Data is the new platform, and social is the intelligence

Gavin Michael - Global Managing Director, R&D and Alliances, Accenture - Structure 2011The days of viewing everything in the cloud through an application lens is nearing its end. Now, we are evolving into a world where quantity, processing speeds and distribution of data will make us see the world through a data lens, according to Gavin Michael, global managing director for R&D and alliances at Accenture, during GigaOm’s Structure on Thursday.

“We see data taking its rightful place as another platform inside enterprise,” Michael said.

Michael was on hand to present the Accenture Technology Vision 2011, a cross-industry research project that takes stock of the evolving trends in IT and how they will impact business and society as a whole. The research team looked into 400 hypotheses based on input from scientists, architects and engineers. They found fifty that held true, which they consolidated into eight trends:

  • Data takes its rightful place as a platform.
  • Analytics is driving a discontinuous evolution from business intelligence.
  • Cloud computing will create more value higher up the stack.
  • Architecture will shift from server-centric to service-centric.
  • IT security will respond rapidly, progressively—and in proportion.
  • Data privacy will adopt a risk-based approach.
  • Social platforms will emerge as a new source of business intelligence.
  • User experience is what matters.

During his presentation, Michael underscored the idea that data in the cloud has all sorts of different shelf lives, with some information only useful for minutes. “Distributed data is rapidly becoming the new normal,” he said.

He also emphasized the idea that cloud computing will create more value higher up the stack.

“We look at the cloud and notice it’s time for a new convergence away from infrastructure as a service to value coming from the cloud as we move higher up the stack,” he said. “Cloud will have its real impact in areas such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS).”

Finally, he said consumers are diving the major evolution in IT trends like never before.

“Technology is back on the agenda from a point of innovation and growth,” he said. “We are entering a new reality where consumers are more demanding through the emergence of technology. And the way in which we make decisions based in enterprise is changing based on analytic power of these new platforms.”