75% of UK IT leaders believe in big data benefits, finds EMC

Three-quarters of UK IT leaders surveyed by EMC see business benefits of big data analytics, yet nearly half fail to see clear ROI case

Three-quarters (75%) of UK IT leaders think their organisation will be improved by the use of big data, according to an EMC survey of 455 UK IT decision-makers on the challenges and opportunities presented by big data.

The survey was less clear on how many UK businesses had adopted big data analytics, but 37% of respondents said their senior teams trust insights gained from big data to make “transformative” business decisions and that 21% had gained competitive advantage from big data.

However, the survey also found that organisations are reluctant to embrace big data and explored the reasons why. Nearly one-third (32%) said they have no current plans to implement big data technology. The most common reason cited as an inhibitor to big data adoption was no clear business case or proven return on investment (48%).

Talking about specific use cases for big data, 37% of survey respondents agreed big data techniques could be vital in identifying and protecting against cyber attacks.

Big data refers to the real-time or near real-time analysis of vast amounts of often unstructured data to provide knowledge useful to organisations. It has been pioneered by the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook et al, which use massive amounts of processing power and storage in so-called hyperscale computing configurations to analyse data in place and gain insight from it.

Hyperscale computing is typified by the use of commodity servers and direct-attached storage in a grid configuration where failed units are switched out entirely, rather than the replacement of redundant components as is usual in enterprise computing. On this hardware, organisations run distributed big data analytics platforms such as Hadoop.

Now, however, some suppliers are beginning to offer storage platforms aimed at big data for the enterprise. These include EMC, which targets its scale-out NAS Isilon platform at such use cases.

The UK survey results will be added to 36 country-level survey results being collected at EMC Forum events taking place around the world between June and December 2013. 

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