Inadequate datacentre infrastructure is a barrier to big data analytics

Inadequate datacentre infrastructure and siloed work practices are preventing UK enterprises from benefiting from big data analytics, shows study

Lack of appropriate datacentre infrastructure and existing silos in work practices are preventing UK enterprises from benefiting from big data analytics projects, according to a study by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Hitachi Data Systems.

The study, Route to Real Time, found that 75% of UK organisations are currently investing in big data analytics, and 80% of these are deploying solutions. But as many as 60% of those investing in big data projects agreed that they do not have the datacentre infrastructure in place to analyse up-to-the-minute information across all their data sets.

This lack of insight into real-time data is preventing accurate analytics. Also, more than half of the respondents (53%) admitted that their enterprises are at risk of making business-critical decisions based on old or inaccurate data.

“In the past six months, big data analytics has become one of the top three IT priorities for enterprises,” Bob Plumridge, chief technology officer for Europe at Hitachi Data Systems, told Computer Weekly.

But despite the recent industry momentum around big data, organisations are underestimating the opportunity and challenges of exploiting the data,” said Robert Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca.

“While most have latched on to the concept of large volumes of data, many struggle with gaining insight in a sufficiently timely fashion from the breadth of information available. Data is often managed inconsistently, stored in multiple disparate locations or parts of the organisation, and ultimately not accessible to those who need it most, in a form they can readily digest, at the point of need,” he said.

Tap into the value of real-time data

Organisations need to evaluate their existing infrastructure and understand that the way in which data is stored can directly affect the company’s ability to extract meaning in real time, said Plumridge.

He advised IT decision-makers to take a strategic approach to data storage and to use high-velocity storage and high-performance computing in their datacentre infrastructure to extract real value from big data.

The study of 200 UK CIOs conducted in May also found that 74% of respondents who have deployed a big data analytics solution can analyse only up to 50% of their data sets, while 33% said they cannot analyse both structured and unstructured data. About 60% also feared that they are unable to extract the full value of their information.

But inadequate technology infrastructure is not the only barrier halting real-time big data analytics in UK organisations.

Address siloed working practices

“Business culture is also proving to be a challenge,” said Stephen Ball, regional vice-president and general manager at Hitachi Data Systems.

Of the organisations that do not have the infrastructure in their datacentre facilities for real-time data analytics, 50% said the issue is that information being pulled is too complex for employees to understand and 45% said the business works in silos. A further 67% agreed that such siloed working practices are preventing CIOs from making effective business decisions.

“Traditional siloed working practices have inhibited information from being shared across different lines of business, which means people across the organisation are working with various data sets which may not even correlate in terms of accuracy or time frame, preventing them from taking full advantage of the insights they hold,” said Ball.

A majority of CIOs surveyed (82%) agreed that a single dashboard which provides big data analytics for each line of business would be useful for their organisation.

The future of business is real time, and enterprises must evaluate technology and business management needs if they want to evolve and capture market opportunities, act on trends and gain competitive advantage, warned Hicham Abdessamad, senior vice-president for global services at Hitachi.

Image: Thinkstock

Read more on Datacentre systems management

Data Center
Data Management