Smart computing, often termed intelligent analytics, is all about utilizing the incredible processing power of today’s computing environments. Smart computing optimizes business decisions in real time and converts the ever-growing flood of data into both meaningful information and actionable intelligence. The strategic significance of smart computing in today’s globally-connected business environment is compelling: in less than fifteen years, the number of global web users has exploded by more than a hundred-fold, from 16 million in 1995 to more than 1.7 billion today (Source:
CyberSecurity, Cabinet Office). According to Gartner, in 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day.
All these interconnected users, devices, and sensors are contributing to data volumes that simply cannot be interpreted and acted upon using traditional techniques. The issue is broader than simply a storage issue around “big data”. What’s required is intelligent data analytics that can interpret data streams in real-time and make appropriate and automated business decisions.
Most of the media coverage around smart computing has been focused on vertical industry applications such as smart cities and their underlying components (e.g. grid infrastructure, utilities, education, buildings and transportation). However, one of the rapidly emerging opportunities has to do with IT departments as organizations – focused upon rigorous IT cost containment, while at the same time striving to provide greater agility for the business.
For the typical enterprise, the issue comes down to:
- managing the proliferation of IT platforms and end user devices within the data center and distributed environment; and
- the associated proliferation of information and transactions.
By adopting smart computing techniques, organizations can reduce their dependencies on internal IT teams to manage this IT infrastructure and associated data streams related to data processing, information security, and even customer service. The IT staff can then focus on higher-value and more strategic activities in support of the business.
As the Consumerization of IT and other disruptive trends such as cloud computing expand our universe of capabilities with data, so must we expand our ability to sort, process, and exploit that data. We are positioned to leverage new, intelligent, and automated agents or capabilities that enhance our traditional human-data interaction models.
It’s important to act now in order to re-position IT service delivery to take full advantage of smart computing techniques to make real-time, intelligent business decisions due to the ever-increasing data volumes flooding into the enterprise. Key opportunity areas include data center automation, governance, risk and compliance, security event analytics, fraud detection, process analytics, and help desk incident management. It is vitally important to have a unifying strategy. This strategy needs to articulate where smart computing will be applied within the business, the before and after scenarios, and the value the initiatives are intended to deliver to the constituent stakeholders.
The business benefits of smart computing are similar to those of IT automation in general and include the ability to:
- reduce operational costs
- improve efficiency
- reduce cycle times
- minimize human error by replacing tedious, manual tasks with repeatable, and more traceable, automated processes
This traceability is another key business benefit since it provides an electronic audit trail that can be utilized to record policy compliance and report on service levels.