Throughout the past few years, one key-word took over the digital revolution that has been going on for nearly three decades.
After years of focusing on processing speed and sophisticated protocols, companies realized that the most valuable asset in this digital age is actually user-generated data, and started restructuring their models accordingly to benefit from every single piece of information generated by every single user.
This strategy was first adopted by companies that are data-centered to begin with, like Google for example, but other major corporations rapidly followed suit by putting in place data-driven plans and trying to generate as much value as possible from the data at their disposal.
The three main obstacles that prevented a data-centered ecosystem from emerging sooner were the high storage cost, the difficulty of processing large volumes of data, and the insufficiency of the user-generated data that companies have immediate access to.
But with giant tech firms dedicating enormous resources to the subject, these three obstacles were rapidly solved via the birth of big data.
Thanks to achievements at both Google (the MapReduce paper) and Yahoo (the Hadoop project), distributed storage using commodity hardware became a reality.