Big data: barriers to its adoption


Underdelivering on expectations

IT and business leaders nearly universally believe in the value of big data, but many current projects are underdelivering on expectations, a survey indicates.

The survey by IDG Research and big data solution provider Kapow Software suggests that companies are having trouble gathering actionable business insights from big data fast enough.

The research also suggests the emergence of a new technology trend – the consumerization of big data.

Hopes and realities

While only one in three respondents have implemented a big data solution at present, nearly nine in ten agree that there’s huge value to be had from big data. And the pace of adoption is expected to double over the next 12 months.

IT leaders agree that the value of big data is its ability to help make intelligent business decisions and foster a data-driven organization.

Around 80% consider big data to be critical or very important for making informed business decisions. Almost as many believe big data is key to increasing competitive advantage, while 68% cite improving customer satisfaction.

Other popular uses for big data include increasing end-user productivity, improving information security and creating new products and services.

But of the companies that have adopted big data, more than 50% report having only lukewarm success.

The research suggests that big data projects are taking too long, costing too much and underdelivering on ROI. Most respondents believe that big data requires a prohibitively expensive investment in infrastructure.

Partly for this reason, big data projects typically take 18 months or more to complete, an eternity in the IT world.

Faced with these delays, employees from multiple parts of the business are taking it on themselves to attempt to mine insights from big data solutions. More than 80% of survey respondents report that manual data aggregation is being conducted in their business, with IT being tasked to try to automate these internal efforts.


Time and money aren’t the only barriers to big data adoption. Nearly half (43%) of IT leaders also report finding it difficult to find, access and integrate the right information among the piles of data needed. The data they require is often unstructured and spread across a wide range of internal and external sources.

A lack of awareness of the technology’s potential is considered the biggest barrier to big data success.

Furthermore, businesses are finding it difficult to wring value from big data without the presence of expensive data scientists or consultants.

Big data is mostly useless without employees with special training, and specialists are in short supply. Business leaders at the forefront of a big data project are often having to wait for their IT teams to extract insight using the complicated tools available today.

Demand is therefore springing up for simple but effective big data tools that can break down the barriers preventing big data from becoming a business rather than IT endeavor.

With consumerization transforming enterprise IT, users want the same user-centric approach to transform the tools they use, to help address the complexity barriers to big data utilization. More than half of IT leaders consider this a chance to become a business partner.

Tools with the ability to deliver insights in an accessible, easy-to-consume format have the potential to be more cost effective, to be deployed more rapidly and to avoid the expense and headache of a lengthy infrastructure rollout.

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About olivierlehe

Passion for Innovations

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