Two things primarily facilitate Big Data: cloud computing—which provides a variety of infrastructurally enhancing applications—and the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technology is everywhere. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart cars, and even city utilities like traffic lights or parking meters utilize this technology. It’s additionally used in many corporate atmospheres for a variety of purposes.
As an example, consider production. IoT can help manage machinery such that you get the greatest lifespan out of it, and avoid having it break down in a way which stalls production. In terms of office management, IoT can manage physical utilities proactively, you can use it to more efficiently heat or cool a building, you can track employees, and when IoT is applied to the cloud, it can even be used to outsource your office.
Cloud computing surrogates an internal network. This can be done on a public or private cloud, and there are also hybrid solutions available where sensitive information is stored on the private cloud, while that which isn’t so integral to operations is on the public option. Altogether, you can “float” your network such that is decentralized; perpetually available online.
This allows BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, solutions. BYOD has been shown to yield increased employee productivity for a number of reasons, and because it utilizes remote devices accessing the network through proper credentials and a secure connection, data can be collected which increasingly reveals secrets about your operation.
Big Data’s Part
All of these things working in concert yield Big Data. Big Data works on a level where terabytes can be processed in real time—and the speed at which such datasets are processed is increasing as technology blooms outward at Moore’s Law intervals.
What this means is if you, for example, had a supply chain across several continents, Big Data utilizing IoT and the cloud to process information in real-time could reveal trends to you that have never been visible to large-scale companies before. Application monitoring via the cloud is possible, but likewise, supply chain management is possible.
You can navigate a fleet of vehicles around road construction and weather patterns. The most optimal routes can be calculated using data coming from fuel consumption and vehicular wear and tear. The potentiality is billions in savings with no loss of operational quality—in fact, there can be an increase in infrastructural efficiency and output.
Certainly, the scope of savings will depend on the size of your operation, but one thing is beyond doubt: Big Data represents a substantial solution for many businesses and failing to utilize it is akin to leaving money on the table.
Managing BYOD Solutions
As a brief hypothetical case study, let’s look closer at BYOD solutions. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can be used to get remotely operating employees on the same page. You can either allow them to use their own device, or you can use another DaaS protocol--Device as a Service—to ensure all employees have the same end-user tech.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage of essentially “renting” devices for your employees is that there is a higher cost. The disadvantage of always allowing workers to use their own tech is that some software may not be aligned with that in management, and there could be malware which enters the network.
Untrusted connections can also initiate malware, meaning you’ve got to have MDM solutions in place. Mobile Device Management ensures that end-user portals acting as IoT nodes and interacting via the cloud aren’t threatening your network. There are many software packages you can use which can help collect MDM data and lessen the management load.
For example, with SolarWinds’ software, you can automate user rights management through Access Rights Manager, simplifying management of a large infrastructure with many diverse employees working remotely.
So say you had a hundred employees that you transitioned to a BYOD model utilizing DaaS for the network, and DaaS for devices. You essentially eliminate the cost of the servers for the network, the cost of individual user portals internally, the cost of “unknown quantities” from personal user portals that have a different software configuration, and the real estate cost of office space. Altogether, that could result in savings of tens of thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—a month.
In addition, you get more productive employees who continuously produce data pertaining to their operational activities. This data can be managed using Big Data protocols to determine trends, and help further optimize your business such that it is at its highest operating potential.
When such Big Data protocols are additionally applied to marketing, production, distribution, damage control, core operations, and R&D, suddenly the potentiality for exponential forward development is on the table.
In today’s world, technology has continued an exponential doubling of itself about every eighteen months since Gordon Moore observed the trend in the sixties. The next technological innovation is on the horizon, and you’ve got to keep the most viable, sustainable pace you can with IT in order to maximize your operational ability. Utilizing Big Data and infrastructural management software is key.