Managing Big Data: What Every CIO Needs to Know

Advances in information technology over the past five decades have been nothing short of breathtaking. Consider: We are now able to place sophisticated processers, enormous memory, and high-bandwidth networks into inexpensive, yet powerful, consumer products–effectively connecting billions of people and products around the world.

While this offers tremendous opportunities, it also creates some difficulties, for computing on such a vast scale generates data at rates faster than can be managed. Which is why, though storage costs less and less every year, many large companies are experiencing increased total storage costs. One large financial-services company, in fact, saw its data stores grow from four to 40 petabytes in just the last two years.

Welcome to the “Big Data” era. In many ways, big data is a new frontier–a continuously connected marketplace of consumers and companies, from which communications and activity can be mined to deliver personalized, relevant offers and messages, all executed with unprecedented speed, automation, and intelligence. The opportunities are vast.

Experienced CIOs see this opportunity in context. They know that leveraging big data to deliver real business results will require a focused strategy that leverages and protects their existing data assets, develops new capabilities that are production-ready and reusable, and is able to manage the deluge of new data that will be created in the process.

Our work with Fortune 100 CIOs has revealed several key ideas for dealing with the both opportunity and challenge of big data.

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