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January 4, 2018


Digital + Analytics + Cloud Convergence is the New Normal

by Ravi Kalakota

It is mind-boggling to consider how much the technology landscape has changed in only a few years. We are facing the most radical and profound changes since we experienced the mobile and digital transformation that started with the IPhone 10 years ago.

Digital, Analytics/ML (and Big Data)  and Cloud Computing have been separate disruptors and tech silos so far.  Increasingly they are converging (and overlapping) creating a new DAC space.  They are increasingly inseparable as each reinforces the other.

Digital is the means through which consumers interact with the environment and data is the by-product of this interaction.

Analytics – data science, machine learning and AI –  is how we extract value from the data and gain insights for action.  The ability to see meaning inside the data is no longer a nice-to-have but a need-to-have.  Adoption of predictive analytics and machine learning has seen an overwhelming surge. Almost every corporation is investing millions of dollars in becoming data driven. Predictions and prescriptive analytics has moved from the fringe of a few firms doing it well to mainstream.

“Big Data + ML + AI” is becoming the tech stack upon which many modern applications (whether targeting consumers, customers or members) are being built. Data engineering and data pipelines have evolved dramatically in the past decade. Some of the applications we are seeing as big data and AI come together are really game-changing.

Cloud is reimagining how enterprises and consumers orchestrate, automate and run applications, and how Digital and Analytics are delivered. Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to grow by the sheer velocity, continuous cost reduction and breadth of its product releases. While AWS gets all the press, Google Cloud Platform is one to watch in the next 18 months. GCP uses Google’s core infrastructure, data analytics (BigQuery, Dataflow, Dataproc, Datalab, Dataprep, etc.) and machine learning (Tensorflow) which are formidable capabilities and also evolving continuously.

A good example of a DAC firm is NetFlix.  It is a digital experience, driven by analytics (personalization on steroids, A/B Testing of new features), and cloud native architecture based in AWS.

The world is “going DAC” and it’s quite exciting — but this always-connected from-everything-to-everywhere world adds new complexity to software systems.  New complexity means more opportunity as chaos reigns.

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Ankur Khare
    Jan 7 2018

    Thanks for the article Ravi! I think in today’s world the organizations don’t need to store the data in-house and are saving an exorbitant Capex and OpeX thereby utilizing the Cloud. So the increase in Cloud is actually the rippling effect of Big Data.



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