Big Data is no longer just a buzzword; it is a proven phenomenon and not likely to die away soon. A recent IDC report predicts that the digital universe will be 44 times bigger in 2020 than it was in 2009, totaling a staggering 35 zettabytes.
Two factors have combined to make Big Data especially appealing
now. One is that so many potentially valuable data resources have come into existence. These sources include the telemetry generated by today's smart devices, the digital footprints left by people who are increasingly living their lives online, and the rich sources of information commercially available from specialized data vendors. Add to this the tremendous wealth of data — structured and unstructured, historical and real-time — that has come to reside in diverse systems across the enterprise, and it is clear that Big Data offers hugely appealing opportunities to those who can unlock its secrets.
The other factor contributing to Big Data's appeal is the emergence of powerful technologies for effectively exploiting it. IT organizations can now take advantage of tools such as Hadoop, NoSQL and Gephi to rationalize, analyze and visualize Big Data in ways that enable them to quickly separate the actionable insight from the massive chaff of raw input. As an added bonus, many of these tools are available free under open source licensing. This promises to help keep the cost of Big Data implementation under control.
The main reason that Big Data is well, so 'Big,' is that companies can gain several high-value outcomes around Big Data. These include:
- Discovery of new business insights: Big Data help companies improve marketing, enhance customer
experience, improve operational efficiencies, identify fraud and waste, prevent compliance failures and achieve other outcomes that directly affect top- and bottom-line business performance.
- Reduction in technology implementation and ownership costs. The right partner can help companies
reduce investment costs in several ways: by expertly evaluating the various technologies available, by recommending the right size or by hosting compute infrastructure, or by architecting the end-to-end solution stack for reasonable, predictable total cost of ownership (TCO).
- Repeatable success. While many companies are thrilled with the initial Big Data proof-of-concept
success, it is the long term use of Big Data that will bring in the most success. The right partner can help bring consistency and repeatability to successive Big Data deliverables — providing economies of scale and accelerating time-to-benefit.
As people and businesses do more of what they do in an always-on digital environment, as a growing number of intelligent devices capture and transmit a growing volume of useful data, and as unstructured data becomes an increasingly rich and pervasive source of business intelligence, Big Data will continue to play a more strategic role in enterprise IT. Companies that recognize this reality — and that act on it in a technologically, operationally and economically optimized way — will gain sustainable competitive advantages over those that don't.