On Christmas morning, I’m up super early to watch my children swarm the stockings and gifts left by that jolly old elf, Santa Claus. Call me a curmudgeon, but I feel like adults could use their own elf. Each November, CIOs could send him a wish list and return to work on Dec. 26 to find solutions fully implemented and waiting on the server.
What would we data professionals find on that wish list? The Data Elf wouldn’t respond on twitter, but I’m willing to make a few educated guesses…
1. Mobile application integration. Enterprises have been investing in mobile applications, and now they need to integrate those devices and the data with other enterprise systems. Ovum predicts that this will lead to investments in either backend-as-a-service or mobile enterprise application/development platforms.
2. Actually, middleware in general. From integration platform as a service to B2B integration infrastructure modernization, Ovum says the middleware market will reach $16.3 billion in 2015. That’s an increase of 9.3 percent.
3. Help with Hadoop. “In truth, Hadoop is still an immature technology, which is a bit of a mess,” write Aaron Auld and Mathias Golombek, the CEO and CTO of EXASOL, respectively. In their Big Data predictions, they foresee Hadoop evolving in a way that supports an achievable ROI.
I’m a bit unclear on how that will actually happen, but one interesting idea is Hadoop as a managed service. GigaOm Research outlines the options in a free report, “Understanding the Power of Hadoop as a Service.” The paper outlines a range of options in this category, from the intensive professional services offered by IBM and CSC, to Altiscale, which ensures that Hadoop performs well and reliably, but leaves the data analysis up to you.
4. Data, liberated from legacy mainframes. Organizations are coming face-to-face with the pressures to retire or outsource mainframes. There are several reasons for the push to eliminate mainframes, according to this Data Center Knowledge Industry Perspectives column, including the retirement of employees who run mainframes. Another major pressure point is the cost. Gartner research estimates mainframe infrastructure represents 7-20 percent of an organization’s annual IT spending.
A big part of any modernization effort — mainframe or otherwise — will be liberating the data from those legacy systems. There are several ways to approach the problem — although I’m certain Elf magic would be a welcomed option. As Moorcroft Debt Recovery Group learned, freeing your data pays off in terms of faster reporting, deeper queries and even found money.
Who knows? The Jolly Data Elf just might deliver. Last year, organizations wished for Big Data, and surveys of executives show that Big Data delivered.
Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.