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Markets that are driving change and growth in enterprise and industry

Big data

The killer app for the cloud

The perception that ‘everything is for free’ on the internet is all too real for the many who don’t succeed.

Indeed the commercial model underpinning successful internet companies demands that they have the platforms and know how to be able to monetize applications and services through what are called double-sided business models. What this means is that businesses like Facebook are valued as much on their ability and potential to extract indirect revenue on a per user basis, than directly from service revenues. And no one has found a better business model than Google and its analytics prowess for monetizing search and location. Consumer spending accounts for over 60 per cent of UK GDP, meaning that enhanced customer intelligence, informed by big data, will have a significant impact on the national economy. Data-driven improvements in targeted customer marketing, the more effective meeting of demand and the analytical evaluation of customer behaviour is forecast to produce £73.8 billion in benefits over the years 2012-17 in the UK.
Bloc believes that there will be an even bigger opportunity for Enterprise and Industry to build on the internet model as a consequence of the data explosion associated with the Internet of Things. This is not just about new business models and revenue streams, but also about finding innovative ways to improve processes, use less energy and reduce costs. Estimates are that in the UK alone the benefit of Big Data to the UK Industry will approach £200 billion. Bloc is focused on identifying technology that will find new ways to generate useful data, store and structure it, search it, analyse it and extract value.

BIG DATA INDUSTRY BENEFITS: 2011 = £25,087M, 2012-17 =  £215,964M


The big enabler for big data

The unique nature of Cloud – its elastic computing power, attractive storage costs and lower implementation risk is enabling businesses to rapidly achieve global scale.

It’s elastic, you pay for what you use and it scales up and down with demand. Today it costs less than £0.02 to host one Gigabyte per month using Amazon Web Services, a near two order magnitude reduction in cost compared to ten years ago. Cloud is enabling the ‘do more for less’ paradigm by driving structural change and providing new ways of working and building businesses at a new cost point. It is enabling innovative start-ups to be more disruptive and bring new, lower cost ways of doing things to market, faster than ever before.
Just as companies such as VMWare have made it possible to virtualise the Desktop IT infrastructure, and Amazon the entire ecommerce platform, the innovation trend is to virtualise more of the core infrastructure. Growth is strong with Cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM seeing steady year on year doubling in revenues for Cloud services.

Bloc is focused on technology start-ups that are codifying business processes and the most complex of all, virtualising carrier grade infrastructure.

Cloud is driven by cost and the demand to access data, services and processes on the move. It acts as an enabler to Big Data and ultimately defines the requirements for high speed and ubiquitous connectivity. Data is no longer behind the firewall so it sets the context for a new security challenge. From a hardware perspective, Cloud data centres are big and attract attention from eco-activists and there is an economic and environmental requirement for more efficient storage, processing and cooling. Bloc is focused on all these technology areas.


The killer app for big data

Cybercrime is a growing criminal enterprise.

While property theft is decreasing, electronic data theft is on the increase, with some well-publicized cyber-attacks that have plagued business lately – Sony, Google, Pay-Pal and even Bit-Coin to name but a few. Cyber criminals are not simply stealing data but holding these assets for ransom, extortion and industrial espionage. It’s a growth industry and the returns are great, and the risks are low. Estimates are that the annual cost to the global economy from cybercrime is more than £200 billion – more than the national income of some countries and governments.

Companies underestimate how much risk they face from cybercrime and how quickly this risk of a data breach can grow, with Healthcare topping the table. The trend for a mobile workforce and ‘bring your own’ device to work and the use of social communication tools and Cloud based services such as Dropbox and the like, means employees and employers alike are exposing themselves to ever increasing levels of data breach and security risk. As a result the threat is now as much from within as it is from outside the company, and it’s on the increase. But it’s not just about people and businesses. As we accelerate into the world of the Internet of Things, and put more things onto the net, we expose machines and industrial processes to the same levels of risk.

Even the simplest of applications, take Smart Metering as an example, quickly fall into the category of critical national infrastructure and must be protected.

Cyber criminals are using stealthier techniques that behave as similarly as possible to legitimate software and take considerable time and effort to detect. Tougher firewalls, rigorous policing and strict policy enforcement are no longer sufficient, practical or affordable to address the problem. Bloc believes the future growth in the security market lies in Big Data and Cloud, and the opportunity is for companies that can store and secure it better, analyse it forensically and/or predictively, and look for anomalous patterns of behaviour, much like looking for cancers. Bloc is also focused on identifying innovation at the crossover of the Bio-science and Defence technology sectors and bringing it into the commercial arena.



The killer app for everything

The meteoric rise and the enormous value created by companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Samsung is testament to the fact that a connected world is the most lucrative one in which to build and grow a company.

It’s connectivity that glues everything and everyone together and Metcalfe’s Law defines the geometric network effect of connecting people to people and machines to machines. Demand has never been greater for ubiquitous bandwidth driven by ever increasing societal mobility and the move to store and access services in the Cloud. Overall mobile data traffic is expected to grow to almost 16 Exabyte per month by 2018, a CAGR of 61 percent from 2013 to 2018.

But innovation in this space is not simply about higher bandwidth, it’s also about the economics of the network, where the innovation trend is for software defined radio and software defined networks which leverage the economic principles of the Cloud to provide carrier grade infrastructure as a service. And it’s also about building highly pervasive low-speed, machine to machine (M2M) based networks and a new generation of devices (sensors) to support the Internet of Things and create the valuable Big Data.

Globally, it’s estimated that M2M connections will grow from 500 million in 2014 to over two billion by 2018. Bloc is focused on identifying network infrastructure and device and sensor innovation that can reduce ownership cost for the operator and at the same time meet the customer demand for ever increasing mobility, ubiquity and Big Data.