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September 28, 2012

How to Manage Big Data for Business Benefit

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In the era of big data, companies are capturing, managing and storing more information than ever before. Those who have become adept at using that data as proactive business intelligence are finding the biggest benefits, while others are struggling to figure out how to continue to manage the growing rate of data capture.

The hidden costs and complexities need to be examined so companies of all sizes can stay in the game with the hope of a positive outcome.

To that end, technology continues to advance and options are available. The challenge is in understanding those options and how they fit with the business. Vendors, analysts and customers alike learn more when they collaborate together at industry events and TMC (News - Alert) is set to launch its ITEXPO in Austin, Texas next week.

In preparation, we recently took the opportunity to speak with Deirdre Mahon, VP of Marketing for RainStor.

The management of big data has been a key trend in business purchasing decisions over the past year. Those charged with making the decisions are searching for scalable, cost effective and enterprise-grade data management solutions that allow them to grow their businesses efficiently, while also remaining competitive in the communications market. This move is essential, according to Mahon.

“Deploying a solution today that you can grow with for many years to come not only helps the business focus on what’s important but it simplifies the complexity of managing the information infrastructure,” Mahon said.

As technology continues to play an integral role in the way businesses operate, business leaders must take certain elements into consideration when planning core strategies. The growth in data is a key concern. Companies hoping to remain competitive must be able to capture and manage data as an asset for the business. Likewise, they must also be able to afford the process, leveraging solutions that are easy to manage, allow for the promised benefits and will grow along with the business.

Even as companies embrace new data, there are still terabytes of older data that must be kept. How can these businesses affordably keep older data and scale along with the demands of their respective industries? Mahon points to the benefits of the Apache Hadoop, an ideal solution to store the older, colder data that also allows for scale. Companies must then develop a solid strategy for approaching information management with best-fit technologies for the purpose of the business and to extend the most value.

Said Mahon: “There is no single technology to handle all enterprise critical data but figuring out the most efficient and cost effective technology is a very smart thing to do in order for the business to focus all its energy and resources on its core business and value generation.”

At this year’s ITEXPO (News - Alert) Austin, Mahon looks forward to learning more about industry trends overall, best practices from industry leaders and the top priorities for end-user buyers for the coming 12-18 months. Those attending Mahon’s session will be privy to information on the current challenge across the entire communications industry to efficiently analyze and manage big data to enable business growth and a competitive advantage.

The cost of big data will be examined, along with an initial upfront CAPEX cost of acquiring the right technology, with a glimpse at OPEX (News - Alert) for maintaining it over time.

Fortunately, the market is ripe for this panel discussion as big data, when managed costs are possible, provides an overwhelming opportunity for the communications market to gain a better grasp on a wide array of analysis. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) by region can be captured and measured; customer demographics can be identified and analyzed; and how well a customer segment receives new service offering can be accurately measured. The possibilities are extensive and with a few key elements in place, this type of business intelligence is readily available and manageable.

“As companies continue to roll out Hadoop projects to meet new business demands and implementations reach multi-terabyte scale, IT executives will still have to address the operational costs of running this new innovative technology and how it ultimately impacts the budget and the top line business goals,” Mahon finished. “How successful they are may very well determine the winners and losers of tomorrow’s communications market.”

To find out more about Deirdre Mahon and Rainstor, visit the company at ITEXPO Austin 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Schurman is speaking at the session, The Big Cost of Big Data. For more information on ITEXPO Austin 2012, click here.

Edited by Braden Becker
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