Gartner recently declared 2013 the year of Big Data. Really? The truth, it seems, is harder to define but channel experts are unified in a cautionary approach to what so far has been more of a buzzword than an irresistible trend.
In fact, some businesses have described it as the elephant in the room while analysts are claiming enterprises have so far refrained from approaching Big Data because they are hesitant to take the first step, clueless on where to start or frazzled with what to do with all that data.
But our experts also say that with the emphasis placed on Big Data expected to multiply dramatically in coming years, businesses have to get a grip of what it entails and what they can do with it - especially from the analytics end.
Acronis A/NZ general manager, Andy Purvis, said the biggest driver of Big Data growth is the consumerisation of IT and associated surge in mobile devices.
He claimed consumers own 2.3 mobile devices but by the end of 2015, will have 4.7 devices. "They are creating a culture where people expect data to be available on demand from anywhere at anytime. With data now available on the Cloud and in devices, businesses need to start taking it seriously," Purvis said.
Gartner's bold claim for 2013 followed a global survey of firms, which found 42 per cent of respondents had invested in Big Data technology, or are planning to do so within a year. It predicted that by 2015, 20 per cent of Global 1000 organisations will have established a strategic focus on information infrastructure.
Early stages of adoption
However, Gartner analyst, Doug Laney, said most organisations are still in the early stages of adoption, and few have thought through an enterprise approach or realised the profound impact that Big Data will have on their infrastructure.
"They have increased their understanding of what Big Data is and how it could transform the business. The questions have now shifted to 'what are the strategies and skills required?' and 'how can we measure and ensure return on investment?'" he said.
IDC Australia senior market analyst, Shayum Rahim, said enterprise class businesses, such as Oracle, IBM, EMC and SAP have Big Data solutions in the Australian market; But the great unknown lies in the maturity cycle of the mid-market space, which he said makes up a "large chunk of the market".
"We're interested to find out where in that maturity cycle mid-market organisations are in terms of their Big Data journey - whether they're at an analytic stage or before that, or already using it for decision making processes," Rahim said.
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