IT Trends 2014: Big data leaves the data warehouse

  • Big data takes over productive systems
  • Security & privacy: Protection of privacy is gaining importance
  • IPv6 undergoes comprehensive expansion
  • Internet of Things on the rise

ConSol Consulting & Solutions Software GmbH ( forecasts the key topics for companies and end users for the coming year in its annual IT trend report. According to the full-service IT provider, real-time data analysis will play a critical role in 2014. This will give a huge boost to technologies such as in-memory computing, as in-memory data storage goes mainstream.

The ConSol trend specialists predict the following specific challenges for Internet and mobile applications in 2014: The NSA affair will push the issues of cloud and security back to the top of the agenda for IT managers. IPv6 will undergo comprehensive expansion, and we can expect milestones in the continuing development of the Internet of Things to be hit. Finally, there will again be innovative and surprising new web applications, made possible by the HTML5 revolution.

Michael Beutner“2014 will be an exciting year,” says Michael Beutner, Managing Director Technology at ConSol Consulting & Solutions Software GmbH. “Everything will be affected by big data. Companies are already implementing many big data technologies. However, they are unable to exploit their full potential value. Now they need to take the next step and make the data usable in real time.”

The biggest IT trends for 2014 in detail:

Big data makes its way into productive systems
In the past years, big data was mainly regarded in terms of the efficient and low-cost administration and analysis of the enormous volumes of data such as usage, sensor, and log file data. The focus is now on making the data usable in real time. Current developments in in-memory data storage will blur the boundaries between operative data centers and analytical data warehouses, ultimately eliminating them. The time delay resulting from the required transport into the data warehouse (generally via ETL, batch or aggregation processes) will be eliminated. Improved scalability in data storage in the central storage system means that both operative and analytical systems can now use the same database. This allows evaluation results and forecasts to be produced in real time based on operative data and generates real competitive advantages for innovative companies. It will also enable completely new business areas and functionalities, such as in the area of dynamic price calculations, product recommendations, risk assessments, and planning.

This development will become technologically possible thanks to the continually decreasing prices of central storage systems together with increasingly sophisticated and innovative in-memory technologies and solutions such as Terracotta, SAP HANA, and Hazelcast, which enable the highly efficient, reliable, and scalable management of data volumes in the terabyte range and can also make them available at a very high speed for both operative systems and analysis.

From the manufacturers’ side, this means that many established providers will be coming with new in-memory options for their relational databases in order to enhance the analytical capability of their databases. Oracle has now also announced an in-memory option for Release 12c, following SAP with SAP HANA.

NSA affair: Protection of privacy gains importance
For several years, issues surrounding data security, for example, in cloud applications, have already been the subject of heated discussions. The NSA spying scandal has placed this topic back among the priorities of IT managers. However, this time the discussion is now more focused on the political and legal aspect of protecting people’s privacy. ConSol security experts are predicting that many people, particularly for Germany, will feel insecure and less likely to accept cloud services from international sources in 2014. This implies that an increase in or stronger focus on locally provided services can be expected. ConSol experts regard this as an opportunity and new sales potential for locally operating cloud providers with local data centers that can back themselves up with the claim ‘managed and stored in Germany.’

IPv6 undergoes expansion
More and more terminal connections are accessing the Internet partially or exclusively via IPv6, and mobile telecommunications providers have also announced the implementation of IPv6 in their mobile networks. In order for every end device to access the new and comprehensive Internet protocol and to maintain the end-to-end principle of the Internet, there are new application possibilities in the communication between servers and mobile clients as well as in direct communication of the clients among each other that will now only be coordinated and initiated by the servers. IPv6’s integrated multicasting is what enables new and highly scalable communication scenarios. At the same time, however, new security risks appear that may cause problems for companies as well as consumers.

The Internet of Things continues to develop
The Internet of Things is on the rise, for example, in the areas of industrial control and sensor technology, in traffic, or in private smart homes, but also in healthcare and automobile use. This is technically possible due to the use of established open technology and protocol stacks in the relevant devices (such as embedded systems). In order to drive large-scale expansion of the Internet of Things in many areas, the IPv6 protocol family will need to be integrated and implemented directly in the hardware so that the devices can connect out of the box to the available network without configuration. This allows their information and data to be used by other devices and control systems. It also brings about a multitude of new applications and business models for the control of intelligent embedded systems and the preparation, visualization, and usage of the collected data. ConSol experts are expecting a milestone in this development in 2014.