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by Irshad Raihan

About ten years ago Nick Carr wrote a famous article for the Harvard Business Review where he made a strong argument for why Information Technology (IT) doesn’t matter. The core of his hypothesis was that the commoditization of IT - just like with any mainstream technology across human history - made IT invisible in the long run, and therefore not matter from a strategic standpoint.

Over the last decade or so, big data has reignited new opportunities for innovation that have led to an extremely favorable position for IT and the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Some say big data has relabeled the I in CIO to Innovation. The CIO is now truly considered to be part of the elite C-suite of executives, thanks in large part to the insights that IT can now deliver to the business in terms of identifying new business models, lucrative customer segments, and problematic products and processes. In other words, big data makes IT matter.

The use cases of big data technology, within and outside the enterprise, are constantly growing in volume and variety. Within the enterprise a majority of the use cases are focused on increasing profitability and operational efficiency (including identifying wasteful expenses and improving security). Not surprisingly, the most meaningful use cases can be found outside the enterprise in philanthropic organizations, non-profit entities, and even some government bodies.

As Greg Kleiman, Director of Big Data at Red Hat, outlines in the video below from the Strata conference in Barcelona, the most important applications of big data are those that can truly enrich our lives – the ones that fight diseases, break down communication barriers, eliminate war, and end poverty. We are a long way away from any of those goals but big data has the potential to not only make IT matter, but all of our lives matter.

To learn more, go to: Red Hat Big Data


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