Ready for the New Era of Data?

New data types will present opportunities and challenges for your business

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of a three-part series.

When computers were first invented, they processed numbers. Today, your cell phone processes numbers, emails, pictures and applications a thousand times faster than the first computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). And you couldn’t just stick the 30-ton ENIAC in your back pocket.

Computing and the data associated with computers have changed considerably over the last 60 years since the invention of the ENIAC. That means that you can count on more of the same over the next half century but with one smaller difference: The change will be faster. As a businessperson in this environment, you need to stay attentive to these changes and ensure your systems are flexible.

Let’s just look at one of the areas in which change might affect you and you company’s data the most: data variety.



New Types, New Needs

Data processing systems designed primarily to manage company billing in the 1960s are still at work today in some companies, because computerized billing is a company must-have. But let’s consider that even billing is changing. Today, your systems have to be able to manage data from online transactions either from consumers or from your channel partners through electronic data interchange (EDI). That’s a complexity not dreamed of in 1960.

And as for the future, is your present company billing system capable of handling transactions from any device, anywhere in the world, within seconds?

In addition to handling the numbers of your business, your computer systems today must also manage other more complex data types, such as video and machine data.

Video, made ubiquitous by YouTube, represents data challenges because of the type of data managed as well as how much storage space it requires. But video for training, security and in-house communications is a requirement today. In fact, it’s becoming the way to communicate internally in some companies.