Big Data Means Big Opportunities for the Channel

The amount of content generated through social networking tools and other digital mediums is overwhelming, creating new opportunities for solution providers.


Data is pouring into organizations at a breakneck pace. The amount of content being created and accessed by mobile users and generated through social networking tools and other digital mediums is overwhelming.

Not only do organizations have to change their backup and storage strategies, but they also need better collection, sorting and access capabilities to turn all this data into “actionable” results. All of this leads to consulting, integration, hosting and service opportunities for solution providers.

Emphasizing this point, Gartner said this week that 2013 will be the year of larger scale adoption of Big Data technologies. The research group said 42 percent of IT leaders surveyed said they are either investing in Big Data technologies now or plan to do so within the coming year.

"Organizations have increased their understanding of what Big Data is and how it could transform the business in novel ways. The new key questions have shifted to, 'What are the strategies and skills required?' and 'How can we measure and ensure our return on investment?'" said Doug Laney, Research vice president at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "Most organizations are still in the early stages, and few have thought through an enterprise approach or realized the profound impact that big data will have on their infrastructure, organizations and industries.”

Further, Gartner predicts that by 2015, 20 percent of Global 1000 organizations will have established a strategic focus on "information infrastructure" equal to that of application management.

This is a significant announcement by Gartner and solution providers need to take notice.

“If Gartner is reporting on Big Data as a trend, that means we have moved from industry adoption—vendors and pundits talking about it—to industry deployment with customers actually doing it, which is occurring,” said Greg Schulz, senior advisor, The Server and StorageIO Group. “The challenge, however, is that many organizations are also confused or missing out on Big Data thinking that it is only about analytics, Hadoop and MapReduce as opposed to what they may already be doing or comfortable with from SAS to data mining, not to mention large unstructured files and objects,” he said.

Schulz believe it's unfortunate that some of the industry adoption is focused around analytics and data scientists rather than on the broader aspects of Big Data prevalent in most organizations. “There are a couple of key trends, there is no such thing as a data or information recession. People and data are living longer and getting larger. Data gains value over time as it is discovered and used for both general purpose viewing, reading, listening or analytics and mining,” he said.

Brian Okun, director of Sales at Prevalent Networks, said Big Data was a common theme at an enterprise IT security conference he recently attended, with the Global Security program manager of a Fortune 500 manufacturer speaking to "Big Data" in the terms of "Big deal" or "Big Brother." “We are definitively seeing a tremendous growth of data being driven by all aspects of IT infrastructure, customer/prospect interactions and internal operations (marketing, HR, etc.). Organizations are wishing to use this data in making smart business decisions, whether it's to continue doing business with a particular vendor, bringing a new product to market, creating 'stickiness' with existing clients or making better hiring decisions,” he said.

All of this leads to more opportunities for solution providers, both immediately and in the future.

Knock 'em alive!

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