Real-Time Data’s Impact on IT

real-time data and IT

In today’s world, data is one of the most valuable resources of any business or operation, which is why it’s being harvested and monitoring about everything. Retailers collect data about their customers, purchase histories, market performance, and even competing brands. In construction, data is used to monitor workers, manage duties and complete projects. In marketing, its used to understand various campaigns and identify valid, successful strategies for advertising and promotions. Honestly, this list could go on forever.

This has been brought about by the widespread digitization of modern industry. Every field from manufacturing to healthcare is growing increasingly reliant on modern and mobile technologies. Of course, at the heart of this change is the IT and development world.

IT professionals are tasked with not only maintaining the networks and systems in use to facilitate data transfer and processing but also creating them. That eCommerce app on your phone from a prominent brand — one you use regularly to shop online and in-store — had to be developed by someone. It must also be regularly maintained through security and performance patches. In the background, it’s collecting and transmitting a vast quantity of user data and metrics which someone is sorting through, organizing and translating into usable intel.

The amount of data uploaded to the internet every second amounts to 24,000 gigabytes. That’s per second! Still, it continues to flow and both the creation and storage of this information continues to ramp up every day. There are many forms, such as asynchronous versus synchronous — real-time — data. The latter must be collected, processed and ingested near-instantly. It’s a method of proactive and calculated action, as opposed to a more conventional reactive nature.

What is Real-Time Data?

Real-time data is often considered to be “data in motion” or bleeding edge information.

During a conference or sports event, for example, there’s a lot going on. Collecting data about the event, then storing and sifting through it later is the traditional way of doing things. But it doesn’t really help you make changes in-the-moment.

With modern technology, it’s now possible to collect that data throughout the course of an event. It can be analyzed, right then and there to come up with various solutions or predictions. This has, as expected, completely shifted the role of modern IT to more proactive and responsive techniques.

For instance, an active alert highlighting unauthorized users can be dealt with swiftly, by leveraging a combination of robust data and security controls.

IT Professionals Have More Power

The real-time nature of operations today has also afforded considerable power and responsibility to the average IT professional. Their roles are now closer to a manager or leader, where they must call the shots and take action. It’s especially true of cybersecurity and protections personnel who must respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It’s all thanks to the “insight economy” where data holds pretty much all value and worth.

More often than not, IT is responsible for choosing network tools and infrastructure, security solutions, internal hardware and software configurations, and anything else related to the technology side of operations. IT might even decide the general structure of a network, such as whether or not to allow employees the option to bring and use their own devices on the company network.

Closer to the data, IT and related analysts handle data collection, processing, and applications and often generate detailed reports for the layman — usually upper management — to describe what’s happening. There’s no question about the impact of IT professionals on operations in today’s business world. Without them, things just wouldn’t go as smoothly.

Modern Day Earners

Because of how demanding and how much goes into the world of IT — especially for a technology-oriented company — the field is often looked at as a money sink or financial pit. Costs for qualified personnel, equipment and systems, and their eventual maintenance can and are quite high.

However, IT remains a worthy investment if only in the face of consistent, revealing data. Collected information can be used to identify and enable new revenue opportunities. It can also be used to improve existing processes, replace inefficient ones or just come up with better solutions altogether.

IT professionals, data analysts, cybersecurity experts and the like, are all modern day earners. They all contribute to the bottom line of any operation and have a significant impact on the overall performance and success of a business.

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Nathan P. Sykes

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