EMC continued its global Forum tour with the London leg taking place in Westminster this week. It was one of the most successful UK Forums to date, with sessions discussing topics from cyber security, to the importance of IT skill sets and the transition to the third platform. At the UK Forum EMC also announced the findings of its new research Iooking into how businesses in the UK are adapting to and benefitting from the introduction of cloud computing, Big Data analytics and database automation.
The study surveyed over 450 business and IT management and executives to gain their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that Big Data and IT transformation – and their related skills – can present to their companies. 75% of them claimed big data had the potential to improve the quality of decision-making in their business. Nearly three quarters of the people questioned believe investing in technology is a strategic way of achieving its goals.
Businesses understand the need for the right skill set (big data in particular) and how they can maximise their opportunity to grow if they have the right people with the correct knowledge in place. Unfortunately half of companies feel they do not have the right skills and knowledge to complete business priorities successfully, and nearly three quarters of IT leaders believe it will be difficult to develop the right mix of skills to keep pace with technological developments.
So what is the call to action? Jeremy Burton, Executive Vice President, Product Operation and Marketing at EMC, said in his key note and later in a roundtable with Cancer Research UK and Lotus F1 Team representatives, that businesses need to take a step back from the term ‘big data’ and think about what it’s all means.
“It is not the physical size or amount of data, but rather the capability of it and what can be gained through real understanding and application of the data. Making the decision on how businesses are going to utilise the datasets is something that needs to be thought about”, said Burton
Michael Briggs, Head of Infrastructure at Cancer Research UK continued saying, “The intrinsic value of big data is what is important. How the data is organised to provide the company with innovative ideas and improved agility is vital.”
“Businesses should focus on how to bring their datasets together”, said Michael Taylor, Deputy IT/IS Director at Lotus F1 Team” The roles of individuals within the organisation are changing as employees will need to be able to understand more about data and be able to work with it. There is constant pressure from stakeholders and senior executives to ensure the business is moving forward. That is why it is so important to have the right skill sets across the business, from the IT department to the marketing team, to allow the company to grow.”
Throughout UK Forum, it was clear businesses needed to take a step back and look at what needs to be done within the organisation in order to give them the best chance to move forward. At the roundtable, Burton concludes that, “Business change will drive the development of IT – it is not about the device anymore, it is about the data.”