Beyond Big Data : Mastering Data In Motion For Positive Business Impact

Last week, more than 8,000 senior business and IT strategists, including more than 2,000 CIOs gathered at the prestigious Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida.  At the conference, I presented our vision of how Data in Motion will change the way about we collect, manage and extract value out of data.

The Internet of Everything

Over the last 20 years, the Internet has evolved from digitizing access to information and business processes to digitizing interactions.

The next phase will create connections between all the smart objects around us through a multitude of new sensors connected to the Internet.  Two examples:

  • A flexible wristband packed with motion and vibration sensors tracks and analyzes your exercise, diet, and sleep data;
  • Prototype cars sense an imminent collision with pedestrians and brake automatically if the driver doesn’t.  The systems are made possible by sophisticated sensors based on cameras, radar, and lasers.

Tomorrow will see the Internet of Things, which combined with the ability to connect people to applications will lead  to the Internet of Everything.

We are entering an era in which a vast number of sensors create extremely large quantities of data at an accelerated pace.  Much of this data has very transient value.  In fact, its value vanishes almost as quickly as it is created.  As a result, not all generated data can be or should be stored.  We call it Data in Motion.

Data in Motion – Data Volume versus Data Longevity

Each phase of the Internet has brought a new wave of data that is orders of magnitude larger than the previous phase.

Today, video is the primary propagator of volumes of data (and we still have a long way to go to see the full impact of video pan out).   As we enter the next phase, the Internet of Things , data will only continue to increase in volume at an accelerated pace.

Something fundamental is starting to change, however.

The current obsession with volumes of data and mining large databases in search for the proverbial needle in the haystack reflects a world where data has enough longevity to make historical analysis relevant.  Most of the data created today (and tomorrow) does not support historical analysis, however, because data in motion has a much shorter life-value.  Data in motion requires real-time value capture before a small portion of it is stored for archiving or later analysis.

Extracting value from data in motion is not based on analyzing stored data, and certainly not from analyzing historical data.  The value from data in motion is the ability to create applications that matter here and now, in real-time.

Retailers can use video intelligence to create augmented reality mirrors or spot customers in need and send associates to assist them.  Hospitals can use real-time location services to match doctors, nurses, patients, and equipment for greater efficiencies.  Utilities can better respond to energy demand peaks and outages by distributing intelligence at the edge of their smart grids.

Tomorrow’s Information Infrastructure – Enabling Data in Motion

Cloud and virtualization completely changed the paradigm of where applications could sit.  And we’re all connecting through a proliferation of devices in a variety of locations across various networks.

The Internet of Everything is only going to compound the current data deluge problem if not addressed properly, creating a tremendous amount of information to manage and mine.

But there’s a solution and an opportunity.

The network touches everything—and is the only place where it’s possible to build the scalable intelligence required to meet and utilize this new wave of ‘data in motion’ at an acceptable cost.

An intelligent network is the way to meet the elevated expectations associated with data in motion, to create a foundation for innovation, and to revolutionize the way we view the world.  It’s also the foundation for Cisco’s vision of how major network components and architectures interact to produce greater business value.


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