The advantages that companies can get from big data could already be truly "big" today. Could. Participants in the US public health sector commissioned a well-founded big data analysis. The identified potential savings were USD 750 billion – annually!1 Another example is the European mechanical engineering industry. For example, robot movements could be optimized or the movements of industrial presses could be configured better. The expected increase in efficiency: 15% more output, up to 40% in energy savings.2
Big data needs technological input
Then why are companies hesitant to follow the trend? Here too there is frequently a supposed large investment that needs to be made before profits are seen. In short: "Data storage, data management, data security and data provision require an effort on the part of many companies that some of them dread," reports the IDC.3 A dilemma, up to now. That's because companies that are worried about their investments could instead take advantage of the alliance between big data and the cloud: which is exactly what a European IT conglomerate did. Here this combination was used to optimize procurement, because its processes had clearly become outdated: 18-hour lead time for reports, dissatisfied suppliers due to overdue payments and decreased free cash flow. But the breakthrough arrived with big data processing in the cloud based on SAP HANA: a mere two-hour lead time, EUR 1.5 million in savings thanks to increased transparency and 10% more free capital are only a few of the numerous success stories of this project. So more speed and more flexibility.
And that's something that many companies and industries would be happy to embrace: Because the quantity of data sources that the company needs to keep an eye on is constantly growing, for example, in the form of machine data, production data, data from social networks that help with product development and can significantly decrease the time to market for new products, data that employees generate during customer contact and many other sources. This is where the various departments in particular, such as Marketing, Sales, Finance, etc. become greedy. Nevertheless, the necessary technical resources are often lacking for a data analysis; the existing IT infrastructure is not yet prepared for the use of big data.
This gap between demand and feasibility can be narrowed by linking big data to elements of cloud computing. And what's more, the cloud is a necessary prerequisite for being able to effectively use big data. Thanks to this, the necessary IT resources are quickly available in the required quantity. And these are expandable if needed. The company's own investment decreases to a minimum and the provider becomes a strong partner.
The alliance of big data and the cloud enables new, integrated analysis methods whose results are directly included in business decisions and can also generate new businesses processes. Sound big business through big data and the cloud.
Footnotes 1 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Report: Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America 2 Industrie 4.0 – Chance-oder-Hype, Wirtschaftswoche April 8, 2013 3 IDC-Studie: Big Data – Business Value in deutschen Unternehmen auf dem Prüfstand, Frankfurt am Main, December 13, 2013