Think BIG

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Big Data is the in thing. Enterprises can no longer dismiss it as hype. The early movers will reap in the significant benefits

The last two years have seen the big data phenomenon riding the hype wave and now reached the ‘necessity’ phase and increasingly inevitable for enterprise computing. But as we look at the adoption curve, in geography like India, its just about starting. Experts however say that with so much hype about big data, there comes along many caveats the CIOs must circumvent. It’s hard for IT leaders to know how to exploit its potential. Quips Alexander Linden, Research Director at Gartner, “Big data offers big opportunities, but poses even bigger challenges. Its sheer volume doesn’t solve the problems inherent in all data. IT leaders need to cut through the hype and confusion, and base their actions on known facts and business-driven outcomes.”

Market Dynamics

Meanwhile in a newly published study, IDC states that the big data and services market will grow at a 26.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $41.5 bn through 2018, or about six times the growth rate of the overall information technology market. Although IDC believes that big data will continue to represent a fast-growing multibillion-dollar worldwide opportunity for the next five years.

Reflecting on this, Ashish Nadkarni, Research Director, Storage Systems and Big Data Research at IDC says, “The hype surrounding big data appears to be tempering down. This is a sign that the technologies are maturing and making their way into the fabric of how organizations operate and firms conduct their business.”

The market outlook clearly indicates that numerous enterprises across Asia Pacific as well as in India will aggressively create a big data roadmap. The need for better decision making out of reams and reams of unstructured data will nudge enterprises to adopt big data in one form or the other.

Gartner predicts that by 2016, 25% of the large global companies will have adopted big data analytics for at least one security or fraud detection use case, up from 8% today, and will achieve a positive return on investment within the first six months of implementation.

Why Big Data Makes Sense

Quips Michael Barnes, Vice President and Research Director, Forrester Research, “Data volumes are driving big data projects in markets with vast consumer populations. Organizations in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines—and to a far lesser extent China—are displaying an increased interest in big data as an approach to cost-effectively managing the size and scope of their markets.
Projects are more likely to begin as ad hoc approaches involving prototyping and trialing with no defined benefit or outcome. We have observed a wide gap between leaders and laggards in these markets; a small number of organizations are already committing to and investing heavily in big data solutions, while the majority of organizations are in the very early stages of discovery and understanding.”

Agrees Arun Gupta, Ex-CIO at Cipla, Business & IT leader with multi-industry experience, transforming business with IT, “ Many use the term big data to depict their analytics initiatives which are still largely stuck in reporting. Very few organizations have reached a maturity levels on use of data effectively to create information and actionable insights. The move to incorporate unstructured high volume time sensitive data into mainstream decision making requires not just the technology but a change in internal processes and shift in mindset.”

Enterprises hence need progressive tech thinking and invest on big data technologies that in time will accrue larger benefits and positively impact their bottom line.

But to understand how big data can have wide ranging ramifications across verticals and domains need more up close view. Take the case of security for instance. Information needed to uncover security events loses value over time, and timely intelligent data analysis is critical as criminals and bad actors move much more quickly to commit their crimes. For example, a year or two ago, hackers would look around, conduct extensive cyberespionage on their targets, and then go in for the theft—whether it was for money or information. Now, hackers—aware of more-effective security and fraud prevention measures erected by their target victim enterprises—simply go directly to the theft without a drawn-out reconnaissance phase.

Reflecting on this Avivah Litan, Vice President and distinguished Analyst at Gartner says, “Enterprises can achieve significant savings in time and money when using big data analytics to stop crime and security infractions, by stopping losses and increasing productivity. Big data analytics gives enterprises faster access to their own data than ever before. Big data analytics enables enterprises to combine and correlate external and internal information to see a bigger picture of threats against their enterprises. It is applicable in many security and fraud use cases such as detection of advanced threats, insider threats and account takeover.”

Outlook

As we look at the adoption dynamics for big data though the landscape looks promising at the same time the CIO needs to do a lot of due diligence in the selection of the right framework and solutions. This is easier said than done. They need a combination of best practices and must not fall prey to vendor hype. They need to put in place a right fit solution that gives them maximum leverage for data to be transformed into an asset and thereby they can ultimately profit from such data. Clearly, they need a judicious blend of strategy, policy and technology that will ultimately make for a successful big data deployment.

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