Boosting Your IT Department with Big Data

Boosting Your IT Department with Big Data

Big data is the next big thing for many areas of business, but IT departments have historically struggled to make use of it. Here's how they can make the most of this new tech.

Big data is the next big thing in business, and it seems like every part of a company can benefit from it. However, this doesn't seem to be the case in IT. Despite a wide range of applications for big data, IT departments are often left behind when it comes to putting them into practice.

A part of this is to do with the rapidly changing nature of computing, yet, a major aspect of it is a lack of knowledge about what the practical applications of the technology are for IT. Here are some of the many ways your business can boost its IT department using big data:

Cybersecurity

Most IT professionals would agree that the best way to prevent cybersecurity threats is to spot them in advance. Efficient use of big data can help companies to better detect potential data breaches. Many organizations have found huge success by analyzing reams of information to spot patterns indicating potential threats to their systems.

A Meritalk study found that 84 per cent of big data users say their organization has successfully used big data to thwart at least one cybersecurity attack, while a Ponemon Institute survey discovered that big data analytics play an important role in detecting advanced cyber threats for 72 per cent of IT security practitioners.

However, this is not something that can be set up straight away. Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, pointed out: "The data pouring into enterprise environments holds valuable information that can be used to identify and mitigate threats, but in many cases, it is simply too overwhelming to extrapolate anything useful from."

The key for IT departments is to merge big data collection with analytics programs that can make use of all the information coming in, assessing it, spotting patterns and using it to uncover potential threats.

Asset Management

IT departments are under more and more pressure as time goes on due to the increased computerization of organizations. A business that once had a few dozen databases to manage, for example, could well now have thousands, and have many more servers to host all this data on as well. Asset management is becoming more difficult, but big data can help.

An article from ITAM Review points out that this growth has led to the creation of so much information that it can effectively be treated as big data. This means analyzing it properly will require a different set of tools and skills, but also that it can be much more useful.

Proper analysis of all the information your organization's assets generate can help you spot areas for improvement, obsolete aspects of your systems and much more. Treating the info as big data is the first step of this process.

Business growth

The advent of big data means every part of a company can potentially have access to a huge amount of information, which is often necessary in order to grow efficiently. This presents a unique opportunity for IT departments to place themselves at the forefront of their organization's decision-making process.

So many companies have success stories about how they used big data analytics to improve their business. Sprint used this method to increase their capacity by 90 per cent, AIG visualizes big data in order to prevent fraud, and Red Roof Inn used a huge amount of information to target stranded airline passengers with ads, driving ten per cent growth.

These examples show how important big data can be, and companies will need their IT departments to push themselves in order to utilize it to its full potential.

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