Editor’s note: In what areas of the software ecosystem will we see the most change in 2014? We asked several SandHill experts for their opinions. Here are their predictions for Big Data and analytics, cloud, the Internet of Things, and the software vendors in those spaces.
Peter Auditore, Principal Researcher, Asterias Research
In the areas of on-premises ERP suites as well as databases and database management, the disruptive wave of SaaS solutions continues to eat into the installed base of the enterprise software dinosaurs. The biggest losers will be large enterprise software vendors like Oracle and especially SAP.
After failing with nearly every SaaS product SAP has introduced — BYOD, StreamWork, Sales OnDemand and Sourcing on Demand — SAP is reported to be no longer developing BYOD for any other industries, but will embed it in its HANA Cloud Platform. In a futile attempt to avoid totally missing the SaaS market, SAP acquired SuccessFactors, an HR SaaS company that has not shown a profit in nearly 10 years. The SaaS and cloud companies have totally disrupted not only the business model of SAP but will begin to severely erode SAP’s current installed base and revenue in early 2014.
King of the RDBMS (relational database management system) space, Oracle is facing a similar fate as SAP. New high-performance NoSQL database engines are already providing attractive price/performance ratios on inexpensive hardware that eliminate the need for expensive site licensing and maintenance models. Oracle’s open source nightmare will continue on in 2014 as new emerging technology platforms such as Hadoop, high-performance and scalable NoSQL databases and enterprise semantic tools play a seminal role in this modernization. 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. One of Oracle’s biggest issues overall in the enterprise environment is integration and the lack of easy-to-use and reliable database management tools.
Mike Hoskins, Chief Technology Officer, Actian
I think we’ll see an important evolution in analytics in 2014 as operational analytics — business processes optimized through analytics — become much more pervasive. Modern highly parallelized analytic pipelines can scrutinize massive, diverse datasets to provide insights to users within their day-to-day operational frameworks. These real-time, contextual analytics will allow front-line business users to take advantage of short windows of market opportunity, avoid risks ahead that they would not otherwise have anticipated and deliver meaningful, targeted information to their customers when it’s most relevant. The Big Data center of gravity will shift beyond what I call the “ETL ghetto” to include advanced and real-time analytics. The stunning success and unmatched performance of columnar analytic database technology, including the Actian ParAccel Platform, will accelerate this trend. It’s an exciting shift.
As to the Internet of Things: As we fully enter the Age of Data, as we continue instrumenting the universe, the sheer volume of digital data events being emitted by billions of sensor devices is going to break the back of traditional architectures. It will no longer be feasible to move the data to the compute process; only one Big Data pattern will prevail, and that is moving compute to the data. Wherever the data is born, wherever it lives (increasingly in commodity chips, cores and clusters with compute and data co-located) is where optimal compute will occur.
Amr Awadallah, Chief Technology Officer, Cloudera
The Enterprise Data Hub (EDH) will emerge as the dominant core of the data information architecture for enterprises. An EDH is a central data system that can absorb any data type (relational, unstructured, emails, logs, images, videos, sensor data, etc.) and run any type of workload or application on top of that data (transformation, exploration, data science, search, analytics, queries). This enables enterprises to truly leverage their assets to their fullest potential at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems.
Though the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) will not go away because of the rise of EDH, its role will be limited to the most valuable data due to the mismatch between their per-byte cost and the per-byte value of Big Data (there are a lot more bytes, so the value per byte is much lower). It isn’t just about cost though. The EDH is more capable (can store any data type, run any workload) than the EDW and is significantly more scalable.
How will cloud services change in 2014? IaaS and PaaS were mainly being used by small startups, while large enterprises only used them for new projects and front-end applications without a significant data footprint. In 2014 we will see the beginning of heavy back-end data systems/applications moving into the cloud. This will be a significant shift showing that enterprises are now comfortable enough to have their core (their blood) move outside the walls of their corporation. Not all industries will do that; for example, finance and health probably will not make the switch in 2014. But I totally see other industries doing it in 2014 (e.g., retail, telecommunications, CPG, automotive).
As to Big Data, there is no question in my mind that we are now entering the trough of disillusionment. Customers are fed up with the buzz; they want to see what this technology can do, right here, right now. We believe that the EDH will rise to this need. Our product (which is one instance of the EDH) is available right here, right now. It allows enterprises to consolidate all of their data assets in one system that can run multiple different workloads to handle almost any data business need.
I think the Internet of Things movement is very exciting, but we are still at the beginning of that movement. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of adding all the proper instrumentation (sensor devices) to all the things out there. Also a lot of plumbing work is needed to reliably collect the data from all these devices. That infrastructure shift will take some time, so I don’t expect the Internet of Things to really take off until 2015.
Guy Smith, Chief Consultant, Silicon Strategies Marketing
Big Data will go through a rapid hype, reality and stilted growth phase. The CMOs I work with are having trouble digitizing data capture, finding meaningful external data sources and getting IT to integrate it all. Even when they get around to that, they soon learn that there is a dearth of data scientists because Big Data service providers have Hoovered them all up. Let’s call 2014 the year of the Big Data Death March.
That being said, we are already seeing a shift in the market to cloud service and off-the-rack apps to make some of this easier for the CMO. This is where the action will be, and I expect initially for there to be a great deal of industry vertical alignment by providers (RMS in Newark is a prime example).
A la carte cloud, external data, painless integration and app-store-like analytics may soon become common. Big Data is a big headache, so I expect vendors to follow a model closer to Salesforce in the future to be the Big Pain relievers.
I expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to bifurcate on B2B/B2C lines. Consumers will see increasing and transparent intelligent integration of devices and their smartphones (which are now, for practical purposes, ubiquitous). It has already started with people using phones to track their kids, program their DVRs and watch nanny-cams. But this has only begun and will drive non-intelligent device makers to smarten-up their offerings. (Nest is an example.)
For enterprises, knowledge is key to economy. GE has pointed the way with their Predix system (Big Data again) to aid analysis of industrial data. A one percent saving over a massive industrial process makes good bottom-line sense, and having the objects in the IoT constantly reporting their condition is the first step. Expect many companies to enter this market, either partnering with GE or growing from existing infrastructure like the one Echelon created.
Paul Ressler, Principal, The Cirrostratus Group
Due to the recent information about the NSA’s ability to collect data and decrypt it, new security solutions will be in demand in 2014. This will provide many new opportunities for new and existing security software firms.
Cloud computing has changed the underlying infrastructure, but the underlying tools are still catching up. There will be a lot of disruption by the big IT tools providers such as HP and CA as new innovative solutions such as Git and Puppet Labs continue to get good traction in the market.
The importance of defining the performance and availability of APIs and Web service calls will be recognized as an important part of the “glue” that keeps high performance cloud applications working in a predictable manner. Leading cloud providers will start to provide this, likely as a premium type of service.
In the Big Data space there will be a more substantial focus on the business problems that Big Data can solve as opposed to the current fascination with new technologies. In the Internet of Things, 2014 will bring substantial advances in the networking of physical security devices such as sensors and video cameras and the ability to correlate data not just in the past but in real time.
Tim Yeaton, CEO, Black Duck
I anticipate the database and data management segments will likely see the most vendor disruption in 2014. First, there have been incredible waves of innovation in Hadoop and the NoSQL databases, plus a whole range of emerging ecosystem enhancements and extensions to these platforms, which will greatly broaden their adoption in 2014. Second, many large companies are now examining their options for these approaches, as well as open source traditional relational databases, as alternatives to incumbent commercial data management vendors.
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.
Amr Awadallah is chief technology officer at Cloudera. Before co-founding Cloudera in 2008, Amr (@awadallah) was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accel Partners. Prior to joining Accel he served as Vice President of Product Intelligence Engineering at Yahoo!, and ran one of the very first organizations to use Hadoop for data analysis and business intelligence. Amr joined Yahoo after they acquired his first startup, VivaSmart, in July of 2000.
Mike Hoskins is chief technology officer at Actian and Actian’s technology innovation strategies and evangelizes trends in big data, and cloud-based and on-premises data management and integration. Mike is a respected thought leader who has been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes.com, The Register and Scobleizer. He speaks at events worldwide including Strata, DeployCon, and Structure Big Data. Mike received the AITP Austin chapter’s 2007 Information Technologist of the Year Award for his leadership in developing Actian DataRush. Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeHSays.
Paul Ressler is a consultant specializing in service delivery for SaaS, cloud computing and managed services. As the principal of The Cirrostratus Group, Paul helps his clients improve customer satisfaction, raise service margins, introduce profitable new services and transition to the SaaS business model.
Guy Smith is the chief marketing strategist and founder of Silicon Strategies Marketing. He is also the author of the Start-up CEO’s Marketing Manual (available in print and Kindle editions), a rapid-fire boot camp to ensure that founders will guide their teams and marketing employees away from the common cliffs of epic failure.
Tim Yeaton is CEO at Black Duck Software, which achieved >30 percent growth and built a worldwide operation in 24 countries. Black Duck is a top 500 software company and named a Top Place to Work. In his 30 years of experience, he was CMO at Red Hat, CEO of Avaki and EVP of Products at Allaire and VP/GM of UNIX/Middleware at Compaq. Tim was named one of the Most Influential People in the FOSS, and named a COPU Think Tank Advisor.