Data has become the currency of the always-on world. But on its own, it’s not enough. Businesses need to make sense of the wealth of data they have. This is where the algorithm economy comes in, and using algorithms to make sense of data will be a business priority for decision-makers in 2016.

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Big data has grown in interest and use in recent years, but companies are beginning to see the necessity of extracting value from it.

Intel recently predicted more than 50 billion devices and ‘things’ will be connected worldwide by 2020. This presents a massive influx of data access points bringing with it a wealth of business opportunities and challenges.

For the most part, focus has been on getting systems in place that take care of data storage and management. In an always-connected world, with employees and customers connected to the back-end systems using a variety of devices at any time and from any location, it makes sense to have the building blocks in place. However, this is no longer enough.

A shift is happening that is seeing organisations focus less on big data…

A shift is happening that is seeing organisations focus less on big data, and more on streamlining the data they already have.

According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is forecast to surpass $3.6 trillion in 2016. The IT industry is being driven by digital business, and an environment driven by a connected world.

Businesses cannot operate without IT, and IT cannot operate without data. This cyclical nature of the always-on environment means that data links together all aspects of a business, but whether it is managed through virtualisation; modern storage; the cloud; or other enterprise computing options, data is still very complex even when it is being streamlined.

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The algorithm economy translates business challenges into meaningful actions using the data that is available.

Algorithms can take real-time analytics to the next level with an analysis unique to a business and its requirements and goals. Gartner’s SVP and global head of research, has predicted that algorithms are defining the future of business, and that products and services will be defined by the sophistication of their algorithms, giving organisations a competitive edge.

This adds further complexity as additional security needs to be implemented to safeguard the organisation, its data, and the algorithms that will drive it. Regulatory compliance is helping to mitigate this to a certain extent as it provides companies with a blueprint of the boxes it needs to tick for data surety.

decision-makers need to find a balance between managing data and analysing it

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gather momentum, the pressure will be on decision-makers to find a balance between managing data, analysing it, and shifting strategy to meet changing demands of the market.

Algorithms will take on greater importance to help regulate this from an organisational perspective. Companies can no longer turn a blind eye to the always-on business and the need to evolve their approaches and systems with it.