achieve the results. Besides an internal IoT driven integration strategy, the enterprise can also look to implement third-party business process transformation solutions that utilize IoT and BDA to achieve clear business results. Regardless of whether the solution is internally driven or externally sourced, the focus should ultimately remain centered on a self-service oriented solution, which is both cognitive and reactive to end-user demands.