How EMC is giving Lotus F1 a Big Data edge

For several years, businesses around the world have been implementing big data analytics to speed up their processes and improve productivity. Few have taken it as far as the Lotus F1 team.

Simplifying Big Data

The Lotus F1 team recently made the move to EMC’s V-Blocks server architecture, allowing them to use data in more simple and innovative ways. Anthony Smith, Lotus F1’s converged infrastructure specialist, explains: “We’ve had the V-blocks around 18 months now. We were using a set of different hardware from various vendors before. This has been one of the big changes for us.” Switching to one provider for everything helped to simplify the process. “We have one provider and one system that we know works together. We keep it as simple as possible so we have one company to contact if something goes wrong.”

Custom analytics

Using EMC tools has enabled the team to collect vast amounts of data and make significant changes and adjustments to their factory and processes.

“All the time the car runs we’re gathering data from it. It’s constantly streaming, even when it’s just in the garage. It’s producing around 60GB of data per weekend,” he said.

“Then we’re using that to analyse and refine the performance, and find improvements. We’re working to improve our competitiveness through the data.”

Testing and climate challenges

Given new limitations on the amount of real-world tests the team can do, the use of data analytics has become even more important in today’s racing environment.

“We’re not allowed to test during the year. We do three tests at the beginning of the year – that’s three weeks of testing – and then during the year we have four days in total throughout the year that we can test the car that isn’t a race weekend,” he said.

“This is why the simulation and the data analysis is so important because we can’t just decide to test it on the circuit. There are so many possibilities for the car and we’ve got to turn up at the circuit and pretty much know exactly how it’s going to be and what’s going to happen.”

The converged future

Moving forward, Smith wants to continue the team’s move towards a hyper converged infrastructure.

“We’re looking at whatever we can get our hands on. We’ve seen the whole virtualisation hybrid cloud infrastructure develop over the last few years and that’s helped us massively,” he said.

“We’re looking towards boosting our resilience. Looking at X-Racks VSpex Blue, hyper converged, the next step on.”

“If we can get more performance for less size, weight and power on the track that’s another advantage for us.”

To find out more you can read the full article on V3.co.uk

EMC picks up European Best Workplace Award

EMC has been recognised as one of Europe’s Best Multinational Workplaces in the Best Workplaces 2015 awards announced last week. Every year the Great Place to Work Institute surveys some 6,000 organisations around the world to find companies that encourage workplace cultures of high trust and engagement. Due to the success of EMC’s operations in 12 national Best Workplace rankings across Europe, the company ranked an impressive second out of a field of 25 multinationals.

Ever since EMC came 19th in the 2012 awards, its ranking in these prestigious employer awards has improved year on year. This shows the strength and quality of EMC’s people, from senior leadership setting the strategy and direction to the employees on the front line. EMC’s EMEA President, Adrian McDonald said: ‘A key factor of EMC’s success is our focus on building our strength as an employer and creating the kind of workplace that attracts and retains the best talent, talent which focuses on meeting customers’ needs by helping them optimise their existing infrastructures and build new ones.”

Head to the career page to learn more about the company and what it’s like to work for EMC.

The future of digital: A deep-dive into party manifestos – Labour and Liberal

With the May elections looming, predictions are in full swing as to how technology and digital transformation would develop under each political party. In a previous post we looked at the work the Conservative Party has done and their intentions for the future, but what do the other parties have in store?

Digitisation under the Labour Party

Labour has shown an increasing interest in digital issues in recent months. For example, in November, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Chi Onwurah published details of her party’s Digital Government Review.

Like the conservatives, Labour would broadly-speaking continue much of the current agenda, including work with the Government Digital Services (GDS) to digitise public services, making smarter use of data and reforming procurement. Labour also favours the use of common architectures based on open standards, opening up APIs and developing more agile and innovative solutions.

However, there are some noteworthy changes. Most importantly, Labour wants to focus on trust, transparency and security, particularly in relation to the use of citizen data. The party intends to publish a review of data sharing and privacy within 90 days of entering office, providing citizens with more information and control over their data. Citizens’ ownership of their own data will be more explicit and new limits will restrict the government’s ability to pass data on to third parties for commercial gain without their consent.

Labour wishes to emphasise digital inclusion and skills, for citizens and within the public sector. From a citizen perspective, digital services would be designed to be accessible by all members of society, including the most excluded and disadvantaged. Investment would be made in boosting citizens’ digital skills to ensure everyone is able to use digital services. To focus on the most difficult social problems rather than cost reduction, Labour wants to apply a ‘social benefits test’ to new digital services.

This would apply equally to local and central government, and Labour would do more to encourage local authorities to collaborate and develop shared services. For the public sector, leadership and skills are to be a higher priority, and government transformation a Cabinet level priority. Finally, Labour aims to provide more training to improve digital skills throughout the civil service.

The Liberal Democrats’ test the tech waters

Of the three main parties, the Liberal Democrats have said the least about applying technology to transform the public sector. A handful of figures, notably Julian Huppert and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, are getting more engaged in the digital revolution and have recently helped their party to launch an Entrepreneurs Network to engage with the tech sector and help influence the development of Liberal Democrat policy. Like Labour, the party’s starting point is to place greater emphasis on digital inclusion and the protection of individual rights in areas like data sharing, rather than simply aiming for cost savings.

Having looked at all three parties’ policies it’s clear there is a considerable amount of consensus over the digital agenda. This is hardly surprising given that all three parties are committed to delivering significant spending cuts in the next Parliament, £24.9bn by the Conservatives, £5.2bn by Labour and £7.9bn by the Lib Dems. Regardless of the make-up of the next government, it will need to think digital, build on the progress achieved to date and accelerate the pace of transformation to delivery services more efficiently to meet citizens’ rising expectations.

How close are you to deploying a hybrid cloud? Join the #HybridCloudChat

Ready, motivated, undecided – how close are you to deploying a hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud has been one of the industry’s biggest buzzwords for a few years now, and uptake is on the rise. However confusion around exactly what true hybrid cloud is and how it can be deployed remains. Recently EMC’s Vice President Global Services, Dinko Eror, debunked the top five hybrid cloud myths, and next week he is taking to Twitter to answer all your burning hybrid cloud questions.

So, where are you on your journey to the cloud? What is holding you back and what challenges do you face? Join Dinko and other EMC and industry experts in the #hybridcloudchat to discuss everything that is (and isn’t!) hybrid cloud on the 25th of March at 12:00 PM GMT.  We’ll cover common challenges and how to overcome them, and a professional illustrator will join us to bring your comments and questions to life, in real time!

Share any questions with us beforehand @emcuki , and don’t forget to join the #hybridcloudchat on March 25th!

Hybrid Cloud Chat Invite - FINAL_portrait

A Year of Financial Uncertainty

Said Tabet, Governance, Risk and Compliance Strategy lead at EMC asks, as we head into 2015, how can financial institutions reduce their risk?

Despite news that employment figures are still increasing, UK retail spend has bounced back and broader trends such as house sales continue to maintain a steady rhythm, so it may appear externally that the market is more stable than it has been for a number of years. Though this is true to an extent, stress tests from last month, which a number of UK institutions failed or came close to failing, along with the government targeting banks in the recent Autumn Statement, it’s safe to say that we’re not on even ground yet.

As we head into 2015, financial organisations need to get their ships in order and, in my opinion, this all centres around data and understanding risk. Here are my key themes for consideration as we go into next year:

  • Data: How much, at what cost and what quality?
    Digital pound - in textFinancial institutions of all sizes are looking to consume more and more data. While this is a general trend with ‘big data’, the use of “smart data” especially will be crucial in 2015. Essentially this takes into account that you need the right data at the right time (context) and relevant data (semantics) that is secure in order to succeed. Improving the productivity and performance of financial products will require discipline at the data level and we are moving more and more towards granular data. Financial institutions must be prepared for this and have measures in place to store, access and understand their data, in real-time.
  • Risk-based approach, still the way to go?
    Banks will continue to adopt a risk-based approach but as the markets start to improve, new innovations push the boundaries and new services emerge, we are going to see more and more of a balanced approach. This is all with the goal to satisfy shareholder requirements while being compliant. In a way, this model will help build a new view of compliance costs as an investment for the future of business. This is also emphasised by the need to develop and transform business processes. Loss of productivity can be measured through big data analytics and the ability to have near real-time relevant data and metadata will support this.
  • Risk will be managed at all levels and integrated with key data and metadata
    Risk is no longer about reporting. Risk management intelligence will be supported with better integration globally, particularly within large firms. The market as a whole is trying to better understand risk and prepare for potential pitfalls in the future, as demonstrated by recent stress tests. What’s concerning is that UK institutions are still falling short of industry expectations and measures, something which must be tackled, and quickly. There is a role for technology here, in ensuring that processes and access are allocated effectively.

2015 has the potential to be a crossroads for the UK economy. With likely changes in interest rates, along with possible changes in government, financial institutions need to be prepared for whatever the future may hold. Now is the time to put in place measures to ensure risk and data are prioritised.

 

 

IT as an enabler for business change – EMC Forum Survey

The trends of cloud, mobile, social and big data have fundamentally changed the expectations of consumers and end-users, affecting what is required and expected of IT departments. This much has become clear from our recent survey findings*, questioning IT decision makers in the UK for their perspective on IT’s role as an enabler of business change during the rise of these industry mega trends.

Jeremy Burton, President Products and Marketing, EMC Corporation, explains: “To remain relevant and competitive, businesses across every industry are reinventing their business models to handle unprecedented levels of access, interaction and scale. For this reason, IT finds itself back in the driver’s seat, morphing from cost center to a true catalyst for change through the use of cloud and big data technologies.”

Our survey results reflect this, as although creating efficiencies and reducing cost is still a priority for 60% of businesses, 70% of respondents see IT as a strategic business driver and 78% agree their organisation sees the increasing role of automation as critical to business growth.

Customer experience is a key factor, with 54% of respondents using cloud, mobile, social and big data technologies to improve customer experiences, and 53% seeing it as a top business priority. Organisations are making use of the technologies available to get their IT into shape by building new products and services (43%) and streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (42%).

However, barriers will need to be overcome to achieve IT’s full potential, as 73% of respondents don’t believe IT has the skills to keep up in the next couple of years.

Take a look at more results from the survey below, and get in touch with any questions or comments on @emcuki.

 

IT is a Business Enabler

  • 70% of respondents in the UK report that their CXOs consider IT as a strategic lever to grow the business, now more than ever before.
  • The top three business priorities when implementing new technologies in organisations from the UK are: delivering savings and finding efficiencies (60%), enhancing the customer experience (53%) and automating processes (49%).
  • 78% of respondents in the UK agree that their organisation sees the increasing role of automation – such as software defined storage – as critical to business growth.

Taking advantage of the Mega Trends

  • 77% of respondents in the UK expect next-generation technologies such as mobile, social, cloud and big data to give their organisation a competitive advantage.
  • UK respondents say these new technologies will impact key aspects of the business, including: improving customer experience (54%), building new products and services (43%) and streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (42%).
  • As businesses operate increasingly online today, 71% of respondents identified a need for joint public and private cloud services – hybrid cloud – as a means for greater agility and security.

Future of IT

  • 59% of respondents in the UK believe their organisation has the right level of skills and knowledge to complete business priorities successfully.
  • 73% believe it will be a challenge to have these skills keep up with the pace of IT innovation over the next 1-2 years
  • 70% of companies see IT as a business enabler, yet 43% of companies believe that spending for technology was outside IT’s control – indicating there is still work to do in gaining trust from decision makers.
  • 77% believe that the model IT department of the future will act as the in-house provider of on-demand services, including platform-as-a-service and public and private cloud.

*Collected during a non-mandatory questionnaire after completion of registration for the EMC Forum held in London on October 21, 2014. This research polled a total of 664 business and IT management and executives, technical architects, data scientists and storage/infrastructure managers from a range of UK businesses

Conversation highlights – ‘Leading the Healthcare Technology Revolution’

Last week EMC and Reform hosted a summit on ’Sustaining Universal Healthcare: Making better use of Information’, discussing the future of healthcare in the UK and how to deal with the problems faced by the NHS. The summit marked the launch of a healthcare report by Volterra Partners and EMC, highlighting how data analytics and better use of information have the potential to save the NHS up to £66 billion per year.

It was great to see so many people getting involved in the discussion on Twitter using #NHSdatareform. Take a look at the Storify below to see the conversation highlights.

New report highlights at least £16.5bn of efficiencies to preserve the future of the NHS

Volterra report with EMC highlights the opportunity for predictive and preventative medicine to accelerate the Wellness Model

A new report – “Sustaining Universal Healthcare: Making Better Use of Information” – released this week by Volterra Partners and EMC has outlined how data analytics and better use of information can improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery in the UK by up to 60 per cent, with the potential to save the NHS between £16.5 billion and £66 billion per year. The NHS is currently facing a £34 billion funding gap by 2020 and radical action is needed to preserve its core values of “providing free healthcare for everyone”. An infographic has also been created to outline the key figures, click on the image below to take a look.

EMC-infographic-FINAL-FINAL (2)

The report exposes the gap between the NHS and other industries in its use of data analytics and technology, adding to the body of evidence that shows that the current patchwork efforts to maintain the NHS are unsustainable. The lack of electronic records, predictive analytics, collaboration and effective monitoring of patient and treatment outcomes, in addition to personalised care, is leading to failures and financial inefficiencies that are unsustainable in the long-term.

There are pockets of excellence across the UK where data analytics has been effectively employed to deliver better quality of care for patients. If these examples were implemented nationally this would result in savings of:

  • £840 million per year due to a reduction in A&E attendances
  • £200 million per year through reduced complications due to diabetes
  • £126 million per year through better care management for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Up to £32 million per year through the reduction of readmission rates
  • £5 billion of savings in staff time through more efficient working practices

James Norman, Healthcare Director, UK & Ireland at EMC, said: “Transformation in healthcare is needed now. If we want to save the NHS we should be ambitious and bold. We need a more joined-up system in place to drive interoperability of patient records and to better use the valuable information insights we generate. Doing so would mean that we could more easily identify the combination of factors that would put a patient at risk of generating a chronic condition, opening up the opportunity to prescribe treatment before they become ill. Or, this could allow us to develop personalised medicines, improve early diagnoses and analyse specific treatments to maximise the benefit of medicine used. Increasing the accessibility and agility of data, improving mobility, ensuring we’re secure and compliant and offering flexibility and scalability while investing in the appropriate skills and learning from other industries, is crucial to preserving an icon of British society.”

The report also identifies a number of recommendations to enhance patient care, including:

  • Speeding up the accessibility of data and communicating the benefits to patients and GPs ahead of time to build trust and buy in
  • Collaboration at a local level with health institutions and academia
  • Investment in appropriate skills in the health workforce to handle and use data effectively
  • A change in culture within the Department of Health to drive a real shift to the Wellness Model, rather than just using data to improve performance management

View the full report here and join in the conversation on Twitter via #NHSdatareform.

Sustaining Universal Healthcare: Making better use of Information

James Petter, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, EMC, launches a new report with Volterra considering the future of healthcare in the UK

Every medical professional in the UK, to one degree or another, today faces the challenge of managing a growing patient population with a diminishing set of resources.

By the end of this decade it is predicted that the NHS will face a funding gap of £34 billion, only £5bn less than we spend on defence as a whole today. At EMC we feel passionately that a ‘Wellness Model’ as advocated by many of the NHS’ leaders today, is key to tackling this challenge. We wanted to investigate how a more joined up approach to using information insights could deliver this model, and its efficiency benefits, to the NHS.

Today we launched a report with Volterra, “Sustaining Universal Healthcare in the UK: Making better use of Information.” This report will add to the body of evidence that shows that the current patchwork efforts to maintain the NHS are unsustainable. It illustrates that more fundamental reforms are required to preserve the spirit of the NHS: universal healthcare for all, free at point of delivery, based on clinical need and not the ability to pay. With talks of a fresh ‘NHS tax’ after the General Election in 2015, discussions around “paid for” GP visits and more, the NHS’ founding principles are under serious threat today.

We have a window of opportunity to act on the recommendations in this report and build a new infrastructure for the 21st Century NHS; maintaining its founding principles but transforming the way it delivers patient care through innovation in the use of data. Significantly this isn’t just about saving money, but done correctly, the impact of this report will make for a healthier UK too. I hope you find the report and its findings as insightful and provoking as we did.

You can view the report in full here and join in the conversation on Twitter via #NHSdatareform.

Redefine your business – EMC Forum UK just two months away

Are you ready? EMC Forum UK is back to help redefine your business! In just two months’ time on the 21st of October we will be hitting Westminster Park Plaza Hotel for a day of cloud insights, practical advice, and IT strategy and storage talk. Of course there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and catch up with peers too.

The 2013 event was a great success, so we’re looking forward to seeing many of last year’s attendees again, and to welcoming some new faces. We’ve also pulled out a few of our favourite tweets from last year below.

EMC forum is free to attend, and especially designed for IT professionals looking to get up to speed with everything that is going on in the world of cloud, with plenty of opportunity to engage with technical experts and connect with EMC partners. In other words, it’s a must-attend event for anybody looking to redefine their IT strategy and help transform their business with the latest industry knowledge, best-practices and insights.

vic-bhagat-bwYou can look forward to a keynote from Vic Bhagat, the Executive Vice President of Corporate Services and global CIO EMC – keep your eyes peeled on @EMCUKI for updates on what he will be covering – and dozens of sessions ranging from how to redefine your big data strategy to a look at what’s hot and new in 2014. Explore the agenda here, and register for free!

To get the latest updates on EMC Forums follow @EMCForum on Twitter or take a look at the Facebook page for news and images from the global events. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter using #EMCForum.