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ScaleOut Software 2015 Predictions: In-Memory Computing: Transforming Business Intelligence in 2015

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by William Bain, CEO of ScaleOut Software

In-Memory Computing: Transforming Business Intelligence in 2015

In the past, companies relied on business intelligence (BI) tools to drive strategy and identify opportunities based on historical data. However, in today's fast-paced, data-driven economy, traditional BI often moves too slowly. Operational intelligence - the ability to analyze live, fast-changing data and provide immediate feedback - takes business intelligence to the next level and creates amazing new opportunities. We expect to see operational intelligence become an essential business tool in 2015, catalyzed by the combination of in-memory and cloud-based computing technologies.

Advances in in-memory computing have made the promise of operational intelligence a reality, allowing live, fast-changing data to be stored, updated and analyzed continuously. By making elastic resources instantly available on demand, cloud computing provides an ideal platform for deploying this technology. In 2015, in-memory computing will become ubiquitous across BI deployments for real-time analysis and for the generation of immediate feedback to assist live systems. This technology greatly reduces time-to-insight and complements traditional business intelligence centered on batch processing. The benefits of operational intelligence are far-reaching across a wide range of industries, including retail, media, manufacturing, cable, and the Internet of Things.

In 2015, real-time analysis using in-memory computing will enable new business opportunities that traditional BI cannot handle. For example, retail customers can opt-in for a more personalized shopping experience (both in-store and online) by using a mobile phone to integrate their location and preferences with shopping history. Using RFID tags, stores can track inventory with high efficiency and minimize the stock that needs to be kept on hand. Sales associates can then make personalized recommendations to their customers backed with continuous, fine-grained tracking of inventory. By offering shoppers highly personalized recommendations, operational intelligence provides brick and mortar retailers a competitive edge against ever-encroaching online retailers while taking online shopping to a new level of service.

Personalization is also coming to pay-TV providers. Data from set-top cable boxes and selection patterns from satellite TV subscriptions and online providers create a new way for brands to reach and engage with consumers. Taking this kind of data and using it to personalize entertainment recommendations and track quality of service issues helps these providers maximize their value and fend off competition. As more of these providers turn to operational intelligence in the coming year, viewers will benefit from a significantly enhanced viewing experience tailored to their individual tastes.

Over the last few years, the manufacturing industry has begun to adopt operational intelligence; outfitting machines on factory floors with sensors and networking to monitor performance and identify early indicators of problems, thereby preventing costly failure scenarios. Rather than relying on routine inspections and component replacements, manufacturers will deepen their use of operational intelligence, allowing them to use live and historical data to improve processes and more efficiently achieve operational goals.

The networked factory floor is just a special case of the Internet of Things (IoT) - the proliferation of networked, intelligent devices, ranging from thermostats to wind turbines. In 2015, operational intelligence will add significant value to IoT by enabling real-time analysis and immediate feedback to coordinate devices and optimize operations. For example, it has the potential to steer bandwidth among millions of cable boxes, detect temperature or power issues within an office building, and fine tune a wind farm to optimize power distribution. The applications for operational intelligence are endless, and we expect 2015 to be the year in which this exciting technology begins to see broad adoption.


About the Author

ScaleOut Software was founded in 2003 by Dr. William L. Bain. Bill has a Ph.D. (1978) in electrical engineering / parallel computing from Rice University, and he has worked at Bell Labs research, Intel and Microsoft. Bill founded and ran three start-up companies prior to joining Microsoft. In the most recent company (Valence Research), he developed a distributed Web load-balancing software solution that was acquired by Microsoft and is now called Network Load Balancing within the Windows Server operating system. Dr. Bain holds several patents in computer architecture and distributed computing. As a member of the screening committee for the Seattle-based Alliance of Angels, Dr. Bain is actively involved in entrepreneurship and the angel community.

Published Monday, December 22, 2014 6:35 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:57 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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