InformationInformation (Photo credit: heathbrandon)

Welcome to the new home of my blog. Every year, I have participated in the annual ritual of market analysts and given our view on what the New Year will bring.

This year, I decided on something slightly different. My company, Neuralytix, decided that we would identify not so much the hot technologies, but the priorities and best practices for

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IT departments over the course of 2013.

My full webinar can be found here. But I thought it was important to share my number one priority – “Insight, not Infrastructure”.

For too long, the Information industry has focused on the infrastructure components of information-flow. Many IT departments spend close to 100% of their time deploying, maintaining, and supporting infrastructure, rather than trying to discover new business opportunities from what the infrastructure actually supports – the valuable data and information.

Don’t get me wrong, infrastructure is still a necessary and vital part of the overall information-flow. Without it, nothing will actually get done! However, we must shift the balance away from focusing on infrastructure, and focusing on value creation.

Neuralytix is proposing the following model:

The Neuralytix™ Information to Innovation™ Model (Source: Neuralytix, 2013)

The convergence of the big buzzword technologies including Big Data, Cloud,Mobility, and Social are all at a point where IT can truly exploit all these technologies to discover deeper insights and foresights into an enterprise’s ability to find new business innovation.

To address the infrastructure question, I propose a very simple solution: let your vendor help you. All the major vendors now (with only a couple of outliers) offer their own end-to-end compute-storage-network converged infrastructure solutions. Even the outliers have partnered to deliver converged infrastructure. Therefore, relationships with your vendors will play a strong role. Now, this is not to suggest that you abandon what you currently have or the differentiation and value specific vendors bring to your organization. Simply, IT departments must shift its focus, its energies, its skill sets towards activities that the business can view as revenue generating rather than just cost efficient.

At Neuralytix, we have a trademarked saying about Big Data, “If you’re not doing it, your competitors are™”. If you are still undecided about Big Data, then I strongly suggest that you take a stance to getting on with a Big Data project.

Despite the inclusion of the word “Big” in Big Data, neither the data sets nor the project need to be “big”. The ultimate aim for Big Data is to incorporate multiple sets of data, (preferably) both proprietary (internal) data, with public (external) data and to discover insights into the business through a combination of hypotheses and analyses, augmented with intuition to generate new business innovation.

To get going, I recommend that the IT department sit down with the marketing department and simply ask, what information about the company do you want to know that you don’t already know? Very likely, you will find that this simple question will be insightful unto itself.

Good luck … and have a prosperous 2013! Happy hunting (for new insights!)

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