Big Data, Big Deal?

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom, transportation and energy.

Big Data only stands to grow in both reality and hype, but the truth is that confusion still exists around what Big Data is and the impact it will have on IT. Thor Olavsrud at recently tackled this issue in his article on "Big Data Causes Concern and Big Confusion." He writes:

The volume of data in the world is increasing at a nearly incomprehensible rate...If you can learn to drink from the fire hose, it can provide the sort of intelligence and actionable insight that business leaders dream about. On the security front it can help you protect your organization from advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks and malware by providing visibility into what's happening in your network, and it can give forensics a huge boost as well. It can also lead to tremendous gains in operational efficiency, from optimizing your servers to optimizing your supply chain management. It can even help you get a handle on compliance issues.

But if you don't have the tools to manage and perform analytics on that never-ending flood of data, it's essentially garbage.

If you're wondering just how big of a deal Big Data is to enterprise IT, consider the numbers below from a survey of 200+ IT leaders (Source: LogLogic and Echelon One):

  • 49% of organizations are somewhat or very concerned about managing Big Data
  • 38% don't understand what Big Data is, while 27% say they have a partial understanding.
  • 59% lack the tools required to manage data from their IT systems, and use separate and disparate systems or spreadsheets
  • 33% don't use any tools to manage Big Data

Meanwhile, an estimated 62% of organizations are already managing more than one terabyte of data, with a lot more on the way. IBM estimates that the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily, with 90% of the data in the world today having been created in the last two years.

Whether you're just sorting through what Big Data is or looking to invest in management tools, NOW is the time to start planning your Big Data purchase strategy. What tools do you need? What do you not need? How will you use them? Which of your incumbent vendors are experienced in this area of IT? What cost pitfalls do you need to be aware of?

The sooner you can answer these questions, the sooner you can create a Big Data investment strategy that will minimize costs and maximize value.

-- Jon Winsett, CEO, NPI

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