Big Data Trends to be Examined at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, October 6-10, in Orlando, Florida
Big data investments in 2013 continue to rise, with 64 percent of organizations investing or planning to invest in big data technology compared with 58 percent in 2012, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. However, less than eight percent of survey respondents have actually deployed.
"The hype around big data continues to drive increased investment and attention, but there is real substance behind the hype," said Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner. "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."
The Gartner survey of 720 Gartner Research Circle members worldwide, which was conducted in June 2013, was designed to examine organizations' technology investment plans around big data, stages of big data adoption, business problems solved, data, technology and challenges.
The survey found that of the 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.
Industries leading big data investments in 2013 are media and communications, banking, and services. Thirty-nine percent of media and communications organizations said that they have already invested in big data, followed by 34 percent of banking organizations and 32 percent of services firms. Planned investments during the next two years are highest for transportation (50 percent), healthcare (41 percent) and insurance (40 percent). However, every vertical industry again shows big data investment and planned investment.
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. Consistent with Gartner experience, EMEA and Latin America tend to lag in technology adoption, for which big data is no different.
Regardless of geography, investment typically has different stages that organizations go through. It starts with knowledge gathering, followed by strategy setting. The investment is small, and mostly consists of time. Then it is typically followed by an experiment or proof of concept. Still, the investment is small and tentative. Then, after completing a successful pilot, the first deployments take place. Here the investment curve rises. Over time, business operations start to rely on the deployments, and the investments move from implementing systems to managing them.
"For big data, 2013 is the year of experimentation and early deployment," said Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at Gartner. "Adoption is still at the early stages with less than eight 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."
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). Among those planning to invest during the next two years, 80 percent are in the earlier stages (knowledge gathering and strategy phase).
The survey revealed that there are a wide range of business problems being addressed using big data, although there are some clear patterns. In Gartner's 2012 and 2013 studies, business cases that improve process efficiency and business cases around customer experience dominate big data wish lists. 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.
Some of the big data activities are incremental to current business practices; for example, better understanding customer needs, making processes more efficient, further reducing costs or better detecting risks. These make up the majority of the use cases today. Some organizations are engaging in more "game-changing" activities; for example, 42 percent are developing new products and business models, and 23 percent are monetizing information directly. This is encouraging, as Gartner believes that the big opportunities lie mostly in these areas.
"While there are many areas companies would like to address, a slightly different picture emerges when we ask about the priority of these categories," said Ms. Kart. "Different industries have different priorities when it comes to big data. Industries that are driving the customer experience priority are retail, insurance, media and communications, and banking, while process efficiency is a top priority for manufacturing, government, education, healthcare and transportation organizations."
Just as big data priorities are changing, Gartner has observed that big data challenges shift with organizational maturity in information management, especially handling big data. Organizations are struggling most this year with knowing how to get value from big data, compared with last year's top challenge of governance issues. This is followed by difficulties in defining a strategy while obtaining skills; it also remains a critical issue for one-third of organizations.
"It is interesting to note that understanding 'what is big data' is the top challenge for 15 percent of organizations," said Nick Huedecker, research director at Gartner. "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."
Additional information is available in the report "Survey Analysis: Big Data Adoption in 2013 Shows Substance Behind the Hype." The report is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2589121.
Additional analysis on big data trends will be discussed in more detail at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013.
About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.
Additional information for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 in Orlando, October 6-10, is available at www.gartner.com/us/symposium. Members of the media can register for the event by contacting Christy Pettey at email@example.com.
Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc and using #GartnerSym.
Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:
October 6-10, Orlando, Florida: www.gartner.com/us/symposium
October 15-17, Tokyo, Japan: www.gartner.com/jp/symposium
October 21-24, Goa, India: www.gartner.com/in/symposium
October 28-31, Gold Coast, Australia: www.gartner.com/au/symposium
November 4-7, Sao Paulo, Brazil: www.gartner.com/br/symposium
November 10-14, Barcelona, Spain: www.gartner.com/eu/symposium
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world's leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.
Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We're trusted as an objective resource and critical partner by more than 12,000 organizations in more than 100 countries—across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.
To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.