The real big data battle

There’s a lot of talk in enterprise clients about the “right” big data tools/platforms (e.g. Cloudera vs. Hortonworks vs. MapR etc). I think this kind of discussion misses the point. The war is not going to be won by picking the right platform/tools.

The real war in Big Data is of course for the talent. Both for engineers (who can understand the rapidly evolving software space) and for the data scientists (who can do something useful with the data). So it was not really a surprise when I saw the “whiteboard” at the Hadoop conference in California (over the last few days) full of big data jobs. (There were actually 3 such whiteboards, full of jobs.)

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This is what companies should be worried about.

 

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Restructuring consultant beware?

Interesting little article in the Economist about how McKinsey is moving into the restructuring consulting space (typically dominated by Alvarez & Marsal and Alix Partners). Although the incumbents are saying (rightly) that one needs experienced hands (and not just smart young consultants), there’s no reason why the strategy firms can’t hire experienced hires.

Digital disruption: Airbnb covers 99% of the world; Starwood covers ~50%

Yet another example of digital disruption, this time from the hotel industry. Fast Company has an article about AirBNB (“the room sharing company”) that has some interesting data, including the fact that AirBNB now is available in 99% of the countries world wide. Compare this to its nearest rivals (Intercontinental and Starwood which only covers ~50%).

airbnb dominates

In addition, AirBNB expects to offer around 1M listings by the end of 2014. Wow.

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Average American spends ~60% of all non-work waking hours watching TV

According to an article the Economist, the average American spends 4.5 hours watching TV every day. Assuming ~8 hours of sleep and ~8 hours of work, this works out to about 60% of all non-work waking hours.

The key question that comes to my mind (as a consultant): How do people have ~5 hours to spend on themselves? :)

 

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Travel: The half a million dollar first class seat

Most consultants travel a lot. I thought it may be interesting to share a nice article from the New Yorker on the history and design of first/business class seats.

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A few points caught my eye:

  • Birtish Airways was the first airline to offer fully flat beds, but not till 1995
  • New first class seats cost ~$500k each

Worth a read (and perhaps weeping over, when you are stuck in seat 22B).

 

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Humor: Partner track

March 30, 2014 Leave a comment

partner track

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WSJ CIO conference: 70% plan to change service & technology providers

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

The WSJ had a set of articles based on its CIO network conference that were somewhat interesting.

CIO thoughtsSome key takeaways from me included the reasons why CIOs use cloud (“51% say it’s about agility, only 17% say it is because of cost”) and the increasing importance of digital (“40% of chief digital officers report to CEOs”). Also, note how many (70%) are thinking of changing service providers and where they think the next wave of innovation is going to come from (hint: it’s not the established enterprise tech players).

I think Pat Gelsinger (CEO of VMWare) summed it up nicely with his quote

“When we think about this period that we’re in—the combination of cloud, mobile, and big data disrupting both consumer IT and enterprise IT—we are in the period of the greatest tectonic shift in the IT industry in the last 30 years. We think about the Internet wave, the mainframe, the minicomputer—this is the granddaddy of them all. And the companies that we’ve seen fall so far, these are the minor tremors of the things that are going to happen over the course of the next few years”

I couldn’t agree more.

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