Recently, General Electric announced a $105 Million investment in EMC Pivotal. The investment reflects the companies growing commitment to smart systems/devices under their industrial Internet initiative. From locomotives to turbines to household appliances, GE sees a world where the ‘internet of things’ delivers measurable value to users of these increasingly intelligent systems.
They are not alone in their strategy. Apple ex-pats Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers took their knowledge of design engineering and online connectivity to create Nest, which sells smart building thermostats. Nest is more than a programmable thermostat, however. This web-connected device learns from a homeowner’s behavioral patterns and creates a temperature-setting schedule from them. It is also a data-use giant…compiling data on its users to drive smarter energy utilization. More important, it shows how entrepreneurs are beginning to embrace technology to do to other common devices what Apple has done to our portable music devices (iPod) and phones (iPhone)—namely make them stylish, fun and easy to use.
So, at GE, drawing on the trend, the company is rethinking how turbines can talk to their owners to drive smarter operation…or more reliable operation. How locomotives can talk to controllers to ensure timely services and ensure maintenance schedules are maintained. And for IT teams at GE this means tons of diverse data streams, structure, unstructured and semi-structured that need storage and interpretation. If this is your business, as GE increasingly deems it is, then the investment in EMC Pivotal makes sense.
But what can we all learn from GE? Here are three important takeaways from the GE investment for CIOs in all business, academic and government segments:
Data Volume Will Grow.
In conversation with IT executives, we still see a tendency to talk about data in traditional terms. That is, we think of applications in our traditional departments (HR, sales, finance, manufacturing, etc) as being our data sources. However, overlooking the explosion in data volumes likely to come from marketing, social media and from customer devices like the Nest thermostats could leave IT teams scrambling for resource when the tsunami from these sources hit.
CIOs Must Drive Business Value…Not Just IT.
GE is slowly and methodically betting its business on data and they are not alone. The key takeaway is the rapid shift from CIO as owner of IT services to broker of services supporting business value. This shift requires CIOs to rethink their facilities and infrastructure strategy in order to ensure, nimble, scalable, secure on-demand, affordable resources for the business.
Data Center Facilities Are Not What They Used To Be.
The Microsoft Azure cloud facility in Quincy, WA includes three distinct architectural approaches to data center design, from traditional raised floor integrated facility to a novel, open air modular form factor that redefines what it means to be a data center. This one facility single-handedly demonstrates the complex decisions facing IT executives looking to plot data center facility strategy for the next decade. Building out data center resources to support consumer-grade data processing (i.e. Google or Amazon class price/performance), you need to consider groundbreaking concepts.
The BRUNS-PAK Data Center Methodology
Over the past 44 years, BRUNS-PAK has quietly assembled one of the most diverse, skilled teams of professionals focused on the strategies and implementation tactics required to craft durable data center strategies in this new era. From strategic planning to design/build support, construction and commissioning, BRUNS-PAK is helping clients craft solutions that balance the myriad decisions underpinning effective data center strategy, including:
- Renovation vs. expansion options (CAPEX v. OPEX)
- Build and own
- Build and leaseback
- Migration/relocation options
- Cloud integration / Private cloud build out
- Container/Pod deployment
- Network optimization
- Business impact analysis
- Hybrid computing architecture
With over 6,000 customers in all industry, government and academic sectors, BRUNS-PAK has a proven process for designing, constructing, commissioning and managing data center facilities, including LEED-certified, high efficiency facilities in use by some of the world’s leading companies and institutions.