Now more than ever, mobile devices—be it smartphones or tablets—are increasingly making their way into businesses across Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
A study commissioned by VMware published in March revealed that 78 percent of employees in Asia-Pacific multinational enterprises are bringing their own devices to work with 64 percent claiming that using smartphones and tablets for work have made them more efficient. This “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend in the region continues to grow. An increasing number of employees—particularly C-suite executives—are accessing information, streaming video, collaborating with colleagues and sending and receiving email over the corporate network using their personal mobile devices.
With this BYOD trend comes “Big Data.” This is the increasing volumes of data—unstructured and structured—that proves to be either an asset or a challenge depending on an organization’s capability to manage and analyze it. As our workforce is becoming more mobile, managing and measuring the volume of data, particularly unstructured data, becomes crucial, which means organizations need to start investing in appropriate tools and equipment.
Data is important to creating knowledge and provides tremendous opportunity and value. One major contributor to Big Data is social media. To gauge customer engagement and interpret it into buyer behavior, social media analysis becomes a crucial step every organization needs to be able to follow.
Just as an estimate, nearly half of Australia’s population is on Facebook. With accurate data integration, measurement, analysis and evaluation, some, if not all, of the conversations can transform into valuable company insight. However, to collate and construct this diversified content, every organization needs a comprehensive mechanism in place where Big Data can be analyzed to provide valuable insight. To support this strain of data, the starting point is for a company to invest in a more robust, scalable and secure network and infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of employees while at the same time ensure profitability.
Matthew Boon, managing vice president, Gartner Australia, was recently interviewed on mobility and its impact on data center requirements as more individuals want access to information. Boon believes that investment in data center infrastructure and operations in Australia account for almost 40 percent of an IT budget.
“Within Australia, we see the highest penetration rate of server virtualization anywhere in the world,” he said. As our workforce becomes more mobile, the unstructured data it creates is putting pressure on data center managers to grow systems, according to the latest predictions from analyst firm Gartner.
This exponential growth in data may overwhelm most organizations, requiring CIOs and IT managers to put in place processes that require new ways to operate, new ways to analyze the data and turn it into something valuable and thereby stay on top of the competition and growth. According to Jason Rylands, national data center architect, DPSA, the data center spend in Australia is expected to grow from $2 billion in 2010 to $3 billion this year.
“Big Data is one of the buzz words going around in the industry,” Ryland said. “A huge amount of data is exploding out of the networks. By 2015, 91 percent of all Internet data will be video, and mobile devices are what’s driving the backend of data center expansion.”
The challenge for IT departments now lies in successfully managing this complex new network environment and managing this shift in paradigm. With the above-mentioned $3 billion expenditure, Australia is investing heavily in making sure issues such as network strain that can lead to dropped voice and video calls, disrupted streaming and difficulty connecting to the server for day-to-day business functions and overall slow internet connectivity do not occur. These issues will only continue to be a focus as more employees use mobile devices in the office.
Preparing now for the future network—that balances customer and employee demand with company profitability—requires that IT spending focus on increasing bandwidth and investing in a scalable data center. We need to build a future-proofed communications network foundation—from the data center to the enterprise—that can match Australia’s business potential.