On March 6 and 7 this year, the walls of the Palais des Congrès were fit to burst with a staggering 13,000 visitors from all corners of the industry, including software companies, data analysis or visualisation specialists, and integrators to name a few. The gathering was in aid of the Big Data congress, an annual event which brings together the entire digital ecosystem over two days. The success of the event goes to show how the industry is growing, at full speed ahead.
With the IoT revolution, today users are increasingly more mobile and connected. Smartphones are now everywhere (240 million Europeans own one), and they enable internet access in most situations on either 4G or Wi-Fi.
Between now and 2020, we will see twice as much traffic generated from mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) than from PCs. Data usage is also greatly increasing, with the average use per person increasing from 7GB in 2015 to more than 21GB in 2020. The increase is due to the vast wealth of apps such as YouTube or Netflix where each video uses large quantities of data, or others such as Snapchat or Facebook that also generate enormous amounts of traffic on a daily basis. Moreover, apps such as Messenger stay connected even when not in use. In addition, higher speeds thanks to 4G contribute to creating stronger demands for data.
Connected objects that rely on the Internet
The growing number of connected objects is certainly showing no signs of slowing down. The figures speak for themselves: with 5.09 objects per European in 2015, this is expected to rise to 8.87 by 2020.
Responding to this increased demand for objects and the reliance of users on Internet connections, infrastructures are now undergoing developments to strengthen user access regardless of their location. The need for a connection, created by these objects, is driving mobile phone providers to offer plans which are more and more data-oriented.
Mobile networks are responding by developing and offering plans with higher data allowances. Over the past few weeks, the first monthly plans offering 100GB of data have been seen on the RED (SFR) network, along with Free which is now offering the first ever unlimited data plan. Not to be outdone, Bouygues has come up with a 4G box for households without broadband or fibre optic connections.
With the amount of data exchanged becoming increasingly higher, processing it is becoming a major question in the digital revolution.
Data, a growing concern for business
Businesses are directly concerned by these changes and must confront the problems linked to accessing, processing, and analysing the data. As such, new disciplines such as Data Management are being developed.
The role of the Data Manager is to “develop and implement the IT structure and processes which allow the collection, storage, exploitation and security of a company’s data”.
It also means that the company can use the data as an asset, creating real added value if it is managed properly from end to end. By combining a Data Lake with Machine Learning, a company can even establish predictive models.
The next step is to develop 5G. It became evident at MWC that this was already a major preoccupation for those in the business. 5G will foster data exchange thanks to higher connection speeds and lower energy usage. Watch this space.