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Are your data centers ready for big data revolution?

04/03/2013 | Data centers |

One of the biggest trends in the tech industry for this year and the foreseeable future is set to be the impact of big data on the market. With more connected devices in use than ever before, many businesses will find themselves generating huge amounts of information about their customers and the wider market.

But simply having this data isn't going to do companies any good. If organisations are to see any benefit from this and not just waste money on storage solutions to hold this information, they will need the right management and analytics tools in place to derive useful insight from their digital assets.

Rise of analytics
This is among the key findings of a new survey from Cisco. Its Connected World Technology Report revealed 60% of companies agree that analysing this data in order to draw out useful information will help improve decision-making and therefore boost the competitiveness of their organisation.

But it seems many firms aren't equipped to do this. Only 28% of respondents claimed they are currently generating strategic value from the information they hold in their data centers. 38% added that even though they had a big data solution in place, they need a better plan to take full advantage of the potential of their information.

Spur investments
Therefore, the chances are that this will be one of the key drivers that persuades many businesses to upgrade their IT systems and ensure they're fully equipped to take on the challenges of the next few years. And it's not just analytics platforms that are set to be on the agenda for many firms, as it's likely that some companies will have to completely overhaul their infrastructure and procedures if they want to see benefits from their data.

For example, infrastructure will need to be improved in many organisations. 48% of IT managers expect their network loads to double over the next two years, while 23% foresee their traffic volumes tripling. Despite this, just two out of five firms say they are prepared for this surge in traffic in their data centers.

Cisco's survey also found;

- 81% of firms will turn to cloud tools to manage their big data needs.
- 27% will need better IT policies and security measures.
- 22% will see a large impact on their staffing levels.
- 21% will require more bandwidth.

The future of enterprise IT
What Cisco's survey demonstrates is that big data isn't going away and will be the future for any business that wants to make a success of its IT operations. It noted that as well as traditional sources of information, new technologies such as smartphones, video cameras, sensors, smart meters and other connected devices are generating enormous amounts of data each and every day.

What this means for businesses is there's a "potential gold mine" of insights to be gained from this, Cisco continued. However, if they want to make the most of this, it's essential they look at every part of their current IT infrastructure, from their data centers to their people, to determine if they have the right solutions in place and where improvements can be made.

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