Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Dealing with and deriving value from today’s data influx

June 30, 2015

By 2020 there will be more than 50 billion devices connected to the internet, which means we’re on the cusp of a dramatic increase in data consumption. Naturally, this is set to put pressure on the data centre. In fact, our recent Global Cloud Index forecasts that by 2018, data centre workloads will nearly double with global data centre IP traffic reaching 8.6 zettabytes, up from 3.1 zettabytes in 2013.

We’re also seeing a shift of priorities within businesses. IT departments are required to innovate, shifting resources from ‘keeping the lights on” to delivering more strategic outcomes. This brings new pressures and challenges, and departments need to change and adopt new practices if they are going to continue to be fundamental to an organisations growth.

Compounding this, the increase in data consumption is pushing IT departments to not only have to worry about their day to day tasks, but also spend critical time and resources to understand this influx of data.

The way companies build and deploy applications is also changing, with digitisation evolving the needs of businesses. For example, traditionally, apps were built and run on virtualisation technology like VMware, but now applications are defined by the quality of experience and mode of access.

Companies like Uber, Spotify and Airbnb are fundamentally changing the way the industry operates by embracing a new business model and pushing the boundaries of conventional IT practices. So what do other businesses need to do?

In order for businesses to get value from technology such as apps, they need to be able to extract information and analyse data in real time. To put it simply, businesses need intelligence to understand the data that is flowing through their network, where this data needs to be and how to generate value from the megabytes, terrabytes and even zettabytes of data that is available.

At Cisco, we’re working with our customers to help them realise that the IoE can play a key role in fuelling the UK economy for years to come, and the data that is generated by IoE , can be used to grow their business and drive revenue.

An example of the potential of IoE can be seen in the healthcare industry. Using smarter, more connected medical technology, patients are able to remotely monitor their own vital signs and relay the information back to carers without needing to ever step foot in a hospital.

This type of technology relies completely on a secure platform from which data can be transmitted. Concerns about the way healthcare records are stored and accessed are reduced as the reality of a smarter NHS builds up a successful and trusted connection of people, things and the data they produce. Subsequently, this ensures that equipment is located where it can be of greatest benefit to the most amounts of people.

Nottingham University Hospital has transformed its cystic fibrosis patient experience by using our technology to equip individual rooms with high quality video calling to stay connected with family and friends and to also participate in group classes virtually. Group participation would normally be an unfeasible notion; however, the introduction of virtual lessons means that patients with the condition will be able to manage the requirements of their condition more easily. Our technology has helped the hospital reduce costs and improve access to healthcare information which provides a more efficient service.

Similarly, the fundamental process of the retail industry has been overhauled to having the internet as its key impetus. As the IoE makes its way into physical retail, the way people shop has changed and their customer experience has transformed. Crucial to fuelling this change is data. Data that is generated from smarter connections between the things people buy and the devices they hold. The IoE has the ability to bring consumers to the high street by allowing retailers to connect with customers and hyper-locally promote their business in a specific targeted way. This creates a huge surge of potential for retailers to revolutionise the way they interact and sell their products to customers.

While there is no denying that data consumption is growing at an astronomical rate and that this is only set to continue, it is important that businesses and data centres look ahead and prepare to be able to extract the full value this can offer. From disaster as a service to energy efficiency, network security, capacity and sustainability policies, we understand that the IT department’s role is complex. By partnering with an organisation that truly understands this sector, businesses will be able to see the benefits of FAST IT, embracing digitisation and ultimately driving innovation to support a digital future.


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