A survey report published on the ExpertIP blog late last year showed that enterprise CIOs see big data as the technology that will cause the biggest organizational impact over the next few years. However, given the complexity of the systems involved, only 40% of the CIOs are expected to rise up to the big data challenge by 2017.
One area where big data is expected to be a game changer is in cloud adoption.
A recent Technology Business Review study showed that big data analytics has helped in significantly driving the revenues of the top cloud service providers over the past few years. Their study found the cloud market to be a $15.1 billion market during the fourth quarter of 2013. This growth has been primarily through the adoption of big data analytics.
Take the example of Salesforce.com. According to the TBR report, companies like Salesforce and enterprise collaboration tool, Box.com are using big data analytics to analyze various parameters like the seats deployed by the customer, the data stored, the number of modules deployed, the frequency of usage and platform share to find patterns in usage. Using this information from customers, Salesforce finds useful tools and products to cross-sell. This helps in increasing the average revenue per customer that naturally helps drive cloud usage further across enterprises.
It is not just big data analytics that cloud providers are after. The TBR study also found that businesses like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace now offering big data services as a service. For instance, Amazon Web Services offers a service called Elastic MapReduce (EMR) that makes use of Hadoop to help customers in log analysis, web indexing, data warehousing, scientific simulation and bioinformatics. Similarly, Rackspace has partnered with a company called Cloudant to offer managed NoSQL cloud database management as a service to their customers.
Given the rise in cloud adoption as well as the revenue that cloud providers stand to make from big data analytics and partnerships, it is not surprising that the TBR report is not the only one to have noticed the impact of big data on cloud adoption. A research conducted by Verizon last year showed that more and more businesses are experiencing an information overload that makes it impossible to make sense of all the different data that their business owns in order to arrive at an intelligent solution. While solutions exist, they are expensive. Naturally, with the rise of big data, more and more businesses are turning to cloud-based solutions to help them cope with the growth in the amount of data being handled.
IDC predicts the cloud market to grow from $47 billion last year to as much as $107 billion by 2017. A major driver for this growth will be the rise in big data. And with big data analytics being extensively deployed by cloud service providers, we are moving towards a future where big data and cloud will complement the growth of each other to become a dominant technology factor of the next decade.