Big Data to Create Demand for 1.9 Million U.S. Jobs: Gartner Report

The research firm Gartner forecasts a 3.8 percent increase in global IT spending in 2013, to $3.7 trillion and says that one of the big drivers of spending is going to be on big data systems.

Big data is going to have a big impact on IT spending globally as the Gartner research firm forecasts that it is going to create a demand for 4.4 million big data-related jobs globally, 1.9 million of them in the United States.

Gartner forecasts total IT spending to rise by 3.8 percent in 2013 to $3.7 trillion globally, up from the $3.6 trillion that is expected when the books are officially closed on 2012. Gartner released the forecasts Oct. 22 at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo that it is hosting in Orlando, Fla.

Big data is the catch-all term for technology that is used to store and analyze vast amounts of data that companies and other enterprises are collecting about their customers, their buying habits and other business information, an analysis that informs business decisions.

“Every big data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of 6 million jobs in the U.S. will be generated by the information economy,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner.

However, Sondergaard warned that there is not enough talent to fill the available positions and that only one-third of the 1.9 million big data jobs are likely to be filled.

“Our public and private education systems are failing us,” he said. “Data experts will be a scarce, valuable commodity.”

Big data gathered from internal and external sources provides new opportunities for transforming decision-making, discovering new insights, optimizing the business and innovating industries, Sondergaard said.

Other drivers of IT spending in 2013 include cloud computing, mobile computing and use of enterprise social media to drive business, he said.

Gartner also said at the Orlando event that eventually, nearly every budget within an organization will be an IT budget as IT becomes more widely used by everyone. It noted that while 12 years ago technology spending outside of IT was 20 percent of total technology spending; it will become almost 90 percent by the end of the decade.

During a panel discussion at the conference, David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said he sees the rise of a new job title in many organizations, the Chief Digital Officer.

“The Chief Digital Officer will prove to be the most exciting strategic role in the decade ahead, and IT leaders have the opportunity to be the leaders who will define it,” Willis said. “The Chief Digital Officer plays in the place where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated and the mission accomplished.”

Gartner predicts that by 2015, 25 percent of organizations will have a Chief Digital Officer.