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Big data: the new frontier for emerging markets

by: Hanne Marie Mysen Big data is headlining everywhere. Unfortunately most of them drown out information about the productive uses of the technology in favour of the mania surrounding government surveillance and security connected to recent developments across the pond. Despite what your opinion on these unfolding events might be, the need for Big Data is becoming imminent with information doubling every two years. In connection with the demand for smart phones and computing services from the rising middle class in the global South approximately 90 % of all data that currently exists has been created within the past two years<1>. This burst of digital information has come as a challenge for traditional IT to find the space necessary to store the vast amounts of data. The Cloud and other hosting services like it have developed the storage necessary to store huge amounts of data for organizations in a more stable environment, together with eliminating practically all the issues related to hosting Big Data. Because the Cloud translates to less hardware needed for storage on the site, this form of computing technology equates to more capital saved through efficient use of IT budgets while at the same time freeing up manpower to deal with more important issues than, say, troubleshooting. Industries such as health care or financial services the world over are taking advantage of private software services. Take the banking sector, which is finding better ways serving its customers more efficiently and new ways to sell them more products, Cloud technology is making turnover. The exponential growth of information will absolutely lead to every industry finding new ways to maximise data in the future, making profit from efficiently analyse the information they need to make more intelligent business decisions. From this necessity lies a huge new marketplace that is currently spearheaded by emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific, says EMC International senior executive Steven Leonard, giving countries such as India, China, Japan and Australia a competitive advantage<2>. At the same time the many private cloud services surfacing in these markets depend on reliability or speed of communication and infrastructure to deliver, which could be a bigger worry for South Asia than for other places. People are curious about these technologies but also cautious – understandable due to recent leaks and event, concern for privacy is a rational concern. However, as Puneet Pal Singh from cloud storage firm Rackspace explains when questioned about the risks and potential benefits of opting for cloud storage “We have not been a part of collecting big data for any legal or government agency. We will not be a part of sharing information, unless we are given a warrant for a court order from a court that has jurisdiction over Rackspace or the given information. And even then we will fight it”<3>.

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