Businesses get no value from big data: survey

A majority of companies worldwide are not reaping strategic benefits from their big data initiatives, according to a recent report released by Cisco Systems.

In a survey of information technology professionals across 18 countries, the company found that while 60 per cent of the respondents believe big data will help improve decision making and competitiveness, only 28 per cent reported that they are generating strategic value from the data they collect.

“While most companies are collecting, storing and analyzing data,” a statement from Cisco said. “The report reveals that many are struggling with both the business and IT challenges of big data.”

The 2012 Cisco Connected World technology Report, queried 100 IT professionals from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Turkey, South Africa, India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, on their organizations’ IT readiness, challenges, technology gaps and implementation of big data projects. The global study actually involved two surveys, one focused on 100 college students and workers aged 18 to 30 and the second focused on100 IT professionals.


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The first survey dealt attitudes and behaviour of generation Y users towards the Internet, mobile devices and social media sites.

In the survey involving IT professionals, Cisco found that more than two thirds of IT managers agree that big data will be a strategic priority for their companies in 2013 and over the next five years. Argentina had the most number of IT managers agreeing with this point of view at 89 per cent. This was closely followed by China (86 per cent), India (83 per cent), and Mexico and Poland which both stood at 78 per cent.

More than 38 per cent of the respondents said that while they have a big data solution, they need a strategic plan to take advantage of big data.

Security was cited as a top obstacle to adopting big data solutions, followed by budget and staffing.

“More than 27 per cent said data security and risk management is a major concern,” said Cisco. “They cited the sheer volume of data, the number of ways to access data and the lack of budget for security as the top reasons why securing data in big data projects is such as challenge.”

Security concerns were most prevalent in China (45 per cent), India (41 per cent), the U.S. (36 per cent) and Brazil (33 per cent)

Other obstacles were:
-Lack of IT staff (23 per cent)
-Lack of budget (16 per cent)
-Lack of time to study big data (14 per cent)
-Lack of big data expertise (10 per cent)

More than half of the respondents predict big data strategies will increase their It budgets in 2013. As much as 57 per cent said big data will account for bigger budgets in the next three years.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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