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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: Hyperscale

Do a search on “hyperscale”. You will get a definition along these lines: “Hyperscale is the ability of an architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system. This typically involves the ability to seamlessly provision and add computers, memory, networking, and storage resources to a given node or set of nodes that make up a larger computing environment”.

This may all be well and true, but friends DO NOT let friends BUY data centers.

Hyperscale is an outcome.

It is about dreaming big, and delivering big, and imagining the reach of your business at new scale. It is digital scale in a gravity-free Internet. You can be assured a competitor of yours is in a conference room as you read this attempting to out-scale you. Some companies are scaling so large, they are pushing the edges of conventional thinking: Twitter with 500 million tweets in 150 countries daily; Google with around 4 billion searches a day in 200 countries; Alibaba with 254 million orders in one day; and Facebook and China Mobile with about 1 billion subscribers each.

Cars are producing 1.3 gigabytes of data every hour.

Boeing 787s generate a terabyte of data every day. With 10,000 flights a day, it only takes a couple of years to get to a zettabyte.

You would not be able to process these amounts of data with today’s technology.

And imagine the possibilities (and warnings) when a company flexes their hyperscale muscle.

Heck, even my refrigerator is trying to talk to me.

Digitalization is redefining scale.

Scale requires a network effect for competitiveness and differentiation. Scale creates captive ecosystems. Scale creates barriers for competitors.

Will Digital redefine “bigger vs. better”? It will for those who achieve hyperscale.

What can we learn from this?

Hyperscale is changing the game. It’s turning conventional business models upside down and causing organizations to think outside of the box. It’s disrupting the status quo. Uber has managed to do this magnificently.

The ability to disrupt business models, value chains, and even entire industries is a characteristic of Digital Leaders. In my next post in this series, I’ll look at examples of digital disruption and explore what it takes to be a Digital Leader.

For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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