[Cross-posted from JackBe blog]
While it is interesting to come up with your own predictions, I am more interested in seeing what other people I follow are predicting. First, to see if there are some synergies – perhaps if they too say what I said, it somehow validates my prediction, or so I feel anyway. And second, which is more important, is to learn from all the smart guys out there that are saying something significant about the technology space in 2013. I recently saw this blog post from Mike Gualtieri, another analyst/researcher that I like to follow, and lo and behold it is all about Big Data!
I liked one thing he says in particular, which I think others are also saying based on what I read in the last couple of days: “All data is Big Data”. In my prediction, I hinted that Big Data would get segmented along the now familiar dimensions of velocity, volume and variety – which is my way of saying “all data is Big Data,” but we have to deal with each segment in slightly different ways. In Mike’s predictions, another thing stands out in my mind. He says:
“Real-time architectures will swing to prominence. Firms that find predictive models in Big Data must put them to use. Firms will seek out streaming, event processing, and in-memory data technologies to provide real-time analytics and run predictive models. Mobile is a key driver, because hyperconnected consumers and employees will require architectures that can quickly process incoming data from all digital channels to make business decisions and deliver engaging customer experiences in real time. The result: In 2013, enterprise architects will step out of their ivory towers to once again focus on technology — real-time technology that is highly available, scalable, and performant.”
Hurray! Big Data coupled with two things: Real-time and Mobile. Now, that’s something else! This area is ripe for innovation and disruption. We ourselves at JackBe have been long focused on real-time aspects of dealing with data, be it for Real-Time BI or for Mobile BI. We believe that data can be mashed up in real-time and served on a platter to business users in the form of insights, delivered to them as Apps Anywhere™. And as Big Data enters into the equation, most people are quick to realize that technologies like Hadoop (most prominent among Big Data discussions as of now) are not real-time at all and definitely need some augmentation. Business moves fast and needs insights fast. You can’t wait till all the data is collected and all the batches are run to get your insights. You can’t wait until your data warehouses (big or small) are built to get decisions made to move your business. You need real-time answers to fast changing data in your environment.
What do you think? How are you reacting to the three forces of Big Data, Mobile and Real-Time?
[Cross posted from my JackBe blog]
Since blogging my 2013 BI predictions, I’ve come across ZapThink’s predictions and one of them caught my eye. No, it is not about Big Data. It’s about something that has gone out of fashion, almost. It was about SOA. Here is the excerpt from ZapThink:
Next generation SOA begins to coalesce – For years, ZapThink has touted the difference between the practice of SOA and purported implementations of SOA. Our mantra has always been that SOA is protocol and technology independent: it doesn’t require Web Services, or ESBs, or any of the heavyweight IT infrastructure that has given SOA its reputation of complexity and failure. With the rise of Cloud Computing, architects are increasingly realizing that the bits and pieces of SOA best practice – loose coupling, intermediary-based abstraction, and automated governance, to name a few – can and should be applied as appropriate, independent of the existence of any specific, funded SOA effort.
Back when we started building our Presto platform at JackBe—seems long ago now—our goal was to actually build the bridge between all the services and data sources in an enterprise with the business users who really need to access it. Over time, we built our flagship Enterprise Mashup Server to fulfill this need and introduce this slice into the enterprise architecture as a meaningful way of extracting ROI from your SOA investments and delivering real value to end users and business users. Now, we do that and more.
For example, we’re delivering comprehensive insight into the full spectrum of operations for critical decision-making and for measuring the business impact of every occurrence. And we’re doing it all in real-time. We don’t advocate complex architectures or re-architecting your existing systems in the name of SOA. Why would you if there is a better way? We like to work with what already exists, leverage and complement them to bring the value of these otherwise inaccessible systems and data sources.
I like to think that we liberate these silos of information, bring them together in a quick, nimble and rapid way that we are known for, and generate new business value out of thin air. By correlating existing data sources and combining new and old information sources, we are able to mash them up to generate new insights in real-time for our customers. This now proven approach is already here and is what we have always believed as the continuation of the SOA marches toward the users. Such an approach already embraces the concepts of loose coupling, intermediary-based abstraction, and so forth, and yes also works with stringent security mechanisms already in place in your enterprise architecture.
So, the next generation of SOA is already here, you don’t need to wait for 2014 to take advantage of it. Are you ready to exploit it?
[Cross posted from my JackBe blog]
Read through any technology publication, website or blog and I dare you to tell me you didn’t come across a Big Data story. Big Data is hyped. And that’s not the first time I’ve said that. In fact, the last time I addressed this topic I declared that one of the biggest problem with Big Data is the disconnect between how much it’s talked about and how much it’s understood. Cindi Howson of BI Scorecard recently hit the nail on the head by drawing an integral connection between Big Data and BI. She dared to say—against advice from a fellow Strata Conference attendee that it might be considered blasphemy—that Big Data is more than Hadoop. She couldn’t be more right.
And Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2012 prominently featured Big Data and linked it to various other emerging technologies, with Big Data just entering the “peak of inflated expectations” and predicts it will take 3-5 years to reach the “plateau of productivity.” But don’t just walk away. Big Data as much as it is hyped, is also real and it is here to stay and is making new inroads every day.
My colleague Dan Malks recently shared some of his 2013 BI predictions and now I would like to follow it up with a few of my own. Yes, I’m focusing on Big Data. But it also turns out—in a great minds think alike kind of way—that real-time intelligence will be a critical element to navigate the way in which we consume, analyze and leverage data of all types and from all places, for instant decision-making. Here goes…
- Big Data will go more real-time, for real. Forget about batch processing. Data that is stashed away without the ability to understand it on a continuous real-time basis is just another old data warehouse, albeit a Big Data warehouse.
- Business users will want direct access to insights derived from Big Data, again in real-time, and anywhere. Here I am talking about the kind of tooling and processes needed to make it easy for the business decision makers to have insights delivered to them in real-time from analyzing Big Data warehouses— especially on smartphones and tablets.
- Big Data will get further segmented into Big Data, Big Small Data, Fast Big Data, and Fast Small Data, along the dimensions of speed/velocity, size and volume. The capabilities (technical and non-technical) needed to handle these are different for different segments.
That’s my two cents. What do you think will happen next year? Share your predictions with us in the comments section or on Twitter using the hashtag #BIin2013 for consideration in an upcoming post.
I tuned in to the TechCrunch Live Blog today to get the dish on iPad2. I was skeptical about this launch. Rumors were it would be thinner, lighter, would have a camera, and so on. I didn’t care much for any of that, so I kept my expectations low. I already own an iPad and I wasn’t going to rush and get a new one just because. Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple stuff, but I am not total nuts to get every little version that comes out.
But now after ready the details on the iPad page at Apple.com and hearing about it via the live blog, I am impressed. I am impressed by the two Apps featured in the launch and look forward to getting GarageBand and iMovie on my iPad. I am not so hot on the white iPad, but who knows, I might change my mind after looking at the real thing. I also love the iPad Smart Cover, which is brilliantly designed, so simple.
Coming to why Apple rules…it is all in the way you think about a product. Steve Jobs said when he closed the show with a statement:
“A lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in, looking at this as the next PC. hardware and software are done by different companies, talking about speeds just as they would with PCs. Every bone in our body says this is not the right approach.”
This is a fundamental difference between Apple and all the other wannabes, in how Apple (and Jobs) views a product: as an integrated system (of hardware, software and user experience) and eco-system (Apps, Books, Music, Movies, Videos, …). This is the reason why no one is going to beatthe iPad / iOS for some time to come, in spite of all the hoopla about Android based tablets. Google is just beginning to think about the eco-system, but has no integrated vision like Apple. All the other device vendors are beginning to create their own fragments of marketplace which in my only makes it confusing and difficult for the users. Besides, I am not convinced that users will pay for mediocre content, apps or experience. Apple has set the bar quite high and others are only getting started. Which means, they have a lot of catching up to do. While they do that, Apple is not staying put, they are forging ahead. So I am convinced that it will be difficult for other tablets to achieve the level of commercial success the way iPad did for Apple. It is not about the OS (Android or iOS) or how many Android devices are shipped compared to iOS devices. Those stats only tell you just that, not how much revenue the devices are generating. The difference is what Apple has been known for for decades: They just “Think Different!”
I just saw this article by Larry Dignan on ZDNet titled Mobile app boom will tax enterprise IT. Larry quotes another paper by John McCarthy of Forrester Research called Mobile App Internet: Making Sense Of The 2011 Mobile Hysteria. This caught my eye and got me thinking of how we here at JackBe look at this area and how we try to address some of the issues pointed out by John McCarthy, which I quote below. In addition to quoting them, I will try to address how we at JackBe address this need with our Presto Enterprise App Store and Apps offering as part of our Real-Time Intelligence solution:
- Issue #1: The innovation cycle. Mobile apps typically require three to four releases a year. Multiply those releases by platform and you see a serious problem for enterprises, which are used to upgrades every two or three years. IT departments just aren’t ready to move that quick.
How Presto addresses this: Nice one…but, we think differently. You see, when you build Apps using Presto, you are getting a platform on which you build, deploy and deliver mobile apps. Any apps deployed on Presto in your own private Enterprise App Store is easily managed as two distinct copies. One that is gone production in the App Store and on that remains in the Presto App Hub to enable App developers to continue iterating over it and to test those iterations independent of the App in the App Store. You have to use new ways of delivering features and functionality to your users rapidly. You can’t keep to the old ways of building and delivering applications like you used to in your IT department. Presto enables you to achieve this goal with the right set of tools and controls to manage your App development, deployment and post-deployment process.
- Issue #2: Security. Security related issues for mobile app development can drive costs up three to four times.
How Presto addresses this: This is an extremely important issue for Enterprises and a core architectural principle on which Presto is designed and built to leverage. Enterprises have already invested lot of time and resources to achieve the level of security they need. There is no need to start fresh. With Presto, we work with existing security frameworks and infrastructure and also provide a high-level policy engine that allows your IT department to control who gets to use what Apps and what data can be delivered to that user based on their entitlements and permissions.
- Issue #3: User interfaces are hard. “The diversity of the platforms and the need to develop for the native device coupled with the purpose-built design of the apps will be very different from the browser-based development. This means a much greater focus on the overall user experience, not just the layout on the screen and the interactions but how you actually choose and design the narrow functions of the app,” said Forrester.
- Issue #4: Back end systems need to deliver data more quickly. Mobile apps mean server-side issues. Mobile apps need data, say account balances and transactions, in 5 to 10 seconds. Enterprise databases may not be ready for big scale.
How Presto addresses this: I see two problems in this area. First is about latency and scale; access to data in real-time with least latency for the user/device. It is indeed true that Enterprise databases may not be ready for this. However, not all Mobile apps need real-time transactional access. How real-time is real-time enough for your users? Do you want to know the balance as of this second? Or are you satisfied knowing your balance as of say 30 minutes ago? It depends. Presto has different approaches to solve it including real-time access to data sources and ability to cache data for specified time period to reduce latency and server load for data that doesn’t change every instant. The second issue is about how to obtain and deliver that data to the Apps. Presto makes it real simple and easy for you to plug your data sources securely and make them available for mobile Apps to interact with. Security is always guaranteed as the data access is bound by the prevailing security policies and systems in your Enterprise.
- Issue #5: Where’s the budget? Support for these mobile applications is likely to be more difficult than generic email.
How Presto addresses this: Probably true if you are talking about older ways of doing this. But with Presto, you can get real value really quickly. And supporting these mobile applications is of course going to be different than supporting generic email, but it does not have to be difficult. If you don’t believe me, give Presto a try. You can even get a free version of Presto that you can deploy in production for up to 5 users and see what I am talking about.
In conclusion, I would like to note an important point made in the Forrester report that our friends in the IT Services industry am sure will pay attention to:
Helping enterprises ride out the perfect storm of innovation is a $17B services opportunity. Firms will need help building mobile apps for employees and customers. Corporations will also need third-party services firms to manage the devices and apps as well as to set up and to administer their own private label enterprise app stores. And finally, the CIO and business executives will hire consultants to help their reengineer their business processes to take full advantage of the mobile and tablet apps and innovation.
But I also want to tell these CIOs and business executives that there is a new way to get your own private label enterprise app store and that you can get your own tablet/mobile apps to solve your business needs with innovation. Getting started does not have to break your bank. So, give Presto a try, and let me know if there is any way we can help. We are already helping several customers take advantage of our innovative platform to meet their business needs. I am sure we can help you too. We would be happy to do so!
Tablets are increasingly becoming / going to become a standard weapon in the arms of biz people for real-time information. We at JackBe have a good emerging story in Presto for those who want to develop and deploy Mobile Enterprise Apps, especially for tablet based computing. Presto 3.1 has several capabilities that they can get started with today to build and deploy mobile apps within their enterprises securely.
- A new article by Bill Ives talks about this a bit: See JackBe Moves Further into Real-Time Intelligence
- Check out this article is by a Jan Timothy Woodcock from Wipro Tech: Enterprise Mobile Apps Will Transform How We Do Business
- Here is another article that talks about how 5 companies are using the iPad to increase biz productivity: How 5 Companies Are Using the iPad to Increase Productivity
Tablets are here to stay whether they are iPads or Androids, and it really gives an agile and mobile tool in the hands of business people who need information at their fingertips to make their daily decision making process effective and timely. We at JackBe will continue to enhance and enrich Presto for such mobile computing needs by delivering Real-Time Intelligence Apps in the Enterprise.