Big Data Adoption, Investment Plans Grow: Gartner

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-09-24

Of the nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of organizations investing or planning to invest in big data technology in 2013, 30 percent have already invested in big data technology, 19 percent plan to invest within the next year, and an additional 15 percent plan to invest within two years, according to IT research firm Gartner’s survey of 720 of the company’s Research Circle members worldwide.

However, less than 8 percent of survey respondents have actually deployed investments in big data, and among those planning to invest during the next two years, 80 percent are in the earlier stages (knowledge gathering and strategy phase). Looking at big data adoption for those organizations that have made investments, 70 percent have moved past the early knowledge gathering and strategy formation phases and into piloting (44 percent) and deployment (25 percent).

"For big data, 2013 is the year of experimentation and early deployment," Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "Adoption is still at the early stages with less than 8 percent of all respondents indicating their organization has deployed big data solutions. Twenty percent are piloting and experimenting, 18 percent are developing a strategy, 19 percent are knowledge gathering, while the remainder has no plans or don't know."

From a regional point of view, North America continues to lead investments with 38 percent of organizations surveyed saying that they have invested in technology specifically designed to address the big data challenge. Asia/Pacific organizations were notably ambitious with 45 percent indicating that they plan to invest during the next two years.

Every vertical industry showed big data investment and planned investment, led by media and communications, banking and services industries. Planned investments during the next two years are highest for transportation (50 percent), health care (41 percent) and insurance (40 percent).

"The hype around big data continues to drive increased investment and attention, but there is real substance behind the hype," Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Our survey underlines the fact that organizations across industries and geographies see opportunity and real business value rather than the 'smoke and mirrors' with which hypes usually come."

In the 2013 survey, 55 percent of organizations said that they are currently addressing enhanced customer experience using big data, while 49 percent are using big data to address process efficiency. However, some organizations are engaging in more game-changing activities: 42 percent are developing new products and business models, and close to one-quarter (23 percent) are monetizing information directly.

"It is interesting to note that understanding 'what is big data' is the top challenge for 15 percent of organizations," Nick Huedecker, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Perhaps unsurprisingly, this concern came mainly from respondents with no plans to invest. Organizations should be sure they are educated about big data opportunities in their industry to ensure they are not missing the boat."

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