Everyone is Online All the Time

Thanks to smartphones, tablets, and laptops, almost everyone will soon have an Internet-connected device with them at all times. Everything is becoming more immediate, more interactive, and more contextual, and the volumes of data being generated are torrential.

Real-time Expectations Among Users

The architectural logic of web and mobile apps is shifting. Real-time content push is fast becoming the norm. Twitter, probably more than any Internet player, has contributed to raising the real-time expectations of users.

Real-time content brings new challenges. It lays bare any data processing latency for all to see. With this, a new set of technologies is emerging to complement the traditional request/response and batch data processing approaches commonly used in Internet products. Event-driven architectures and data stream processing are becoming mandatory to handle the low latency, high volume demands of today’s digital world.

Oceans of Moving Data, Immediate Insight, Faster Decision-making

Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms generate massive volumes of social data. This surge of data will only rise and important new data sources will continue to appear on a regular basis.  Proprietary data sources are also generating huge quantities of real-time data. Increasingly, businesses of all types and sizes must monitor, process, and act on insight gleaned from these “in-flight” data sets. Faster decision-making based on immediate understanding of the situation will drive substantial new value for businesses for years to come.

In-Context Experiences

Mobile technology has opened up new ways to deliver experiences to people based on their in-the-moment context – whether it’s shopping, traveling, or simply relaxing at home. For users, this shift means an opportunity to get more out of whatever they are doing; for advertisers, it’s a chance to influence audience behavior at just the right moment. However, tracking the context of a large number of users and delivering the right experience at the right moment is a formidable computing challenge.

New Internet Devices Create New Data Signals

Real-time data signals will not all be generated by people. Increasingly, sensors and other devices not traditionally associated with the Internet (such as appliances, HVAC control systems, and smart power meters) will be hooked into the Internet to transmit real-time data streams. We envision an entire new space of real-time applications emerging to take advantage of the data and physical world control that these new Internet-connected devices will provide.

The Need for Agility and Cost Efficiency

The expectations for fast and nimble execution are ever increasing. Looking forward, we see businesses and developers opting for easy-to-use, cloud-based platforms to cope with the demand for more agility.

We Haven’t Seen Anything Yet

We are now just seeing the beginning of where big data will go. Cloud computing combined with innovations in distributed computing architectures have started a huge arch of change that will ripple through industries for the foreseeable future. To date, much of “big data” has oriented around batch processing of titanic volumes of static data. That’s just the beginning. Real-time analysis of large volumes of in-flight data is the next chapter.