Some of the best Big Data and sensor uses come from the manufacturing and logistics world. But while supply chains and manufacturing floors can generate plenty of important business data, those functions aren’t always the best equipped to use that data.
Operations, supply chains and manufacturing are due for a technology overhaul, according to IDC Manufacturing Insights and other analysts who research these B2B functions.
The problem: Supply chain technologies and processes lag behind the highly digital world of the business side.
Before we embrace a new year, I want to share my personal picks for the best data success stories from 2013:
Feds Stop $47 Billion in Fraud, Overpayment. We often think in terms of technology solutions. For example, we ask “How much can master data management save this company?” or “Will Big Data projects pay off?” Sometimes, you can define savings by the project, but often the best results come when you combine multiple data technologies. Together, they add up to better information management and analysis.
With the New Year comes added awareness of the hazards social media can present to corporations, the risks of data exchange between business systems and other challenges inherent with technology. Here is a look at the top trends of last year and predictions for the year ahead.
2013 Key Trends
1. Growing Convergence between IT, Security and the Business
Evolving risk challenges require that internal and external stakeholders are on the same risk page. For many organizations, however, internal audit, security, compliance and the business have different views of risk and what it takes to build a risk-aware and resilient business. Effective risk management starts with good communications. This includes a common taxonomy for dealing with risk, and a collaborative discussion framework to facilitate the cross-functional sharing of ideas and best practices.
If 2013 was the year that most organizations discovered what Big Data platforms such as Hadoop were all about, then the coming year will be the one in which they discover the applications that turn all that data into something of business value.
Brett Sheppard, director of Big Data marketing for Splunk, says that in terms of Big Data, 2013 was pretty much defined by investments in plumbing. Organizations largely experimented with Big Data platforms only to discover that the cost of acquiring the platform was nothing compared to the cost of the expertise required to actually develop an application that could make sense of all that data.
Just ask anybody—2014 is going to be an even bigger year for Big Data.
“In 2014, we will see Big Data funding only grow, and at least one significant IPO possibly from a player like Cloudera,” writes Concurrent CEO Gary Nakamura.
Inhi Suh, IBM vice president of Big Data, integration, and governance, told Information Week that she foresees more organizational spending on Big Data as companies invest in a wider range of analytics, such as reporting, dashboards and planning, predictive analytics, recommendations and new cognitive capabilities.
Network World — There's a trend underway in the information security field to shift from a prevention mentality -- in which organizations try to make the perimeter impenetrable and avoid breaches -- to a focus on rapid detection, where they can quickly identify and mitigate threats.
Some vendors are already addressing this shift, and some security executives say it's the best way to approach security in today's environment. But there are potential pitfalls with putting too much emphasis on detection if it means cutting back on prevention efforts and resources.
Clearly, rapid detection is gaining traction. Research firm IDC has designated a new category for products that can detect stealthy malware-based attacks designed for cyber-espionage ("Specialized Threat Analysis and Protection") and expects the market to grow from about $200 million worldwide in 2012 to $1.17 billion by 2017.
There are different ways of looking at IT security involving end-user equipment such as PCs and mobile computing devices. One is to batten down the hatches at a corporate level, repel all viral boarders and let end-users fend for themselves. Another is to extend security to all end-user devices and take responsibility for maintaining data integrity and confidentiality from beginning to end. Whether or not your organisation has a choice in the matter may come down to the nature of your business. How then will you know which approach you should consider?
CIO — In our 13 years of conducting our annual State of the CIO survey, we've never seen anything quite like this year's results. Our profession has become a house divided, with traditional service-provider CIOs on one side and business-focused, digital-strategist CIOs on the other.
"As we plow through this period of digital disruption, where established rules for competing may no longer apply, some CIOs now question what they want for themselves," Managing Editor Kim S. Nash writes in our cover story ("State of the CIO 2014: The Great Schism"). "The profession is changing fast in an atmosphere where colleagues sometimes look upon a traditional IT group as a hindrance to corporate success."
What words spring to mind to describe the business world today – remote control, automation, speed, renewal? These concepts can all help with business continuity and competitiveness, but so can their ‘yesteryear’ counterparts. Although new technology lets organisations improve different areas of operations, it doesn’t mean that it is a panacea to be applied universally and indiscriminately. Face to face work styles, manual procedures, and re-use of old systems all still have a role to play. Here’s a quick tour of three pre-Internet methods that enterprises and their managers could continue to keep in mind.
Virtual Teams Still Need Face to Face Time
Despite the solutions available for remote working, such as video conferencing, collaboration software and even social networks, nothing replaces face to face interactions. The wealth of information in body language alone makes the difference between the two modes. Management by walking around may have given up ground in the shift to virtual team working, but it hasn’t gone away.
What good is history if we refuse to learn from it? Taking a few minutes to look back on crisis communications in 2013, I first wondered if there were any really big things that happened. I mean we didn’t have a Gulf Spill, we didn’t have a tsunami-radiation disaster, we didn’t even have a superstorm–unless you were in the Philippines. Then I saw the Bloomberg list of the top 10 reputation crises of 2013 and had to agree it was indeed a scandalous year.
And there’s my first observation: when high-flying careers (like Paula Deen), impeccable business leaders (like Jamie Dimon) and the world’s most powerful government legislative body (US Congress) have reputation crises at the level we have seen this year, and it doesn’t even seem like any major disasters happened, well, you kind of have to wonder what is going on.