2016 is around the corner, and many companies are cleaning house, deciding where they should invest IT budgets to maximize security, performance and profitability. While this year was dominated by the rise of hybird cloud and a “shift” toward big data — Datacomony notes that 83 percent of companies had big data investments at the start of 2015 — expect 2016 to feature a much more mature and diversified data market. Here are three trends to watch:
What is “big data,” exactly? Think of it like a catch-all: Every piece of information generated, processed or examined by your company falls under the big-data umbrella. This includes structured information such as spreadsheets, budget reports and consumer tracking information, but also extends to unstructured sources like consumer surveys, employee opinions and the granular data created by every interaction between users and your network. Bottom line? Big data is big — but with the right tools, it's possible to tap this resource for critical business insight.
The first big data prediction for 2016? Eliminating “average” results. As noted by Wealth Engine, for example, this will be especially noticeable in marketing; rather than generalizing user experiences to deliver a generic message with the potential to reach most of your consumer base, the use of data-driven analytics will allow companies to develop “more personalized insights and messages.” Personalization is also applicable to employees and even partner organizations — by making best use of big data, it should be possible to reduce the prevalence of “almost right” solutions and find best-fit alternatives.
Outsourcing Business Intelligence
The next data trend for 2016 focuses on moving storage and analytics off site by leveraging third-party business intelligence providers. There are two factors driving this trend. First, companies can no longer afford to store — much less process — the sheer volume of data they generate on a daily basis. Choosing a cloud-based solution, however, frees local servers for critical line of business (LoB) tasks, but keeps big data close at hand. According to Reseller News, meanwhile, analyzing all this data requires significant processing power; rather than spending on continual server upgrades in an effort to meet insatiable demand, emerging analytics-as-a-service (AaaS) solutions will give companies the edge when it comes to maximizing big-data results.
Finding the Right Fit
According to Forbes, 2016 will also bring change for the big-data job market. Companies must be willing to spend if they want the best talent; a combination of increased demand and data skills in short supply means many businesses will face hiring challenges. Hand and hand with this trend is the rise of third-party IT management solutions — providers now have the depth of expertise to offer contracted CISOs and CIOs along with sound advice for long-term, big-data practices. Whether as a stopgap or complete solution, finding the right fit may require looking beyond company walls.
What about hard numbers? Back in 2013, research firm IDC predicted a $24 billion market for big data in 2016. Now, the company calls for 26.4 percent compound annual growth and a $41.5 billion market in just two years. Simply put? 2016 is the start of the something big in big data.