Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Big Data Applications Adoption is Accelerating

Big Data applications have gained new momentum in the marketplace, as the benefits of working with larger and larger data sets enables analysts to spot key business-related trends. International Data Corporation (IDC) released a worldwide forecast of Big Data opportunities, noting that the market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.

This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent -- or about 7 times that of the overall Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market.

"The Big Data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and start-ups vie for customers and market share," said Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics Solutions at IDC.

IDC believes that for business technology buyers, opportunities exist to use Big Data solutions to improve operational efficiency and to drive innovation. Use cases are already present across industries and geographic regions.

"There are also Big Data opportunities for both large IT vendors and start ups," Vesset continued. "Major IT vendors are offering both database solutions and configurations supporting Big Data by evolving their own products as well as by acquisition. At the same time, more than half a billion dollars in venture capital has been invested in new Big Data technology."

Findings from the latest IDC market study include:

  • While the five-year CAGR for the worldwide market is expected to be nearly 40 percent, the growth of individual segments varies from 27.3 percent for servers and 34.2 percent for software to 61.4 percent for storage.
  • The growth in appliances, cloud services, and outsourcing deals for Big Data technology will likely mean that over time end users will pay increasingly less attention to technology capabilities and will focus instead on the business value arguments. System performance, availability, security, and manageability will all matter greatly. However, how they are achieved will be less of a point for differentiation among vendors.
  • Today there is a shortage of trained Big Data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of Big Data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver Big Data technologies as cloud-based solutions.

"While software and services make up the bulk of the market opportunity through 2015, infrastructure technology for Big Data deployments is expected to grow slightly faster at 44 percent CAGR. Storage, in particular, shows the strongest growth opportunity, growing at 61.4 percent CAGR through 2015," said Benjamin S. Woo, program vice president, Storage Systems at IDC.

The significant growth rate in revenue is underscored by the large number of new open source projects that drive infrastructure investments.

Focus on Big Data Deployment Methodology

IDC methodology for sizing the Big Data technology and services market includes evaluation of current and expected deployments that follow one of the following three scenarios:

  1. Deployments where the data collected is over 100 terabytes (TB). IDC is using data collected, not stored, to account for the use of in-memory technology where data may not be stored on a disk.
  2. Deployments of ultra-high-speed messaging technology for real-time, streaming data capture and monitoring. This scenario represents Big Data in motion as opposed to Big Data at rest.
  3. Deployments where the data sets may not be very large today, but are growing very rapidly at a rate of 60 percent or more annually.

Additionally, IDC requires that in each of these three scenarios, the technology is deployed on scale-out infrastructure and deployments that include either two or more data types or data sources or those that include high-speed data sources such as click-stream tracking or monitoring of machine-generated data.

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