BY VICTOR ADAR
Digital means a lot of things to a lot of people. To those who are technology inclined it means, ‘connecting devices and making sense of it’. But you don’t have to be tech savvy to survive in an era where data is a vital business asset. Big data is becoming a source of competition, it is the key driving force.
A flash discs, for example, may get lost, hard drive may crash, remote hacking or a virus could instantly bring business to a standstill. Of course data is precious and a solution that offers solutions such as back up, data protection, archive and long time retention is a good thing. As businesses get into the fourth industrial revolution, data is becoming an increasingly valuable currency for businesses; and Dell Technologies is investing in data management systems through multi-cloud services, a move that will ensure businesses transact in a secure, reliable and convenient ecosystem. Through multi cloud technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), the high tech firm aims at providing enterprises with enhanced solutions as Kenya gets into the digital transformation age.
“These technologies share a common thread: each of them is fuelled by data. And as we continue to embrace the growing digital economy, the true value of data as currency will become increasingly clear,” says Habib Mahakian, vice president of Dell Technologies.
Mr Mahakian says that human-machine partnership is here to stay and that business that is currently embracing robots is experiencing increased efficiency and effective delivery. He is behind a company that is banking on big data analysis trying to demystify what 4th revolution really means for economy.To him, it is all of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware – Dell has combined its innovation in one family of businesses, each acting independently, but working closely, a move that he believes will take innovation to higher heights.
“This is a unique structure that allows us to innovate like a start-up, but with the scale of a global powerhouse. We help organizations, whether big or small, to unlock the value of their data,” he says.
At a time when there is a lot of hype around IoT, which is more of a concept that can be very simply expressed as gathering and processing data from connected things to create value, it is better to out think. IoT is going to be big, and according to a new update to the International Data Corporation (ICDC) Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, worldwide spending on the IoT is forecast to reach $745 billion in 2019, an increase of 15.4% over the $646 billion spent in 2018.
Further, IDC expects worldwide IoT spending will maintain a double-digit annual growth rate throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period and surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022, an indication that now all that matters is to be a part of it. There has been a case for companies and individuals to embrace big data regardless of the challenges that come with it, but why now?
Nelson Catanho, a technologist and systems engineer, says that multi-cloud approach brings in a stable platform to make businesses thrive. Before, apps were scattered so much that one could download, say 15 apps, and only use five on a regular basis. Cloud changes this scenario – if you lack strategy, you can offload data into cloud. That’s why in 2018 to 2019, challenging aspect will be developing a multi-cloud strategy.
Catanho says; “It is about how many clouds should we use and for what purpose. It’s no longer about ‘should I join or not join a cloud. Business expectations exceed technology capabilities. What we used to do in the past is no longer applicable. We have to be fast. Change culture, tools, methodology… multi-cloud platform that works across different clouds is what we need.”
If you do not digitise, he adds, you’ll be completely disrupted by competitors. Organizations are becoming more people centric. They are more agile and flexible, and automated.What it means is that whether enterprise or public cloud, pick what works for your organization as big data is simply all of automation and orchestration. Modernise data centre and automate service delivery – a company’s infrastructure should have artificial intelligence so that it can give insights so that the top egg are able to make some intelligent decisions. It is after protecting data while making intelligent sense of it that companies and individuals will thrive.Systems engineers on power of (big) data say that 80% of businesses will not be able to be competitive in the near future based on the near 19% that have been able to transform as far as storage and data protection is concerned.
Bernard Wanjau, a data centre and server technologist, says that there is an increase of software based data centres. That functions are run on virtual machines, a physical firewall can be ignored, a move that would eventually save on money which in turn can be directed to something else. Going virtual also makes it possible for IT team to focus on development rather than infrastructure.
Painting a picture of five employees working 40 hours a week, and lack time to pursue other projects that could stretch growth of a company in more ways than one, Mr Wanjau says that a multi-cloud approach can turn things around. To him, over the next five years, there will be 30% of “unstructured data” which comprises of photos, word documents, txt messages and videos, data that companies’ must map.
“Convergence will continue to be key catalyst for transformation,” says Wanjau. “You have to define what policies as a company, and decide on a certain amount or type of data that should be moved to cloud. You need cloud platform… What customers talk about on a day-to-day basis is ‘how many clouds should we use?’ Things must be done real time, and at the source. Customers are no longer loyal. Customers want the best service, and IT is just an enabler.”