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Competitive advantage the driving force of Big Data in 2013: IDC

Madura McCormack | Nov. 30, 2012
Forecasted growth of 42.6 percent over 2012 in APEJ region for Big Data spending as businesses try to differentiate themselves

IDC has announced its projections for Big Data in 2013, expecting the APEJ (Asia Pacific excluding Japan) region to spend US$603 million. This will mean growth of 42.6 percent over 2012.

The marketing intelligence company held its business analytics conference in Singapore on 29 November.

The case for big data solutions will be driven by the need for businesses to identify their competitive advantage, says IDC, with focus on keeping and acquiring new customers.

"Big Data solutions are going to be a significant differentiator for the businesses that are able to use them to change their competitive positions," said Craig Stires, research director for Big Data and Analytics at IDC Asia Pacific.

According to IDC, the main reasons behind adopting Big Data and Analytics in 2013 will be the desire to acquire new customers and reduce churn, expansion into new markets and the pressure to identify new innovations for competitive advantage.

"It's about how to find the best customers, but also how to invest limited resources and put it to the best use," said Stires. "We will be seeing more creativity, more innovation (due to Big Data) happening globally."

Facing the challenges 

Of the challenges faced by users, an IDC study revealed the cost of technology infrastructure and deciding what data is relevant as the most prevalent problems.

To overcome the budget constraints and data uncertainty, Stires says what is needed is a strong business case.

"A good business case will justify a lot here and will likely come from an existing opportunity, which is then earmarked as a Big Data solution candidate," Stires said.

The 467 executives polled by IDC also ranked the inadequacy of analytics or IT skills among staff as another roadblock.

"Skill gaps are part and parcel of new initiatives.  Organisations may need months to find and attract the skills they will need, so they will benefit from starting now to map out exactly what skills will be needed going forward," Stires advised.

According to Stires, one of the main challenges that businesses will be facing is the search for executive sponsorship to endorse the proposed Big Data solution.

Moving forward

"These (Big Data) projects will challenge the current organisation and potentially impact numerous business processes. Choosing the right first Big Data project, and having a sponsor with foresight will be a major factor in the success of the organisation's Big Data journey," said Stires.

When it comes to choosing the right project be sure to select an initiative tied to the competitive goals, said IDC.

Elaborating on the point, Stires concurred that the more competitive to the business, the likelihood of success for the project is higher.


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