Big data equals big opportunity. This is the central message to emerge from the IT News Africa Innovation Dinner, South Africa.
ICT and telecommunication industry executives converged on Sandton on 30 May to discuss the implications of a truly networked society, driven by the need to organise data and capitalise on the commercial opportunities that lie in the proliferation of connected devices and systems.
In today’s market the ability to tap into unstructured data and leverage off Big Data analytics separates leaders from the followers.
The forecast has been made that there would be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and the opportunity is now for people to change business models and exploit the real-time, constant connectivity between these devices and systems.
Presenters agreed that the importance of data has enforced the need to change business models as Big Data has implications for all areas of society. This includes retail, commerce and health.
The point was made that as data and data systems continued to correlate, there would most definitely be a change in the way consumers interact with businesses. Today, the technology exists to help consumers control and regulate the progress of interaction with retailers and services.
According to HP today the Í’ in Information Technology is driving change. “People are now using one terabyte flash drives. A statistic, albeit a year old, is that users are loading thirty five hours of video to youtube every minute. This is about content creation. Big Data is being accessed and controlled through tablet PCs, smartphones and a range of mobile solutions. But there is no point in having all this information and not being able to tap into it,” said David McMurdo, RSA ESSN Country Manager at HP.
Issues surrounding Big Data include governance, what data is being collected, where it is stored and what is being done with it. The reality of security, confidentiality and management of personal information is something that still requires further discussion and understanding.