Analysis

Businesses urged to tool up for big data

Andrew Calthorpe, CEO, Condo Protego

Middle East businesses have been urged to tool up in order to harness big data, gaining value from their exponentially growing datasets.

Andrew Calthorpe, CEO, Condo Protego, said that the ability to do this is becoming “a must”, and that only a meticulously planned IT architecture can provide the value that businesses need.

“Whether it is mining social media sentiment, drawing on machine sensor readings to operate in a more sustainable fashion, forensic search engine to prompt business decisions – or all of the above – the ability to harness and tap into the power of big data is become a must,” Calthorpe said.

“However, no value can be gleaned without a meticulously planned, cutting-edge IT architecture that can collate and store enormous amounts of unstructured, file-based data. Big data demands scalability and efficiency, and business leaders in the region need to radically rethink their approach to storage if they are to cope and derive true value.”

Condo Protego is a Middle East-based data storage solutions provider.

According to IDC’s 2012 Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020. This amount exceeds previous forecasts by 5 ZB, meaning 50-fold growth from 2010.

The study said that investment in IT hardware, software, services, telecommunications and staff will grow by 40 percent per year between 2012 and 2020 to cope with this.

However, areas such as storage management, security, big data and cloud computing will see much faster growth, IDC said.

According to IDC, the global big data market will grow by 40 percent this year – around seven times as quickly as the rest of the IT industry.

Most of that cost will come from infrastructure-investment-calibre storage projects, which will drive spending growth rates in the storage markets above 61 percent by 2015, IDC said.

These enormous swathes of data put enormous strain on existing infrastructures, experts say. But, they add, if businesses tool up properly to harness big data, they can gain levels of insight that were never before thought possible.

“While shared, virtualised environments are putting tremendous pressure on storage systems, big data, big data is undoubtedly an extraordinary opportunity for businesses and organisations of every stripe in the Middle East and Africa to achieve levels of insight that were previously unheard of,” said Said Akar, District Manager South Gulf, EMC.

“This is empowerment on a massive scale, and it will enable countless operational improvements and innovations. Exciting times lie in wait, and to make the most of it, we need to achieve a new architecture that is able to both gather data and ready it for the powerful new analysis and visualisation tools that are changing the way we make decisions.”

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