As one of the fastest growing sectors in the IT industry, big data attracts big money. In fact, research firm Gartner says big data will drive $232 billion in IT spending through 2016.
The Gartner report released last Wednesday also predicts $28 billion of worldwide IT spending in 2012 and $34 billion in 2013.
While the foreseen numbers are considerable, it’s no surprise to see big data doing so well.
The most significant impact on big data currently is in social network analysis and content analytics with 45 percent of new spending each year. With social media as one of the most popular and time consuming activities, it’s almost impossible to say this is information is shocking.
According to the report, most current spending is used in “adapting traditional solutions to the big data demands – machine data, social data, widely varied data, unpredictable velocity, and so on.”
Alex Williams at TechCrunch says that “making big data something that has a functional use will drive $4.3 billion [stat from report] in software sales in 2012. The balance will go toward IT services such as outside experts and internal staff.”
When compared with storage software, database management system, data integration/quality, business intelligence or supply chain management, Gartner explains, big data affects infrastructure and middleware the most.
Gartner also notes that big data, however, is not just one significant market, but many.
“Despite the hype, big data is not a distinct, stand-alone market, it but represents an industrywide market force which must be addressed in products, practices and solution delivery,” said Mark Beyer, research vice president at Gartner.
“In 2011, big data formed a new driver in almost every category of IT spending. However, through 2018, big data requirements will gradually evolve from differentiation to ‘table stakes’ in information management practices and technology. By 2020, big data features and functionality will be non-differentiating and routinely expected from traditional enterprise vendors and part of their product offerings,” said Beyer.
According to Gartner, it wasn’t until the end of the last decade that big data opportunities emerged and saw a “dramatic increase in computing technology capacity.” Gartner explains this was due to “several advances in different IT categories” aligning in a short period.
In addition, Gartner notes that this new capacity plus high demands for analysis of “dark data,” social networks data and operational technology (or machine data), “created an environment highly conducive to rapid innovation.”
Gartner expects that by 2015, big data will be an embedded form in company’s architectures and practices.
By the beginning of 2018, the research firm notes that big data solutions will offer “increasingly less of a distinct advantage over traditional solutions that have incorporated new features and functions to support greater agility when addressing volume, variety and velocity.”
Nevertheless, don’t expect big data solutions to disappear any time soon. According to Gartner, “big data solutions will persist as leading organizations will have incorporated the design principles and acquired the skills necessary to address big data concerns as routine flexibility.”
“Because big data’s effects are pervasive, big data will evolve to become a standardized requirement in leading information architectural practices, forcing older practices and technology into early adolescence,” said Beyer. “As a result, big data will once again become ‘just data’ by 2020 and architectural approaches, infrastructure and hardware/software that does not adapt to this ‘new normal’ will be retired.”
Beyer’s warns companies that if they resist this change, they will “suffer severe economic impacts.”