The Big Data phenomenon seems to have appeared from almost nowhere, but in reality, some aspects of this emerging trend are not new.
According to a recent IDC Digital Universe study published in June 2011, the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1.9 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) in 2011, growing by almost nine times in just five years.
Some aspects of Big Data are indeed new, and are creating unprecedented levels of complexity for IT executives. As the variety of data sources (both structured and unstructured, e.g. social media interactions, rich media files and geospatial information) increases rapidly and the velocity at which data is generated also increases (e.g. real-time sensor data feeds from smart meters), IT executives are beginning to realise that these massive data sets cannot be processed, managed, and analysed using traditional databases and architecture.
Craig Stires, Director of IDC's Asia/Pacific Business Analytics Research, commented, "If your organisation is one of the growing number looking for deeper insight into customers and operations, then you understand that Big Data will be key. New possibilities are available for real-time analysis and response to customer interactions, whether through better customer service, or more targeted offers. With technology barriers falling, organisations are given affordable access to infrastructure that scales up and out. Additionally, they now have access to software that offers high performance capabilities in traditional application, while extending its reach in video, voice, and social data insights. On top of this, services companies are providing roadmaps and best-practices to deliver business value from proven use cases."
In line with this trend, CIOs and IT departments are looking at a major reassessment of both infrastructure (primarily leveraging high performance computing, in memory technologies and massively parallel processing (MPP) architectures) and information management (particularly in the analytics space) strategies in face of heightened expectations from Line of Business (LoB) executives.
Craig added, "It's a great time to be mapping out how you can lead the transformation in your organisation. It's the right time to pay attention to the combination of increasing availability of experiences, end-user awareness, affordable technologies, and emerging vendor solutions. Making a critical, informed decision on your Big Data strategy today will be crucial to your organisations success and continued competitiveness tomorrow."
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