We have discovered that big data is a strategic proposition with those IT departments that are aligned with long-term business plans better able to assess its merits. We also found however that a large number of IT departments are constrained in their ability to be strategic, either because they’re charged with cutting costs, offering a reactive service or have no visibility of the long-term direction and objectives of the company.
Time and again, we see those organisations that take a strategic approach to IT delivering faster growth and greater shareholder value, so it’s puzzling to see that many businesses are still missing out on this competitive advantage.
It’s understandable that, in today’s tough economic climate, reduced resources and stretched teams can result in a focus on the urgent rather than the important. The question though is ‘what is the opportunity cost?’ Lack of resources in the long run destroys shareholder value. Creating the headroom to assess the merits of big data is vital for a company’s competitive advantage. Those companies that do will win out. Those that don’t will trail behind.
This is also true for pan-European country competitiveness. Businesses in the smaller countries by GDP face tightening budgets, an increased focus on ‘fire-fighting’ and are less likely to have a long-term strategic plan in place. They are therefore correspondingly less likely to see big data as a priority in the next five years, when compared with businesses in larger countries such as France, Spain and Germany.
What is also clear from the study is that big data is set to remain for a good while longer at the top of the enterprise IT agenda. A comfortable majority of respondents recognise that big data will become a growing priority for them and acknowledge the need to harness its capabilities for the good of the business.
In order to capitalise on the benefits that respondents anticipate, it’s crucial to make the right choices now and ensure that all the elements are in place for a successful big data solution. Establishing an innovation process that brings together multi-disciplinary teams is vital at the same time as allowing those teams the headroom to focus on the big data task at hand. Given the focus is currently on analytics and storage, those organisations that forget network speed in the context of a big data solution are missing a trick for the future. Choices about systems, networks and applications made today will have a big impact on the ability to deliver big data programmes down the line, so it’s imperative to involve all three relevant disciplines: business, IT and telecoms.
At Interxion, we believe that if big data is a strategic proposition, so too is where you ‘house’ your big data solution. Making the wrong choice today could tie your company to a poor-performing solution which in the long run could see you lose out to competitors who have made the right choice. Picked as a key consideration by 48% of our respondents, connectivity is the third most important challenge they face, with 58% agreeing that their big data solution will need to reach the end-user within 100ms.
Meeting the requirements of volume, variety and velocity calls for the solution to be located in a highly-connected data centre facility. What are the implications of a large volume of data going across a WAN? Would the cost prohibit the business case? What if you need to be colocated to a large variety of datasets? And finally, when it comes to velocity, what if the network aspect of your solution resulted in delivering results ‘just too late’ rather than ‘just in time’? At Interxion we have over 450 carriers in our 33 data centres across Europe. This gives you the opportunity to ‘connect, transact and create value’ from your big data solution, within 100ms of 70% of Europe’s GDP.
We hoped you’ve enjoyed reading the report. We hope you are ready for your big data journey. And we hope too that you make the right strategic choice for locating your big data solution.
Download the full report here.