Databases and database management are the software areas that will experience the most change in 2014, as Big Data is not going away anytime soon. CEOs of data-driven enterprises are now examining their decision making and are incorporating more data points to innovate and improve business processes. The era of Big Data requires the modernization of data centers and innovative management of unstructured data that delivers relevant and actionable information in nearly real time.
New emerging technology platforms such as Hadoop, high-performance and scalable NoSQL databases and enterprise semantic tools are playing a seminal role in this modernization. Big Data is a dynamic force that will bring IT and line-of-business professionals together in the pursuit of competitive advantage through information management. Big Data is already creating new IT titles and positions such as chief data officer and is one of the fastest growing areas in information technology.
In many organizations today integration is a major issue that will continue with the tsunami of BYOD devices that need access to applications, databases and Big Data. Metadata is often an afterthought along with inconsistent semantics and the siloed nature of many information management environments. Many current enterprise information management environments are not yet modernized and prevent innovative information processing and access to relevant data that leads to enhanced insights, accurate and sometimes collaborative decision making.
Net-net, Big Data and the management of unstructured information is a highly complex enterprise IT and process that requires an educated and disciplined approach. The good news is that ecosystems of solutions and service providers are evolving around inexpensive open source solutions that don’t come with enterprise license agreements that lock organizations into 22 percent annual maintenance fees.
Big Data provides many more new types of data for analysis that are seminal in this millennium, which is all about the new data-driven culture of real-time decision making. As recent Brynjolfsson and McAfee MIT research shows, data-driven companies are in the top third in their respective industries and are five-six percent more profitable than those that are not data driven (HBR October 2012).
Multiple new and diverse Big Data sets such as social media data add additional parameters to some business models that weren’t available before and can provide deeper insights into business processes and customer experiences. For many CEOs Big Data is all about disruptive information or information the organization doesn’t know about, which is one of the most obvious aspects of social media and Big Data.
The inevitable market consolidation will hit all companies now positioning themselves as Big Data enablers; those that don’t do the research identifying pain points in the industries will fail. Ecosystems of solutions and service providers are forming around Big Data open source solutions such as Hadoop; these ecosystems will continue to flourish as IT looks for inexpensive and easy-to-deploy solutions that avoid the dreaded enterprise license lock-in with 22 percent annual maintenance fees.
Peter J. Auditore is principal researcher at Asterias Research, a consultancy focused on information management, traditional and social analytics and Big Data. He was a member of SAP’s Global Communications team for seven years and recently head of SAP Business Influencer Group. He is a veteran of four technology startups including Zona Research (cofounder), Hummingbird (VP marketing Americas), Survey.com (president) and Exigen Group, (VP corporate communications). He has over 20 years’ experience selling and marketing software worldwide.