Alan is a senior research fellow at PwC’s Center for Technology and Innovation and an editor of the firm’s Technology Forecast quarterly. He was the principal researcher and author of Technology Forecast issues on big data, analytics, mobile, social and semantic technologies. His experience includes more than 20 years in various research, analyst, writing and editorial roles, including over a dozen years at PwC. Alan advises PwC’s clients on a variety of emerging technology and industry trends and their business impacts and has been a featured speaker at Enterprise Data World, the Semantic Technology & Business Conference and other enterprise IT events.
From the internet of things to the collaboration of things
Most people don’t realize it yet, but blockchain could clear a path for “the collaboration of things.”
The realities of polyglot persistence in mainstream enterprises
Ritesh Ramesh describes how NoSQL and Hadoop get used in retail environments.
Solving a familiar e-commerce search problem with a NoSQL document store
Mark Unak and Sanjay Agarwal explain how document stores can help deliver precise e-commerce catalog search results.
Security at the level of key-value pairs in a NoSQL database
Adam Fuchs of Sqrrl describes the benefits of data-centric security analytics.
Scaling online ad innovations with the help of a NoSQL wide-column database
Vaibhav Puranik and Ken Weiner of GumGum discuss the challenges and benefits of open source databases for in-image advertising.
Filling in the gaps in NoSQL document stores and data lakes
Matthias Brantner describes the role database virtualization and a business-user query interface can play in heterogeneous environments.
Creating a body language of online learning with graph databases
Sean York of Pearson discusses how graph technology becomes a medium for enriching online environments.
Database futures: How Apache Spark fits in to a larger unified data architecture
Mike Franklin of the University of California, Berkeley, discusses the goals behind Spark and a more unified cloud-data ecosystem.
Drones 101: Why service providers are key for leveraging drones
In this interview, Mavrx’s Yuan Gao explains how instead of investing in their own drone fleets, most businesses will look to a new type of service provider.
How NoSQL key-value and wide-column stores make in-image advertising possible
Online ad innovators must process hundreds of terabytes a day at the lowest possible cost. How do they do it?
The promise of graph databases in public health
One of the main advantages of a NoSQL graph store is web-scale discovery. The graph store is one of many innovations creating a sea change in database technology: explore the promise and upheaval caused by these new technologies.
In database evolution, two directions of development are better than one
NoSQL database technology is maturing, but the newest Apache analytics stacks have triggered another wave of database innovation.
Blockchain and smart contract automation: an introduction and forecast
The end game for public and private blockchains isn’t just digital currency—it’s digital business flows.
Using document stores in business model transformation
Healthcare providers are finding they need data collection and analysis capabilities that are different from those that relational databases deliver.
Enterprises hedge their bets with NoSQL databases
Agile coding in enterprise IT: Code small and local
Big SOA was overkill. In its place, a more agile form of services is taking hold.
Interview: Will data lake advocates repeat the mistakes of data warehousing?
PwC’s Technology Forecast recently addressed the topic of data lakes. The coverage included research and interviews on data lakes and how they can help enterprises remove integration barriers and clear a path for more timely and informed business decisions. To continue the discussion and look at some of the challenges enterprises can face in implementing a shift to data lakes, we are sharing an excerpt of a conversation between Technology Forecast’s Alan Morrison and Terry Retter, president of small business consultancy BrightZone, in Reno, Nevada; a former VP/CIO of Grubb & Ellis, and a PwC alumnus. AM: Terry, you were a CIO. Some companies say they’ve created a data lake. In reality, they’ve built a single-purpose sandbox. How can CIOs get their organizations to commit to the strategic, long-term vision of a true data lake? TR: By dealing with real problems and real users. They should focus on a service or a perception problem among customers they must resolve to avoid losing profits or market share. They should start small, but think big, in data lake terms. They shouldn’t collect data just around a single process. Instead, they should gather everything they can think of while using the lake at first to solve a particular problem. …
What is microservices architecture? Think ant colonies, beehives, or termite mounds
Microservices architecture explained: What they are and what they’re food for.
Common Misconceptions about Emerging Technologies: Gamification
The Next Phase of Agile Development
It’s human nature for people to build sturdy structures to shield themselves from the unpredictability of the elements. But, if you are too sheltered for too long, you weaken your ability to continuously confront change. That’s the dilemma facing IT departments. Change is raining down on them, and they are having trouble continuously adapting. A term is gaining momentum in the IT community to describe an ideal state of being for IT systems: antifragility. Coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, the antifragile system grows stronger when exposed to disorder in the same way the human body’s immune system gains strength when attacked by disease. In contrast, fragile systems are easily injured and suffer from volatility. Most enterprises today fall into the “robust” category somewhere in between antifragile and fragile. They are anchored to legacy systems and run by IT departments that are hard-wired to deflect disruption. These IT systems are like immovable barricades that are increasingly incapable of flexing alongside tech-empowered consumers. New mindsets and governance models are needed in today’s digitally dynamic marketplace. The notion of antifragility and its associated biological metaphors are serving as inspiration for enterprises to migrate away …