The changing world of big data

The role of Big Data, and what enterprises can do with it, is changing. Just a few years ago, it was considered a computing phenomenon that was only of real relevance to the big IT players and those directly connected to them. But now, it’s become an asset virtually every business possesses, and one that they can potentially take advantage of, through the use of leading-edge analytics.

For a service provider like you, these changes in attitudes towards Big Data bring a whole new set of opportunities and challenges to adapt to, so what you can provide to your clients meets their needs and remains relevant to them. In this blog, we’ll highlight some of the most important developments and patterns in behaviour, and how you can respond to them.


Big Data is going mainstream

As 2017 drew to a close, the proportion of companies who have adopted Big Data analytics outnumbered those who haven’t for the very first time. A market study by Dresner Advisory Services revealed that large-scale take-up by telecoms and financial services organisation pushed the total adoption rate to 53 per cent. Considering that this figure stood at just 17 per cent as recently as 2015, it demonstrates a huge cross-industry surge of interest.

This means that for a service provider, the integration of Big Data and analytics capabilities into a wide range of solutions and offerings is now a realistic prospect. If this rise in adoption continues in the months and years to come, it won’t be long until these functions become the expected standard of any service providing.


Analytics and storage are both in the cloud

Just like Big Data adoption, cloud take-up is also becoming increasingly universal among enterprises. As we featured in a recent blog on this site, 83 per cent of all enterprise workloads will be run in the cloud by the end of the decade. Big Data workloads are no exception to this, and 27.5 per cent of them are run in the cloud already.

With more and more service providers equipping enterprises with cloud-based solutions and infrastructures, it’s proving easier and more efficient to use the cloud for storage as well as data analysis. This essentially replaces the use of separate data lakes for holding Big Data, with ease of accessibility likely to be a key differentiator for service providers in the marketplace.


Enterprises still need a helping hand with insights

Many enterprises already use Big Data and tools like predictive analytics to uncover previously undetectable insights and patterns on their customers and business. But at the same time, there are enterprises who struggle to turn those insights into meaningful, data-driven business decisions. As Big Data and analytics leader Ram Narasimhan puts it: “Even today, the majority of enterprises display a gap between Big Data and Customer Analytics – they do not know the proper utilization and value.”

In some cases, the reason for this struggle is cultural: it’s a big change for businesses that are used to making ‘human’ decisions to suddenly start letting data guide the way. But as a service provider, you can help by equipping an enterprise client with a solution that demonstrates the insights and associated business benefits as clearly as possible. This is especially the case when dealing with C-suite decision-makers, who just want to see an answer, and not the workings that come with it.


Internet of Things heats up the competition

The rapidly expanding Internet of Things ecosystem brings its own set of implications for Big Data and analytics. The amount of data being generated by the billions of IoT-connected devices means there is far more data to be processed and far greater insights to be discovered than ever before.

With so much work now being given to analytics tools, there will be two key challenges for service providers to meet: maintaining a high speed of analytics, and ensuring that the accuracy of the insights and findings produced remains high. Staying on top of these ever-increasing Big Data workloads will be a challenge for every provider, but those who can demonstrate excellence in this area will gain a clear advantage over their competitors.


The key takeaway

These points tell a story of sweeping change, new challenges and emerging opportunities; a story that points to one important characteristic that every service provider dealing with Big Data needs to embrace – agility.

It’s clear that it’s the providers that can react the fastest to these changes – whether that be through scaling up cloud storage facilities, or spotting ways in which to encourage cultural change within a client – will reap the richest rewards from the new era of Big Data. If you feel that you don’t have the capability to react effectively on your own, then forging a partnership with a technology expert can help turn that aspiration into a realistic possibility.

You can use leading-edge innovation to help your clients make the most of their Big Data when you partner with IBM.

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