By Karla Houser
We all know that our organizations have a lot of data. It accumulates so quickly it’s often difficult to maintain and obtain enough storage capacity. Then, we are expected to be able to abstract knowledge and value from all of the data in its myriad of formats. Add to that the efforts needed to keep up with new architectures, technologies and methodologies to help us mine the information from the data and you have a "challenging situation."
According to a May 2011 McKinsey Global Institute report, “In a digitized world, consumers going about their day—communicating, browsing, buying, sharing, searching—create their own enormous trails of data.” So how do we, in IT, manage and provide the tools and techniques to analyze this mostly unstructured data? Or store it? Or search it? Or secure it? Or enable our organizations to find the valuable information in all of these bits and bytes?
Nearly six months ago, SHARE presented a small but solid set of sessions introducing the SHARE membership to the concept of Big Data and Analytics. At the time, many felt it was just an up and coming buzzword, but since then it has become a reality in enterprise computing. Like Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics looks like something the mainframe community, has dealt with for quite a while. However, like Cloud, there are nuances that make it a bit different. Without getting bogged down in definitions, Big Data and Analytics involve vast amounts of small bits of data that need considerable processing before being useful for decision making. Although the mainframe has always dealt with large quantities of data, much of the “Big Data” data is less structured than typical mainframe data. The analysis process of examining the large amounts of data of a variety of types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information involves using existing tools and technologies in new ways as well as implementing new tools and technologies.
As with all tools and technologies, potential pitfalls exist and yet there are benefits to be realized. At SHARE in Anaheim, August 5-10, the Projects and Programs have gathered an impressive set of sessions that will not only introduce you to Big Data and Analytics, but will provide a leg-up in understanding how they will impact IT projects and operations and how to minimize the risks associated with these new or enhanced tools and technologies.
This week, you can discuss the issues associated with Big Data and Analytics, learn about the tools and technologies available to help you manage and analyze all of this data, and hear about real-world practical applications that demonstrate how to support, maintain and provide valuable business information from all of your organization's data. Although related sessions are spread across the week, the primary theme sessions are on Monday and Tuesday as a part of the Big Data Spotlight. Learn more about the spotlight at www.SHARE.org/AnaheimBigData then search the SHARE Anaheim schedule at www.SHARE.org/AnaheimBigDataTrack, to view all the offerings in this track.
A deep dive into Big Data is just the beginning. SHARE plans to tackle mobile computing next – with a spotlight planned for SHARE in San Francisco in February of 2013. Are you trying to find new and effective ways to improve your mobile applications’ effectiveness? Does your company have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy? Should it? Concerned about the “dark side” of mobile computing? Just trying to survive as a remote employee or contractor?
To that end, SHARE will be hosting a Mobile Computing Focus Group on Wednesday, August 8 at SHARE in Anaheim to tap into the needs and concerns for the SHARE community. Insights shared will be used to guide the content for a “Mobile Computing” track at SHARE in San Francisco in 2013. John Gibson and Rosalind Radcliffe from IBM will present The Mobile Computing Revolution to tee up discussion about the impacts of mobile devices, BYOD as well as company provided laptops, PDA's, tablets, and smart phones. Issues to be addressed include BYOD, managing and securing data on non-corporate devices, application development for mobile applications and options for mobile applications, and how to effectively support personal devices to ensure work and personal lives remain separate.
What issues related to mobile computing would you like SHARE to explore in more depth? All input from the SHARE President’s Corner will be taken into consideration as we look to build content around this issue for San Francisco and beyond.
For those of you who are with us this week at SHARE in Anaheim, I invite you to bring your ideas and recommendations to the 7:00 a.m. Mobile Computing Focus Group in the La Jolla room at the Anaheim Marriott.