Power in Data: Turning Facts into Discoveries
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Theresa Morelli - Theresa Morelli is a global product and marketing manager for advanced analytics solutions at IBM. Her current focus is on developing cloud-based analytics solutions designed to deliver actionable insights directly to the line of business.

Midsize Business Can Benefit from Cloud Computing

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The power of predictive analytics is in the ability to find the right piece of information amidst all of the noise. The problem is, in this era of big data, there's a lot of noise: We're now generating more than two exabytes every day. Considering the ever-increasing rate by which data is generated, the right analytics infrastructure can not only be difficult to identify, but can become obsolescent quickly.

Timing is also critical: Analyzing big data at the moment of impact -- such as predicting in real-time whether a claim is fraudulent or generating a personalized coupon at the time of purchase -- is where real value lives. To do that, you need an analytics solution that not only harnesses the variety of structured and unstructured data, but can also grow with your needs in handling the ever-accelerating rate of data generation.

Analytics adoption has many moving parts: purchasing software and servers, architecting its integration into existing infrastructure, and spending time learning how to actually use it. This typically involves heavy reliance on IT and, often, a significant upfront investment in infrastructure and external experts. Sizing can also be a challenge: Too much capacity, you're wasting money; too little, and you end up stuck in the mud. The key is getting it Goldilocks-just-right, which is difficult given the uncertainty around long-term capacity needs that comes with a quickly evolving technology landscape.

Cloud-based solutions provide a number of benefits, especially to midsize businesses, including cost efficiency and scalability. With the shift in mindset from one of scarcity prevention (buy an abundance of capacity that you can grow into) to one of on-demand consumption (buy what you need now and more later, when you need it), cloud infrastructure is right on par with today's "pay for what you use" culture.

The old "time is money" adage still rings true. Efficiency, simplicity, and the ability to get up and running quickly are key. Eliminating the need to invest in infrastructure or endure drawn-out implementation efforts provides fluidity to adapt with growing capacity needs and allows midsize businesses to focus on the analytics, not on the infrastructure. It's like renting a personal storage space. You don't have to think about the building, the utilities, or the maintenance staff; all you have to do is show up with your stuff. And like a bowl of porridge, it'll be "just right."

Discover more. Click to view our IBM-InfographicRightRail - Part 3.jpginfographic on how the cloud is helping organizations thrive in
 the era of Big Data.

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