Analyst Consultant On the 22nd of March, I ventured out to the Excel Centre in East London to experience one of the biggest technology expos in Europe. Instead of just focusing on one area of technology the expo contained four separate exhibitions; Big Data World, Cloud Security Expo, Smart IOT and Data Centre World. With 1000’s of exhibitors and over 100 keynote speakers, I was somewhat taken aback by the scale of the event. After taking a moment to bask in my surroundings, I headed straight for the field that intrigued me the most… big data.
I spent some time meandering between the stands, til I found a company that caught my eye, but not due to their marketing or promise of free coffee but their integration of big data with machine learning, another area that I can’t seem to get enough of. The company in question was a French-based SaaS platform for textual analysis. Their platform had the ability to process millions of lines of text and produce reports on everything people think about your business. Not only can it take in your personal data gathered from surveys but it can also crawl social media to find out if anyone had written a mean tweet about your new product. Speaking to some of the employees and having a look at the live data they were gathering, it was incredible to see the level of detail that the algorithm was able to find. The generation of these insights wasn’t unique to one firm, this was just one of the many firms creating platforms that could transform the way we think about data in various ways such as prediction, visualisation and collection. The tour around the stands was topped off by a keynote speaker who explained the impact of big data in Fintech, notably how big data and machine learning has vastly increased the detection of banking and credit fraud.
With all the big ideas around how to use data I found myself wondering how companies would be able to store all these huge datasets, luckily for me, Data Centre World was just around the corner. I managed to get there just in time for an eye-opening talk on the use of processing technologies to rapidly increase the speed of file transfers and data backups on multiple servers. It was a great example of how hardware utilisation technologies can be incorporated into the creation datacentres to improve the speed of applications and better handle the large amounts of data firms are collecting and analysing. After learning about the latest in Datacentre technologies, I spent some time talking to providers to see if there were any opportunities for Xceed Group to partner with firms currently planning migrations.
After spending a good amount of time engrossed in all that data it was time to look towards the cloud. There were a vast number of firms offering cloud solutions to a wide variety of problems and in equal measure, there were the even more firms discussing cloud security. With the huge monetary and reputational costs associated with lapses in security, it was no surprise to such a focus on security. Personally I found it far more interesting hearing about, how fiercely they all competed on different offerings of security, storage, price and a whole list of other factors. Despite the burgeoning number of firms, the market for cloud solutions is equally expansive with almost all companies either having already moved a number of resources to the cloud with others planning moves in the near future.
With all the focus on cloud technologies, it was easy to overlook the disruptive technologies taking root much closer to home. It is, of course, the Internet of things (IoT) a loose term given to the ever-expanding list of products that all connect and interact with each other to improve our everyday lives. These ranged from fridges that let you know what you need to pick up from the store, to grand ideas of smart cities that automatically redirect traffic, predict where crime is going to happen and make public transport more efficient. But again as people reflected on the numerous possibilities IoT created, they remained very much aware of the security implications that a connected world would create.
Overall it was a fantastic day, where I left with a bag full of goodies, developed a number of interesting relationships and gained some insight into the major issues being discussed in technology.