Market research firm IDC has released a new forecast that shows the big data market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.
Big data is a new frontier in IT where data sets can grow so large that they become awkward to work with using traditional database management tools. Thus, the need for new and more tools, frameworks, hardware, software and services to handle this emerging issue represents a huge market opportunity.
IDC projects that the increased investment needed to support big data represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent, or about seven times that of the overall information and communications technology (ICT) market.
According to IBM, everyday business and consumer life creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per dayso much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: from sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos posted online, transaction records of online purchases, and from cell phone GPS signals, to name a few.
"The big data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and startups vie for customers and market share," Dan Vesset, program vice president for Business Analytics Solutions at IDC, said in a statement. "For technology buyers, opportunities exist to use big data technology to improve operational efficiency and to drive innovation. Use cases are already present across industries and geographic regions.
Moreover, while the five-year CAGR for the worldwide market is expected to be nearly 40 percent, the growth of individual segments varies from 27.3 percent for servers and 34.2 percent for software to 61.4 percent for storage.
"There are also big data opportunities for both large IT vendors and startups," Vesset said. "Major IT vendors are offering both database solutions and configurations supporting big data by evolving their own products as well as by acquisition. At the same time, more than half a billion dollars in venture capital has been invested in new big data technology."
Additionally, IDC said the growth in appliances, cloud computing and outsourcing deals for big data technology will likely mean that over time end users will pay increasingly less attention to technology capabilities and will focus instead on the business value arguments. System performance, availability, security and manageability will all matter greatly. However, how they are achieved will be less of a point for differentiation among vendors.
IDC also said today there is a shortage of trained big data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of big data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver big data technologies as cloud-based solutions.
"While software and services make up the bulk of the market opportunity through 2015, infrastructure technology for big data deployments is expected to grow slightly faster at a 44 percent CAGR, Benjamin Woo, program vice president for Storage Systems at IDC, said in a statement. Storage, in particular, shows the strongest growth opportunity, growing at 61.4 percent CAGR through 2015. The significant growth rate in revenue is underscored by the large number of new open-source projects that drive infrastructure investments."
IDC's methodology for sizing the big data technology and services market includes the evaluation of current and expected deployments that follow one of the following three scenarios:
Deployments where the data collected is over 100 terabytes (TB). IDC is using data collected, not stored, to account for the use of in-memory technology where data may not be stored on a disk.
Deployments of ultra-high-speed messaging technology for real-time, streaming data capture and monitoring. This scenario represents big data in motion as opposed to big data at rest.
Deployments where the data sets may not be very large today, but are growing very rapidly at a rate of 60 percent or more annually.
Additionally, IDC requires that in each of these three scenarios, the technology is deployed on scale-out infrastructure and deployments that include either two or more data types or data sources or those that include high-speed data sources, such as click-stream tracking or monitoring of machine-generated data.