Cloud computing is the future.
When may not be clear, but ‘inevitably’ is a fair enough answer. Now, some applications lend themselves better to cloud concepts than others. Email and music sharing and a host of other file and image sharing applications make cloud sense today. Some, we believe (like ERP) are better served to wait until the infrastructure is a little more reliable, and until companies can reliably count on their software to be “always up” and, by the way, modifiable to suit their specific needs.
But there is one area where the cloud makes eminent sense, one many have not yet thought of: mining big data. Big data, while capable of being massively collected, poses challenges when it comes to massaging it into meaningful, relevant, useful information. Data is everywhere, and you can have sensors anywhere – cell phones, PCs, credit card charges, soda vending machines, car engines… all creating these huge data streams. But, as Khazret Sapenov, the Founder and CTO of Cloudcor, the company behind the world’s largest professional cloud computing community in LinkedIn, the “Cloud Computing Group” notes, “It has to be crunched somewhere.”
Think of beverage companies collecting information at vending machines to refine product choices, or car companies beaming up data wirelessly from auto engines to improve energy savings, or utilities tapping meter data to optimize delivery costs, or medical researchers doing clinical trials for life-saving drugs. Everyone is impacted.
Enter the cloud. With its potentially massive infrastructure and computing power, the cloud has the power to reap the data – and the rewards – of analyzing vast volumes of data to seek out trends, insights and breakthroughs. And it can do so in ways that were previously just too expensive to consider. As data volumes grow from megabytes and gigabytes to terabytes and petabytes (and beyond), the resources of massively parallel cloud computers mining that data becomes increasingly necessary and beneficial.
As Sapenov notes, “With the cloud, you can take all the big data you want, put it in this cruncher, apply the best techniques and practices of enterprise content management and realize your objectives, without having to deal with the kind of financial burden that might have meant a project never got take on.”
And therein will lie the real power of the cloud tomorrow.