Volvo’s Big Data Challenges

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Information Systems for Decisions CIS 500

Volvo’s Big Data Challenges
In the ever evolving world of technology, there are many leaps forward that many companies can choose to leverage in an attempt to bring a better product to the market. Over the last few years, cloud computing has evolved to the point where it has become a very viable solution for many companies. Volvo Car Group has developed a data capture system in their cars that helps engineers develop better cars and correct issues before they become too large of an issue (Converting Data into Business Value at Volvo, 2011). While Volvo Group Global was incorporated in 1915 under AB SKF as its parent company, this group no longer owns Volvo Car Group. In 1924, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson started to develop cars designed to handle the rough roads and temperatures of Sweden. In 1927, the first car left the factory. Volvo considers this the foundation of their company. 1929 showed the company make profit for the first time in its history. In the same year, Volvo started producing marine engines. In 1934, Volvo expanded operations into larger vehicles, introducing the bus line, B1. The year 1935, Volvo acquired Pentaverken, allowing Volvo to expand upon its marine engines line. 1934 was another landmark year for Volvo, establishing the first plant in Canada. While this core value had been part of the company since 1927, in 1936, Larson introduced safety as one of the core values of the company. Over the next 63 years, Volvo developed many lines, from tractors, to buses, to semi-trucks (The Volvo History, 2013). In 1999, Volvo Group Global sold the car division to Ford Motor Company. 11 years later, in 2010, Volvo Car Group was sold to Geely Holding. Volvo Car Group still holds the same values as Volvo Group Global, Quality, Safety, and Environmental Care. What is cloud computing? IBM defines this is “Cloud computing, often referred to as simply “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources—everything from applications to data centers—over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis” (What is Cloud?, 2013). What does this exactly mean to the Information Technology professional and program mangers? Cloud computing has three components, Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS). In the current world of cloud computing, most systems are IaaS or SaaS in the public cloud world. But what is IaaS? Amazon’s EC2 is a perfect example of this product. It allows you to run your servers on virtual machines. This reduces the cost of having a single server that might not be fully utilized for each system you need. A single blade cluster, holding 4 to 16 servers should be able to process much of a companies need. EC2 also offers product storage, hard drive space, and other services. IaaS systems can offer petabytes (PB), exabytes (EB), and zettabytes (ZB) of data storage and allow for companies to analyze large amounts of data on demand. An example of SaaS is Microsoft’s new Skydrive service, Google Docs, or even any web mail service like gmail or yahoo mail. Paas is currently used mainly in private clouds where developers need the same platform but more instances. What how does Cloud Computing affect Volvo? Volvo felt that each car could provide information that improved each car as it was built and driven. They also felt that the information provided by each car could improve the consumer experience while driving one of their cars. To support this, Volvo developed a sensor suite that contained hundreds of sensors and CPU’s within the car itself. Volvo then streams the data to a central hub, the Volvo Data Warehouse. Other data that is collected includes dealership systems, product development, design systems, and customer relationship systems. To provide the cloud infrastructure, Volvo turned to a company named Teradata. Teradata was founded in 1979. They currently have over...
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