Over the last few years, the amount of information businesses have to deal with has jumped dramatically. Driven by much more widespread use of connected devices across the world – with these no longer limited to just desktop and laptop PCs – the data coming into organisations is getting bigger and more detailed all the time.
And this is not likely to stop any time soon, as more people get connected to the internet and use digital devices to manage all aspects of their lives. Cisco recently noted, for instance, that the amount of IP traffic being sent and received around the world in 2018 will be higher than all traffic generated globally between 1984 and 2013.
As such, the way in which businesses think about their information and how they manage it is changing significantly. So here are five key information management trends chief information officers need to be aware of.
- Mobile device diversity
A big challenge for information management professionals revolves around making sure data is easily and securely viewable on a wide range of different devices. Businesses will have to contend with the differing requirements of desktop and laptop, tablet and smartphone users, as well as increased fragmentation in the software market. As such, providing a consistent experience for users across all platforms is a major challenge.
- Big data vs smart data
By now, every IT professional should be aware of the impact of the big data trend and what it will mean for the way in which employees handle information. But simply gathering large volumes of data will not be enough if this information is not relevant to the questions firms need answering, or is too difficult to derive insight from. To be successful, information management professionals need to understand what data will actually be useful and focus their efforts on this ‘smart data’ – which may not be as voluminous as big data, but will usually provide better results.
- Internet of Everything
Related to this is the huge increases in sources of data – driven largely by more connected devices and sensors known as the Internet of Everything. Cisco estimates there will be 7.3 billion machine-to-machine connections globally by 2018. With so much new information entering businesses – much of which will be unstructured and difficult to manage using traditional solutions, firms will need to react to this.
- Privacy takes priority
One issue that emerged last year was who can access confidential data – driven in large part by the Edward Snowden revelations and subsequent claims of spying by the NSA and GCHQ. This, coupled with a growing number of cyber attacks on large firms, have made it more important than ever for companies to make the security and privacy of confidential business and customer information a top priority.
- Who’s in control of the cloud?
One other outcome of the 2013 spying scandal was that many European and Asia-Pacific firms have looked to move information away from US-based cloud computing solutions in favour of more local options. This represents a growing concern among businesses about who is in control of cloud storage and information management solutions and what the data governance issues surrounding this are. As such, it can be expected that solutions such as private and hybrid clouds can that insulate key information will be another key trend in the years to come.