A worldwide survey of IT leaders carried out by research analysts at Gartner has revealed that 42% of them have invested in big data or plan to within the next 12 months.
This has led Gartner to predict that 2013 will be a year of wide scale adoption of big data technologies, following a couple of years of experimentation and the success of early adopters.
"Organizations have increased their understanding of what big data is and how it could transform the business in novel ways. The new key questions have shifted to 'What are the strategies and skills required?' and 'How can we measure and ensure our return on investment?'" said Doug Laney, research vice president at Gartner.
"Most organizations are still in the early stages, and few have thought through an enterprise approach or realized the profound impact that big data will have on their infrastructure, organizations and industries."
According to Gartner, organisations are now beginning to realise that the "rapidly shifting technological landscape” not only produce new data types but demand new kinds of information processing.
This means that organisations are quickly realising that big data initiatives are vital and turn to big data technology for necessity and conviction. Big data initiatives can and do identify business opportunities which can’t be found with traditional data sources.
"This makes IT and business leaders worry that they are behind competitors in launching their big data initiatives. Not to worry, ideas and opportunities at this time are boundless, and some of the biggest big data ideas come from adopting and adapting ideas from other industries," said Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at Gartner.
"Still, this makes it challenging to cut through the hype when evaluating big data technologies, approaches and project alternatives."
Despite any challenges faced, Gartner have predicted that 20% of Global 1000 organisations will have established strategies on information infrastructure by 2015. Anticipating this, many organisations are already beginning to collate data from a number of sources.
These data sources can be combined with so-called "dark data”, such as email and multimedia content, which often presents a good opportunity to "transform businesses”, Gartner point out.
"Business and IT executives regularly say that information is one of their company's greatest assets," said Mr. Laney.
"Businesses are increasingly managing and deploying information more effectively than ever, but certainly not with the well-honed asset management discipline applied to their traditional material, financial or other intangible assets. The application of formal information valuation models will allow IT, information management and business leaders to make better-informed decisions on information management (IM), enrichment, security, risks, purchasing, collection, usage, bartering, productization and disposal."
The full report, Big Data, Bigger Opportunities: Investing in Information and Analytics can be found on the Gartner website, along with links to reports and videos which discuss the impact of big data on enterprises.A free webinar is also being held by Mr Laney which is intended to provide further analysis: Big Data and Analytics Strategy Essentials on March 26 at 9 a.m. and noon EDT.