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Big data adoption still under consideration in A/NZ: Forrester

Almost one-third of IT executives surveyed interested in big data but had no current plans to implement

Many organisations in Australia and New Zealand are still only considering implementing big data strategies despite heavy promotion by technology vendors, a Forrester study has found.

Speaking at the Big Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence 2012 conference in Sydney this week, Forrester Research Australia vice president John Brand told delegates that according to the Forrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey, Q2, 2012, 31 per cent of IT executives indicated that they were interested in big data but had “no current plans” to adopt it.

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In addition, 17 per cent of executives said that they were planning to implement big data this year or in 2013 while another 17 per cent said they were expanding their use of big data.

“What’s going to happen here [with big data] is we are going to see some of these early adopter case studies come to the fore, either positively or negatively,” Brand said.

He said that success or failure with big data projects will come down to two things.

“Failures will happen because the organisation does not have the ability to build the capability internally or the organisation does not have the level of investment that is required to get over that initial hump,” he said.

However, Brand was confident that big data adoption would grow in A/NZ organisations due to the lower cost of implementing big data technology compared with traditional business intelligence (BI) offerings or data warehousing solutions.

This was backed up by additional research conducted in September 2011 with 1400 IT executives in Asia Pacific, which asked them about future big data spending priorities for 2012.

Around 30 per cent of the IT executives surveyed indicated that big data solutions were perceived as less expensive than BI offerings.

“That is a number we expect to see change in the 2012 survey results because big data systems will drive an increased focus on cost,” he said.

“People will look at what the cost of their existing infrastructure is compared to what they can get out of a lower cost infrastructure approach. That will start to put some pressure on traditional data warehousing environments.”

However, Brand added that traditional data warehousing would not go away “any time soon” but there would be continual cost pressures on data warehousing because of the perceived benefits of big data systems and the ability of these systems to handle “massive scales” of data.

“Data volume was the number one priority with 75 per cent of those APAC IT executives surveyed indicating that they have more data than they can handle and need a way of coping with it.”

Data diversity was also high on the agenda for companies across the Asia Pacific region with 52 per cent indicating that that they would use big data for this purpose.

Spending intentions

The research also asked organisations in Asia Pacific and Japan about BI spending and how this spending was expected to change in 2012, compared to 2011.

Focusing on the A/NZ segment, Brand said that 44 per cent of organisations indicated they would spend the same on BI in 2012 while 31 per cent revealed that they would increase BI spending by five to 10 per cent this year.

Only 14 per cent of A/NZ executives surveyed said they would increase spending on BI by more than 10 per cent.

“The 14 per cent is an interesting figure because what this is saying that they may not have the proven success [with BI] but we do have the belief that it is worth throwing more money at this problem and there are benefits coming,” he said.

IDG Communications is an official media partner for the Big Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence 2012 conference.

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