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March 11, 2015

Survey: Big Data is Disrupting Business as Usual

As an American admiral famously said during the Second World War, “I don’t know what the hell ‘logistics’ is…but I want some of it!”

The same could be said for the majority of nervous company’s in a recent big data report in which 65 percent of those surveyed acknowledged they had better figure out how to leverage data analytics or risk becoming irrelevant.

Capgemini, the French business consulting firm, commissioned the big data survey along with storage giant EMC Corp. The partners found that big data is indeed disrupting markets and giving rise to much hand wringing in executive suites.

Sixty-four percent of the enterprises surveyed said big data is beginning to change the traditional boundaries of their businesses, allowing more agile providers to grab market share. More than half of those surveyed said they are facing greater competition from “data-enabled startups” while 27 percent reported competition from new players from other industries.

Hence, enterprises slow to embrace data analytics are now fretting over their very survival, EMC and the consulting firm argued.

Those fears are expected to drive investment in big data over the next three years, with 54 percent of respondents saying they plan to increase investment in big data tools. Among those who have already made big data investments, 61 percent said data analytics are already driving company revenues. The fruits of these big data efforts are proving as valuable as existing products and services, the survey found.

As the results of data analytics make their way up the chain of command, 77 percent of respondents said company executives increasingly require real-time data on which to base strategic decisions.

Based on the growing urgency for big data tools in enterprises, Capgemini argued that the survey results demonstrate that an “inflection point” has been reached where business intelligence is now at the heart of key decisions. Those who fail to invest in big data tools risk irrelevancy, the market researcher insisted.

The growth of digital businesses and, with it, the explosion of data volumes, is therefore fueling demand for more and better data storage solutions that integrated data analytics engines, warn cloud and storage vendors like study sponsor EMC. “Those entities that don’t develop this capability are at very high risk of disruption” or worse, warned Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal, the cloud spinoff from EMC and VMware.

The need to invest in data tools is likely to grow if current estimates about the number of connected devices and sensors holds true. Those enterprises able to ingest and sift through huge new volumes of unstructured data are expected to be in the best position to avoid irrelevancy and forge new and disruptive business models.

Capgemini said its big data report is based on an online survey conducted in August 2014 of more than 1,000 senior executives across nine industries in ten global markets. Survey author FreshMinds also conducted follow-up interviews with some respondents.

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