The BPI Network Journal

Q1 2015

Editor’s Note

Exploring the Innovation Mandate

In 2015, innovation is not just a buzzword or ‘nice-to-have’—it is indispensible to the success of the organization. As we see the growing importance of innovation and the need to integrate innovative processes and procedures throughout the enterprise, the BPI Network is exploring how individuals and organizations can make innovation more intrusive and actionable in 2015. To do so, we are undertaking a number of campaigns that take a look at this shift from multiple perspectives— the enterprise, the start-up, and the non-profit.

In our newest report, Innovation: The New Competitive Equation, we focus on how enterprises can do a better job of formalizing innovation programs, providing innovation leadership and recognition, and directing ideation to achieve tangible business value. We recognize that infusing greater innovation into the culture and capabilities of organizations worldwide requires deep-seated changes in the corporate and educational mindset, along with supporting HR and business processes and greater C-level management support. At both universities and businesses around the world, innovation needs to be better integrated into strategic planning, organizational structures, compensation and curricula. We believe 2015 is a good time to start.

  • Download Report Here
  • Check out Infographic Here

In a related initiative, Start-Up Innovation: Inspiring Business Transformation, we are looking into how disruptive entrepreneurship is driving corporate renovation and reinvention. The formation of new venture starts is multiplying at an incredible rate worldwide. Many of these emerging growth companies have become disruptive forces in traditional markets. Their shared economy business models and new digital channels of engagement and market access are producing rapid growth, astounding valuations and stratospheric multiples when they go public. To what degree is this massive wealth creation and new crop of brand challengers and category contenders spurring greater invention and business remodeling in enterprise incumbents seeking to compete with agile and intrusive market entrants? What are the big corporates learning, emulating, acquiring and adapting? How are they restructuring, renovating, re-directing and investing in new talent, technology and alternative business models? 

  • Provide your insights in a quick survey here

Rapid market and industry disruptions mean access to information is more important than ever. Yet in a world of growing information demands, outmoded data centers are struggling to keep up. Here at the BPI Network we see that the data center is undergoing a major transformation. At the core of this transformation is a paradigm shift to the software-defined data center; the embrace of private, public and hybrid cloud services; virtualization uptake; phasing out of legacy systems; and the new business-grounded mindset in the IT organization. IT organizations must make significant transformational shifts to the traditional data center if they are to keep up with the rapid change embodied by this industry and remain competitive. So we’ve embarked on an entirely new campaign, Transform to Better Perform, to determine how to turn the Data Center into a ‘Response-Able Business Asset’ through a culture and commitment to a new DRIVEN  (Dynamic, Responsive, Innovative, Valued, Efficient and Nimble) model and mindset.

  • See program page here
  • Check out the contributed article from our campaign sponsor, Dimension Data, below

As 2015 brings forth transformation caused by disruptive entrepreneurship, breakthrough innovations, and crowdsourced ideation, we see incredible possibilities to leverage the power of these incredible innovators and innovations for social good. Consequently, the BPI Network & the CMO Council are embarking on a landmark initiative in partnership with UNICEF that seeks out inspirations that overcome limitations. Out ideation platform, powered by our partner IdeaScale, will allow for world’s best and brightest youth, innovators, technologists, IT professionals, product developers, researchers, entrepreneurs, academics and post-graduate students to come together in a global open innovation ecosystem in order to ideate around breakthrough ideas, inventions, products, and emerging technologies that can advance the work done worldwide by the UNICEF Innovation Center. Dubbed “Succeed Where There’s a Need,” the CauseTech campaign seeks to adapt and deploy inventive technology solutions that can help UNICEF scale its efforts to meet the ever-growing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and excluded children across 190 countries. 

Feature Article

To Become More Innovative: A Mindset Shift is Required

A Perspective Piece on BPI Report: “Innovation: The New Competitive Equation”

I have always been driven by the desire to understand which I guess makes me one of the somewhat annoying people who keep asking ‘why’. This is also why I have, since 1992, focused all my energy and activities on addressing questions such as:

  • Why is it that some organizations are more innovative than others? 

  • What are the areas where they do things differently? 

  • Why is it that despite having talked about the desire to become more innovative, it remains a yet to be realized ambition for so many organizations? 

  • Is it true that we do resist change and that we only change when we have a burning platform or stand with our back against the wall? 
On my journey to find answers to these and similar questions I have discovered that the paths into neuroscience and complexity theory offer richer insights than looking at processes and structures. 
Looking at the BPI report I read the core message: if we truly want to become more innovative, as individuals, as organizations, as nations, we need a mindset change. I could not agree more. 
It sounds quite straight forward, doesn’t it? Just get a new mindset like we would
get a new car or a new coat. Yet it is not. Our mindset, our value and belief systems are shaped from birth, through our upbringing, our experiences, our education. They become the default system on which we draw when acting, reacting, feeling, thinking. 
Have you ever made a New Years resolutions? This is a question I frequently ask my audiences and most will raise their hand. It seems that the beginning of a new year inspires us to improve ourselves – as this is generally what new years resolutions are about. If I then ask the same audience whether they are still doing it, most hands stay down. It seems that many of us have given up, frustrated by the fact that even if we, ourselves, willingly want to change it is not easy. 
This is probably also a point for me to mention a couple of other things that will help to understand where I am coming from when it comes to innovation.: Firstly, I firmly believe that innovation is a means to and end not the end in itself, something which in our constant striving for more innovation seems to have got lost. Secondly, in my experience innovation happens in the presence of certain values and behaviors, or in other words, innovation happens in the presence of a certain mindset. 

Given that most organizations do currently not perceive themselves to be (sufficiently) innovative, I can only conclude and confirm: a shift in mindset is required if we are to become more innovative.

Perhaps if we can pinpoint aspects of the current mindset that make innovation
and innovating somewhat difficult, we can offer a starting point for organizations 
and educational institutions to create conditions that are more conducive. I am one for prevention rather than focusing on finding cures, meaning that I would place at least as much emphasis on the education of our children as I would on individuals
in organizations. Why? If we would stop educating creativity, an open mind, experimentation and the ceaseless asking of ‘why’ out of our children in the first place we would not struggle so much with getting it back into them once they are grown up.

To me there is a strong link between the currently dominant approach to education and our struggles with change and innovation. We seem to have an education system that conveys a world view where there is but one right answer. Unless we
get that one right answer we fail, we feel stupid, we might be laughed at. It might well be that when we are starting journey and learn reading, writing and maths there truly is often only one right answer, for example, not much arguing with the fact that six times six is 36. How to spell a word seems to be the same – though those familiar with American and British English know that from a spelling perspective there can
be more than one right way, depending on the context and time; many words today are spelled differently from how they were spelled 100 years ago. A right and wrong mentality is ingrained in us very early on – also when we learn what the ‘proper’ use of things is. The deeply embedded search for the ‘one right answer’ causes a lot of grief for innovation and those being asked to change. If there is indeed one right way, and someone suggests a change, does not mean that I must have been wrong all along? How many of us become defensive when someone suggests to change how we do things or just asks us why we do them the way we do?

In order to address that challenge we should rather nurture a mindset that centers around the belief that there is only ever a most appropriate way, given the specific context and time. The context in which we are living in is changing faster than ever before; what works well for us today might be outdated and hinder us tomorrow.
We therefore need to constantly observe, experiment and take risks to notice the change, understand it, and identify the opportunity (or threat) it brings for us. The pace of change also means that at the point when we need to make a decision, not all information will be available to us, that too will only emerge as part of the journey.

It is a system where we memorize for the short term rather than learn for the long term and to be able to transfer our learning into different contexts. We know that innovation happens through the connection of previously unconnected bodies of knowledge – there is little that is truly and 100% new.

Those who have managed to keep an open, questioning mindset alive are the ones the report refers to as ‘risk takers and innovators’ who struggle to find true appreciation in the organizations they work for. I would also count those into this category who,
 as requested by their organization, have investigated what it means to be innovative. More often than not they will have come to the conclusion that behavioral and mindset changes – particularly at top levels – are required. Not something that many at the top like to hear. As a consequence, those who were at the heart of the innovation movement in organizations are much more likely to have moved out of the organization than up within it. These people are most likely consultants or are doing something entirely different, instead of pursuing the innovation path in a different organization. Seeing what needs to be done and not being able to do it is one of the most frustrating things in life, and the experience of running against brick walls just gets too painful after a while.

But enough complaining, what insights might help us move forward?

I am a firm believer in the following Confucian saying: “If I hear I forget, if I see I remember, if I do I understand.” We are not achieving change by telling people that they need to change. As individuals we tend to change things because we understand the necessity and the benefits (though even then it is not all plain sailing!). As I always like to say, we do not resist change, we resist being changed. Understanding the need to change, at the personal, individual level, is in my view a prerequisite for truly embracing change. And nothing better for true understanding than through experiencing. We need for something to deeply resonate with us, otherwise it is all too easy to accept the need for change – for the others, not for ourselves.

While necessary to prepare the ground, a change in mindset does not yet lead to innovation. Again I so agree with the report, which states the need for developing a clear innovation strategy. Asking for innovation without providing some direction and boundaries, i.e. where not to innovate, what kind and level of innovation is required, only leads to confusion and frustration. It also leads to wasting a lot of resources, including goodwill and enthusiasm that an initial call for innovation generally generates.

In my view the best way to get people to innovate is to provide them with an inspiring vision, and then give them the resources and space, together with some direction,
to bring that vision to life. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of ‘The little prince’ advises, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood, don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

So, if you want to create an organization where innovation thrives, give people an inspiring vision and provide a supportive context and they will innovate – without you ever needing to mention the often confusion and overused word. If you are really daring you will even allow the people to be part of the creation process – and don’t forget, to consult and involve does not mean that you are creating a consensus decision!


Five Big Questions on Innovation with Mark Drasutis

Innovation: Recombining People with Great Content and New Processes

1. How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?

News Corp is actually where the customers are, and that’s the change. Its about innovating around the proposition that content is about “and,” not “or.” In the past, customers either bought a newspaper or consumed content on mobile, or on PC, or Tele, or listened to it on the radio. Now, they are consuming content in newspapers and on Twitter, YouTube, in their cars, and on Spotify, so if you take the “and” model, it becomes about curating great, relevant content and delivering it where and how the customer needs it.

With declines of 15% circulation in Australia and 20% revenues on the newspaper side – you need to innovate yourself out of that bottle, but you need to innovate in the right way. We’ve embraced the reality that newspaper companies are never again going to own content and distribution and packaging. In fact, we don’t see ourselves as a newspaper company; we are a content company.

Habits for consuming content have changed, and we can shape those habits. Do people buy newspapers for breaking news? No they don’t: because news is broken on Twitter and Facebook and then on other platforms. Content habits have changed. But job of producing great content hasn’t changed. We are recombining content in new ways for customers. We are now producing multi-dimensional long-form story telling in digital; creating a rich immersive experience in video, audio, graphics, everything. The Captivate platform in Australia allows us to build those.

For example, we produced a story around Cinderella Man: the amazing journey of an Australian man to becoming the country’s first heavyweight boxing champion. We’ve just done a great piece of footage for surfers for an angle of a surf break which you would never have seen before, using drone footage, and two surfers: one a leftie, one a rightie. So how do we get to surfers? We promote it on Facebook, we promote it on Twitter, we made a 15 second video for Instagram, and then we moved it to content for tablet.

The Wall Street Journal is doing the same thing, with amazing footage from the Oracle boat for the America’s Cup. When we have these great stories involving multiple assets, we ‘re able to quickly build rich story telling elements now that we didn’t think we could do three years ago. So it’s a case of: We’re capable – lets do more of that.

The reporters who do these pieces, like Trent Dalton, now know when they start looking at the yarn, they need a videographer, a photographer; he needs to understand how to work with a developer and designer to tell the story best via the digital channel. And that’s just one space.

On the other extreme, we just launched in Australia – and Foxsports – on Snapchat’s new Discover platform. Once again, here’s another area where we’re atomizing our content and saying we’re going to create an edition every day which is relevant to a Snapchat customer, which is more a teen, kind of funny, laugh-out-loud type of experience. 

2. What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?

FEAR of not knowing. If I don’t know about it as a senior executive, I’m not sure I want to unleash my team on something I don’t understand. So, for instance, we built a digest App for The Australian and gave it to one of the lead editors to play with over Christmas. All it involved was his content recombined into an App, but now he understands what the power of that can be.

Another challenge for innovation is fear of quarterly targets. The trick is to make innovation real in people’s minds. Without that, people think that they wouldn’t know how to execute the ideas they had; they don’t have the confidence to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission. The key is to allow people to fail safe, and to lead with an approach where you show, not tell. Stop having meetings about meetings and show it to someone. They rightly say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that a prototype is worth a hundred meetings.

Its not technology that’s the disruptor, it’s talented employees thinking like entrepreneurs that is. This business had forgotten a little bit that it had an entrepreneurial spirit at his heart. Rupert Murdoch is one of the best entrepreneurs in the world: his three drivers are opportunism, innovation and intuition. As a staff member, you should be working on those three things. Go and do it. You still have to do the business casing – you can’t work outside those processes. You still have to get new projects singed off by the finance departments and agreed by the board. So in essence, ideas are not a problem; timing and execution is the problem.

3. How has innovation become engrained in your organization’s culture, and how is it being optimized?

News Corp has had a couple of innovation efforts previously, but they were largely external, and my title didn’t exist two years ago, which says something in itself. Certainly, there was recognition that the most expensive seven words in our business were “But that’s how we’ve always done it.” Though I wasn’t here at the time, I’d guess I might rate our innovation culture in 2005 at about 3 out of 10; now its perhaps around 6 out of 10, with our digital offerings, and now that people know they can do these things, and are less afraid of things not looking the same.

When I joined, I remember someone commenting: “Great – someone with all the answers.” I countered with: “You’re already got the answers, and you’ve got the employees – we just need to create innovation as part of their job and something they’re not scared of.” The words disruption and innovation kind of counter each other. I realized that news didn’t have a clear definition of what innovation meant, and that’s really key. For us, that definition is: ‘Recombining content, people and processes in new ways for growth.’

That idea then resonated across the business – that it’s not about drones or virtual reality or futuristic hardware. And changing the perception of News Corp in Australia was one of the key pieces – as a content company, not a newspaper company. We’ve got an ideation platform we put in, which allows you to pop in and say “that’s a good idea” or “that’s been done’’ or “actually that’s something I’m working on; lets work together.” I’m all for open innovation, most of our ideas we’ve gotten are from outside the office. We sponsor a co-creation space for startups, called Fishburners – that’s important; it opens peoples’ eyes to what entrepreneurs are doing.

We are not afraid to experiment with different models – and we have a system where you can fail safe with experiments. We have an internal system called News Foundry – an internal fail-safe environment that allows people to come up with new ways of doing things. They come out with loads of ideas; one of them drives the kind of content on our Snapchat channel, for example. I’m a big advocate for quiet change, which is that you show, don’t tell; you take people on a journey; you plant seeds within the business. 

4. What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

Anticipation of content is something I think will become important  – data signals will be there to anticipate a certain time of day you want a certain type of content – based on your location; based on your behavior; everything. Content about things you care about should come to you like a tap on the shoulder.

I think there is an interesting move back to truth in the content space  – where many customers don’t want an oversimplification of news. People have a thirst for more knowledge than the snack they can see. Snacking news is relevant; as Twitter’s 140 characters show, but consumers are already responding to the in depth background content we are providing, with lots of links.

The disruption will be that people will be able to access as much content as they want quickly, but that they probably want a little more detail around the five areas they care about the most, and that’s where media companies come into play. I never try to predict technology trends, but I look at connected cars, and I think there is something there for media; a space where we can play. 

5. Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?

Paul Whittaker, editor of the Daily Telegraph in Australia, and his team are supportive of an app that gameifies news for commuters on buses here in Sydney. It allows you to play a game against others around beacon technology: it matches headlines to the pictures, which means you have to read the headlines – so you consume the news via a game. That’s quite interesting as a model. I’m not saying that’s the future of news, but its interesting. I feel the same with Snapchat. They are both great ways of providing content to the consumer.

Contributed Article

Top Five Data Centre Trends to Watch in 2015

What does 2015 hold in store for data centre professionals?

​ 1. Big gets bigger, small gets smaller​ ​

This has dramatic implications for the data centre itself. The first is that organisations need to re-evaluate the amount of data centre space they need. Most are realising that they’ve over-planned their requirements and that, by taking advantage of the cloud, can reduce their data centre footprints by up to 50%.

The next question organisations need to ask themselves is: ‘Where should my remaining data centre facilities be located?’  Increasingly, there’s a move towards co-locating hosting environments, cloud, and the traditional data centre in very close proximity to one another, to achieve optimal performance.

Many businesses are debating whether they want to own their own data centres at all and, instead, move to a purely capex-based consumption model. These considerations are being fuelled by the fact that, if your economies of scale in the data are shrinking along with your physical footprint, it doesn’t make sense to invest in the technologies required to optimise energy consumption. 

On the other end of the scale, large data centres, typically owned by industry and cloud provider heavyweights, see nothing but growth on the horizon. Some already sprawl over hundreds of thousands of square metres. These giant facilities are expanding either due to the fact that they’re absorbing the capacity being transferred to them from customers looking to exploit the cloud model, or simply as a result of the nature and complexity of the businesses they serve.  “The mega data centre business model focuses on efficiency,” Leahy explains. “Their operators invest in fuel cells and the most advanced technologies for power and cooling, so their energy consumption per unit of computing power is much lower than you could achieve in your own data centre.”

2. Unlocking the value of automation​​​​

Frank Casey, Dimension Data’s Director for Managed Services agrees: “It’s all about internal maturity. Every client I speak to is at a different level of maturity and most feel they have a fair amount of work to do. The goal is to move the organisation forward, in a structured manner, to a point where it has a modern, mature operating model that drives consistent service delivery and leverages policy-based standard operating procedures.”

Casey believes automation is key to extracting maximum value from technology. “Most IT teams are focused on making sure that infrastructure is up and running, and, due to workload and time pressures, aren’t thinking about how they can drive greater levels of automation.”  

Another common stumbling block is the existence of a ‘chasm’ between IT leadership and technical experts working in the data centre. Today, CIOs are focused on applications; they’re concerned about how services are being delivered to internal stakeholders and external customers. As mobile devices become users’ ‘de-facto’ point of interface with applications and data, CIOs are concentrating their efforts on ensuring a high-quality user experience and meeting their people’s expectation for instant, anywhere access to information. Organisations need to make sure that, back in the data centre, technical experts are devoting the right level of attention to security and ensuring that data is protected when it’s accessed on mobile devices. 

Casey’s advice to CIOs is: “Understand how your customers want to interact with your business and its applications and let your IT teams engage with them directly. Allow them to use the feedback they receive to create user scenarios to determine whether the technology is designed with the customer in mind, and if not, to devise a plan for improvement. This may require new processes, policies, and automation technologies.”

Making informed decisions regarding new technology investments is critical to ensuring you extract maximum value from them. “The market’s shifting away from component-based hardware and software, and moving to bundled technologies that feature high levels of automation. However, it’s not always easy to determine how to get the most out of these technologies, and how they’ll interoperate with the legacy infrastructures and workloads that may be running in a public cloud,” says Casey.

Casey believes that this shift is driving organisations to hire different types of IT skills. “There’s no longer this need for specific domain experts; now you need people who can focus on automation and the integration of application programming interfaces with existing technologies.” 

Here, organisations would do well to turn to a managed services provider that’s already invested in the relevant tools and automation technologies. Such a provider can help you to look beyond the technology, and focus on the outcomes that you want to achieve as a business. 

3. Agile IT: it’s about exploring the art of the possible​​

Treb Ryan, Chief Strategy Officer for Dimension Data’s ITaaS Service Unit believes that IT organisations need to use technology advancements, such as cloud and Agile development methodologies, to explore the art of the possible … boldly test new ideas and approaches … and have fun.

“Many IT organisations still operate their data centres the way they did 20 years ago, using waterfall processes and idle-driven systems. They’re missing a great opportunity to take advantage of new architectures and systems which will allow them to be more responsive to their businesses and more cost-effective.”

As an example, he compares the way Google, Yahoo! or Facebook run their data centres with the approach taken within a typical enterprise data centre. “It’s completely different. Things just don’t run the same way. If someone at Facebook wants to develop a new application or set up a new workload, they’ll simply “slice off” a piece of architecture, and off they go. There’s no two-year planning cycle, they don’t need to do sizing and business case analysis.”

Ryan explain that cloud and recent technology advances have changed the game; they’ve levelled the playing fields and have brought this level if agility within the reach of all businesses, not just the big players.  “We need to start thinking differently about how we can use these advancements to drive business outcomes,” he says.

Investing in Agile software development technology is a first step in capitalising on these opportunities. IT leaders need to instil a culture of people, processes, and software working together and responding to change, rather than following a rigid plan. “We should apply this thinking not just to our development methodologies, but also to how we operate IT. It’s about identifying a few key areas and focusing on responsive, iterative development. If you make small incremental changes continuously, you create far more stable environments,” says Ryan.  

The concept of consumption-based billing for IT capacity is a key enabler of this transformation. But the advantages extend well beyond cost savings alone; this model empowers IT teams to test new ideas quickly, and unleash innovation, without exposing the business to risk. 

“Developers can try things out without having to put in place formal structures. And if something works, great; if it doesn’t, then they can go back and try something else. That’s what we love about Agile technology. Agile plays to the benefits of how technologists think − trying things out, seeing what works, making changes, and going back and trying again. As opposed to suggesting a single, “correct” approach which, if not followed precisely, would supposedly lead to trouble further down the line.”

Ryan believes that if organisations can achieve this mind shift, they can look forward to more satisfied end users, who’ll benefit from new features and functions, and greater application stability. 

4. ‘Software-driven’ transforms into business value​  

As they look ahead to 2015, the challenge facing many organisations is how to ensure that their efforts in implementing Agile-based methodologies result in tangible business value. 

Colin McNamara, Chief Cloud Architect at Dimension Data subsidiary Nexus, shares some of his insights and experiences: “One of the tools that our agile software development team uses in its development operations and with clients, is value stream mapping. It’s a ‘pencil and paper’ process that allows you to visualise the impact of your activities on the business and prioritise your activities.” 

McNamara cites a recent engagement with an online gaming provider, where value stream mapping delivered an impressive outcome. The IT organisation was responsible for a delay in a recent game release that cost the business over USD 130 million. “We spent about two hours with the client, using sticky notes and a whiteboard, and identified a couple of minor process improvements. We recommended the use of templates and automation, staff logs and release management, and suggested that the client bring in some QA specialists. Through that two hour value stream mapping engagement, we were able to enable the client to reduce its release cycle by 30 days.’ 

McNamara explains that this approach is critical to software development, as the process involves so many moving parts and iterations. ‘Every two weeks you’re going through a different release cycle, so you have to be able to quickly understand the impact of each one on the business.” 

Open source technologies like OpenStack and OpenDaylight can also add significant value. McNamara explains how Dimension Data recently brought these technologies to bear for the benefit of a security company that was looking to update its software development process.

“At the time it had a very harbour-centric software development process for its products. Working with the early implementations of OpenFlow and OpenDaylight Controller, we enabled the company to optimise a very important element of its software development process – the ability to release products to market more quickly. 

5. It’s time to go big in extracting the value of information​

While there’s a lot of hype in the market around big data and analytics, most organisations are in the early stages of finding ways to derive more value from their data and find ways to translate it into competitive advantage.

Leahy explains: “Most CIOs I speak to have implemented virtualisation and are starting to explore and adopt cloud. But few have attacked the information challenge head on, mainly because that requires engagement with business units. IT teams and the business aren’t used to working so closely.” Leahy believes that it’s time for data centre professionals to move beyond managing infrastructure and trying to find ways to reduce storage costs, and begin to explore the potential new value inherent in information.

Casey agrees: “IT teams should consider handing over basic infrastructure management and data protection tasks to a service provider.  The provider can also assist in ensuring that data is available quickly – for example, in the event of an audit – and avoid any compliance issues arising.” 

Ryan believes that decisions regarding data and storage can’t be made in isolation, especially in the era of analytics and big data. “The type of storage you need will depend on what you want to accomplish with your data and how you want to accomplish it. It’s not as simple as saying ‘‘I want to get into big data, so I’ll just start accessing the tools.”

Hadoop and MapReduce are built on the premise that you have fast sequential read access to cheap disks. However, traditional cloud servers don’t offer this capability. They’re designed for highly transactional applications. So it’s important to consider what you want to do with your data. Do you want to perform transactions? Or do you want to archive it and later extract it and aggregate it into a big data construct? You also need to think about how applications are optimised to ensure you’re able to get the data back out of the storage environment when you need it.

Object storage is an area of growing interest on the part of businesses that are testing the big data waters. McNamara explains: “This involves posting your data into a Web server. You can export all your Salesforce data to the object store, feed it through a set of predefined Hadoop or MapReduce processes, and then export it back into the object store.” He adds that the advantage of this approach is that business users are able to gain access to, and extract value from, the information in a timely manner.

View original article here

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