How to Survive and Thrive in the Information Explosion

Irfan Khan

Posted by Irfan Khan on October 21, 2014

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In the old days before the advent of Big Data, the Cloud and the Internet of Things, managing cash flow was one of the primary concerns of any enterprise. Today, as we accelerate towards the networked economy, managing the flow of information is becoming just as critical to the success of business.

What’s different now?


The big difference between data now and before is that in the past, only humans created and collected data as they went about their lives and their work. Now, with the rise of mobile devices, social media and machines that create and collect data, not only are we experiencing an explosion of data, but humans are no longer the center of the data system, but are just another node in an increasingly autonomous data universe.


Consider the future for supply chains, for example, where vending machines communicate with each other and make decisions on replenishment and maintenance without human interaction.


Or consider that resourceful retailers use hijack alert apps to promote discounts. Using a messaging app with GPS tracking technology, the app recognizes when customers enter a competitor’s store and sends them a notice about their own promotion.

Or think about the benefits to hospital clinics when maintenance for medical devices is predicted in advance and any repairs scheduled to minimize inconvenience to patients.

These are typical examples of how data, devices, social media and the Internet of Things are rapidly transforming the way we live, work and do business, raising a number of questions.

Are machines making the right decisions? Is the data on our devices secure? Are the new business models invading our privacy as consumers and citizens? How can we manage vast volumes of data coming from different sources? How do we make data useful for business purposes? How can we achieve insight quickly, in real-time?

Taking a holistic approach

Providing structure and governance is the first step to getting a grip on data. Information governance is a discipline that includes people, processes, policies, and metrics for the oversight of enterprise information to improve business value. It has always been crucial for any organization but is now more important than ever.

The information landscape is becoming increasingly complex with a proliferation of systems and technology to try and make sense of it all. The danger lies in taking a fragmented approach to governing the many types of information from so many different sources. Managing data in silos is not only expensive; it is not sustainable in the long term because the business lacks the transparency to fully understand what is happening, making it more and more difficult to achieve strategic goals.

The solution is to simplify the IT landscape and to take a holistic approach to information governance. SAP has the platform and framework to help enterprises do both.

Helping enterprises Run Simple

At SAP, we are already engineering our solutions for the changing world around us, building everything on the principle of Run Simple.

The SAP Data Management portfolio, for example, which runs on the SAP HANA Platform, provides a complete, end to end approach, merging transactional and analytical workloads to be processed on the same data – structured and unstructured – for real time processing. This avoids bottlenecks and data duplication, saving costs, ensuring compliance and providing transparency.

SAP can support your enterprise with high-performance, next-generation information governance services, smarter and seamless access to all types of data, plus democratised insight and information transparency via advanced analytics. And of course, all this can be deployed on premise, in the cloud, or both, backed up with increased security, identity management, and compliance with emerging privacy regulations.

Our advice to enterprise decision makers dealing with modern trends like big data, social media, the cloud and Internet of Things is to take action now because managing the flow of information is just as critical to the success of your business as managing cash flow!

In case you missed Steve Lucas’s keynote at SAP TechEd && dCode in Las Vegas yesterday, I announced the release of a new SAP thought leadership paper on information governance. This paper covers the substantial business advantages, the emerging challenges, SAP’s recommended framework and holistic platform perspective as well as real-world success stories including how we ourselves achieved €31 million in total benefits over 2 years.

SAP’s latest paper on Information Governance can be downloaded here:

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