4.4 Million Jobs In Big Data

sebastian nikoloff

Companies are expected to invest U.S.$3.7 billion in their IT infrastructure in 2013. That is 3.8% more than this year and a clear sign of a growth on the job market as well.

According to Peter Sondergaard, SVP, Head of Research at Gartner, Inc., more than four million new jobs will be created in the next three years due to Big Data alone. Businesses want to put their enterprise data to better use, but they need employees with Big Data expertise to do so. To manage these huge volumes of data, experts must not only know how to use the right analytic tools, but also be able to judge the relevance of the data. Gartner sees this as one of the most important growth markets in the IT industry today.

Worker shortage: Only 1/3 have the required expertise

In this intersection of both business and IT expertise, 4.4 million new jobs will be created, says Sondergaard. 1.9 million of these positions will be in the U.S. In addition, for every new position in the area of Big Data, up to three more are expected to be created in other areas. That totals up to six million potential jobs in the U.S.  and spells bad news for companies, says Gartner. Qualified experts will only be able to fill one third of the positions. Sondergaard predicts strong competition for the top workers in this area. The education system will have some catching up to do.

Recently, IDC examined the areas where companies face the biggest challenges in Big Data. A study of the German market revealed that companies see data security as their biggest obstacle (46%), followed by data storage (43%), and cost (39%).

In the meantime, data volumes are continuously increasing. Three out of every four IT professionals surveyed expect an increase of 25% per year over the next two years.


Tech Helps Kenyan Women Beat Cervical Cancer

Martin Kopp

273396_l_srgb_s_glAccording to the Kenya Cancer Network, 25 out of 100,000 women in Kenya will develop cervical cancer. Of these, 70-80 percent are not detected until the later stages, as lack of awareness among Kenyan women remains a major problem. The largest barrier to care is the high cost of treatment combined with high poverty rates. In addition, there are not enough treatment centers or diagnostic equipment.

But thanks to technology, that is changing.

Heidelberg University Hospital: Digital health breaks barriers

In developed nations, healthcare is undergoing a digital transformation. We see this through the hyper-connectivity of an informed patient population. Consumers are driving industries that develop products such as wearable monitors and health aids. The supercomputing and cloud-based storage technology behind those devices enable a global healthcare community, as connectivity allows doctors to treat patients without seeing them.

Connected care is at the heart of this movement, so healthcare developments like these are a boon to people who need help but lack access. Technology such as SAP HANA uses cloud computing that enables doctors to gather information through mobile devices, giving women in Kenya access to world-class healthcare. That connection makes a huge difference in treating pregnancy-related issues.

Of course, healthcare apps do not replace the traditional relationship between doctor and patient. Rather, they allow doctors to gather information from patients via mobile platforms. Healthcare workers can then use that information to track the progress of pregnancy and share information with patients.

Connectivity is a major driver of the healthcare revolution. Patients no longer need to visit a doctor to find out what is wrong; they are already informed about their condition. App-based care deepens the traditional relationship between healthcare and consumers. That is a powerful advantage, especially in places like Kenya.

Breaking healthcare barriers

Lack of treatment facilities and diagnostic tools, limited awareness, and the high cost of healthcare, remain significant problems in Kenya. But thanks to technology, these issues are diminishing.

Even in developed countries, the cost to healthcare is an issue. It is one of the driving forces around Obamacare in the United States. In places such as Kenya, Big Data is making a difference. Heidelberg University Hospital has developed an app using SAP HANA technology that allows a deeper connection between doctor and patient. The exchange of information is critical in hyperconnected healthcare. Because the app is mobile-based, it can be deployed in remote locations to bring healthcare to millions of women anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Health and well-being: Byproducts of digital transformation

This app helps to increase the knowledge base of women in Kenya. For example, many Kenyans believe that only women who are HIV+ are at risk for cervical cancer. Dispelling that myth encourages more women seek health screenings, therefore reducing the high rates of late detection. That in turn improves treatment options and survival rates.

Also thanks to the app, more women have access to care at earlier stages of pregnancy. It becomes easier to track patient progress, allows doctors to care for more patients, and decreases the cost of healthcare.

The process works by patient engagement via the app. Patients check in, answer questions, and receive information from their doctor. The app creates a positive healthcare ecosystem via health information exchanges. In Kenya, it helps women who are at risk for cervical cancer find doctors who can treat them.

Heidelberg University Hospital is also helping women in Kenya beat cervical cancer with biomedical informatics. In nations with limited healthcare, IT changes the game. The connection between healthcare professionals and patients no longer needs to be face-to-face, and routine care does not need to be clinic-based. Technology is bringing healthcare to rural populations.

Optimized healthcare not only removes barriers to care, it also fits into cost-driven business models, offering greater value for patients and lower costs for healthcare professionals. Cloud-based electronic medical records also enable doctors to treat rural patients without leaving their office.

How to embrace this technology

Digital technology is transforming world healthcare. For practitioners, the real question is how to get on board. The first step is to go digital, including medical records. Educate your patients about the value of these changes. Train and develop a core workforce that understands digital healthcare. Streamline processes between your practice and suppliers.

Efficiency is a key part of cost reduction. Connect to the hyperconnectivity of technology.

To learn more about digital transformation for healthcare, visit here.


Martin Kopp

About Martin Kopp

Martin Kopp is the global general manager for Healthcare at SAP. He is responsible for setting the strategy and articulating the vision and direction of SAP's healthcare-provider industry solutions, influencing product development, and fostering executive level relationships key customers, IT influencers, partners, analysts, and media.

Data: The Foundation Of Real-Time Digital Business

R “Ray” Wang

From Big Data to small data, the digital world measures and values every interaction. Digital technology enables every touch point, click, conversation, picture, and byte of digital exhaust to be used to improve decision-making. In fact, data provides the foundation for success in a real-time digital business. This is why organizations must carefully design a data strategy as the first step in digital transformation.

To get started, successful organizations map out a data-to-decisions framework (see Figure 1). This framework uses all types of upstream and downstream data (for example, structured, unstructured, big, small, and contextual) to align with business processes, creating information flows. From order to cash, procure to pay, campaign to lead, hire to retire, and incident to resolution, context is applied to information flows.

In the next step, algorithms apply context attributes such as role, relationship, weather, product, geo-spatial location, time, sentiment, and even intent to the information flows. The bigger the data set, the more opportunities for algorithms to find patterns of insight. The goals are to ask questions of the data and expose patterns of insight, using performance, deduction, inference, and prediction.

Traditionally, most systems stop after discovering insight. In a digital business, though, insight powers the ability to guide decision-making. By using the ability to take actions based on data, organizations can consider how to identify the next best actions, make recommendations, suggest risk mitigation, and even suggest that no actions be taken. By designing a data-to-decisions framework, organizations gain the ability to build a digital business and enable real-time business.

Once a data-to-decisions foundation is established, organizations can think about how they can apply the framework to augment decision-making. Successful leaders start by putting together a list of questions they seek answers for. They prioritize that list and then begin addressing these questions within the data-to-decisions framework. The secret to success is not what answers can be provided, but what questions should be asked. Successful organizations learn how to ask questions that have never been asked before, sometimes by employing techniques such as design thinking.

Figure 1: Use the data-to-decisions framework to drive real-time business
Data-real time

With mastery of data to decisions, organizations eventually will move from real-time to right-time models. Real-time immediately provides data to decisions as requested, resulting in a data deluge. Unfortunately, real time on its own may not be fast enough. Organizations may need to anticipate when data should be delivered. Why? Real time describes the speed at which the transformation from data to decisions must occur. Right time is about the precision that relevant, contextual information can provide once cognitive capabilities are applied to the data-to-decisions framework. In other words, right-time systems ensure organizations see what they need to see before they even know they need it.

So where do you begin?

1. Start by identifying the questions your organization seeks to answer.
2. Ask what traits make up the most valuable products, employees, customers, and suppliers. These traits drive the questions around what context matters.
3. Determine the information flows and business processes that drive context.
4. Understand the people and devices touched to provide the next level of journey mapping.
5. Apply the data sources and channels of data to recommendation engines and decision frameworks.

After taking these 5 steps, you can then start creating big data business models powered by insight. Digital technologies, data, and algorithms should all be aggressively used to create business models that take advantage of insights. Visibility, relevance, and immediacy will come from these insights-based business models. The goals are to simplify the complexity of decision making and enable real-time digital business.

Learn more how real-time business is impacting companies like yours.


R “Ray” Wang

About R “Ray” Wang

R “Ray” Wang is the Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Silicon Valley based Constellation Research, Inc. He’s also the author of the popular business strategy and technology blog “A Software Insider’s Point of View”. With viewership in the 10’s of millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models such as digital transformation impact brands, enterprises, and organizations. Wang has held executive roles in product, marketing, strategy, and consulting at companies such as Forrester Research, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Johns Hopkins Hospital. His new best selling book Disrupting Digital Business, published by Harvard Business Review Press and globally available in Spring of 2015, provides insights on why 52% of the Fortune 500 have been merged, acquired, gone bankrupt, or fallen off the list since 2000. In fact, this impact of digital disruption is real. However, it’s not the technologies that drive this change. It’s a shift in how new business models are created.

4 Ways to Digitally Disrupt Your Business Without Destroying It

Christopher Koch

To learn more about how to disrupt your business without destroying it, read the in-depth report Digital Disruption: When to Cook the Golden Goose.

Download the PDF (1MB)



About Christopher Koch

Christopher Koch is the Editorial Director of the SAP Center for Business Insight. He is an experienced publishing professional, researcher, editor, and writer in business, technology, and B2B marketing.


Digital Transformation Needs More Than Technology

Andreas Hauser

Digital transformation is a hyped-up topic these days. But it is much more than a buzzword. Technology trends like hyper-connectivity, Big Data, cloud, Internet of Things, and security provide new opportunities for companies to re-imagine their business and how they engage with their customers and users.

But what happens if you develop an amazing technical solution that people cannot use?

Let me tell you a story.

On a business trip recently, I had an experience that some of you might have also encountered from time to time. I wanted to enter the parking garage of a hotel and had to get a parking ticket to get in — sounds simple. The machine looked pretty modern. It had an integrated monitor and several buttons on the side. First I touched the screen, but nothing happened — it was not a touchscreen. Then I pressed some buttons on the side, and again, nothing happened. The rounded button at the bottom finally got me a ticket. Great technical solution … but not usable.

Endurance testing experiences like this one are actually easily preventable when taking into consideration human needs (desirability). This makes very clear that we need to connect three elements—viability, feasibility, and desirability—to be successful and remain competitive in the digital era.

Wikipedia defines digital transformation as “application of digital technology in all aspects of human society.” This is why companies with the most successful digital transformations have focused on people and applied a design-led approach.

One company that has excelled at creating a pleasant experience is Uber. Their app not only tells you how long it will take the car to arrive, but you can also watch the arrival on your mobile device. I like the user interface. But here’s what I personally like most about the Uber experience: You get out of the car, keep your mobile phone in your pocket, do nothing, pay automatically without thinking about how much you need to tip the driver, and get the receipt via e-mail.

That is the difference between simply focusing on the user interface and providing a great customer and user experience. To design and develop such a solution, you need to know what people really desire. Technology certainly plays a very important role to make this experience a reality, and you must be clear about the business model.


Design-led digital transformation means leveraging breakthrough technology trends, re-imaging business processes and business models, and re-imaging the customer and user experience to achieve design-led innovations.

In today’s digital economy, companies understand that the experience their customers and users have must be the core focus of its brand and survival. Customers and users drive the current and future state of any business. Products and services, whether they are delivered to internal or external customers, must create a value for them and the company. Therefore, customers and users need to be an integral part—not an afterthought—of the entire product development process.

Design thinking to focus on human needs

To better understand what that experience can be, companies are using design thinking – a human-centered approach to innovation – and are putting the customer and user into the center of all activities. Design thinking focuses on human needs, problem finding, working in inter-disciplinary teams across the innovation lifecycle, and a fail-fast, fail-early approach.

My observation from about 500 customer projects is that more and more IT organizations are starting to apply design thinking within their organization. They are hiring designers to better understand the needs of their customers and users and are translating these needs into an experience design. In the past, they simply collected requirements from the business and implemented functions, features, and business processes. This was sufficient in last-decade enterprises, but consumerization of IT requires re-thinking of this approach.

Create business value with human-centered design

The goal is to create business value by engaging with customers and users throughout the end-to-end process—from discovery to design to delivery—and apply design thinking combined with agile methodologies. It is not about simply creating a cool design; rather it is all about creating business value and outcomes.

To do this, business and IT need to work hand in hand to take the company toward that single consumer’s experience.Slide2.JPG

Let’s look at an example.

As part of its business strategy, Mercedes-AMG, the sports car brand of Mercedes-Benz, aimed to increase its production drastically while keeping the excellent quality standards that have always characterized its products. In a co-innovation project, we have engaged on an intensive research plan and applied the principles of design thinking and agile software development to bring the Mercedes-AMG vision to life: a customizable collaborative planning solution that supports cross-functional competence teams and increases efficiency during the three-year production process. The solution, based on SAP HANA, provides access to relevant data in a holistic way and enables a seamless team collaboration in the remodeled process. One of the key success factors was engaging with users throughout the entire process by observing how they work and iterating on solutions with them.

Digital transformation is a journey, not just a one-time project. Ultimately, enterprises want to prepare their organization for sustainable design-led digital transformation.

So how can you embrace the human aspect of design in your digital transformation? This is our credo: Apply design thinking to engage with your customers and most importantly, with users, right from the beginning, in an iterative, user-centric design process.

If you are interested in more customer stories, check out the UX Design Services website. You can also find more information in this presentation, or check out this video recording.

This article originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.


Andreas Hauser

About Andreas Hauser

Andreas is global head of the design and co-innovation center at SAP. His team drives customer & strategic design projects through Co-Innovation and Design Thinking. Before he was Vice President of User Experience at SAP SE for OnDemand Solutions.