What are the biggest barriers to Big Data adoption?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Nov 28, 2013

big data

Big Data adoption in the Asia-Pacific region has been much slower than expected. Despite showing interest in Big Data more than half of firms are making little or no progress in their Big Data strategies. This was stated in a study, ‘The hype and the hope: The road to big data adoption in Asia-Pacific,’ by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Hitachi Data Systems.

The report, which was based on a survey of over 500 executives across Asia-Pacific from a range of industries and functions, also shows that internal issues are acting as the biggest obstacles for Big Data. In the survey, 91% of companies cited internal issues as barriers to Big Data adoption, including a group of issues involving difficulty in sharing information across organizational boundaries.

Barrires to Big Data Adoption

big data challenges

Respondents cite an unwillingness to share data (36%), a lack of communication between departments (36%) and departmental divisions (22%) as the biggest inhibitors to Big Data adoption.

Front-line employees can’t access the data they need with 81% saying that critical data resources are not available to them. According to the report, the companies slow to adopt Big Data also tend to be poor in communicating to employees their Big Data strategies. In fact, over 40% of respondents were either not sure whether their company had a Big Data strategy or it had been poorly communicated to them, says the report. Poor communication appears to be especially problematic for frontline managers, who are potentially among the biggest beneficiaries of the insights that Big Data can bring.

Virtually all companies surveyed recognize internal roadblocks that prevent them or slow them from adopting Big Data. All but 9% of respondents cite hindrances of one kind or another. The biggest obstacles are the lack of suitable software (42%) and a lack of skills (40%). To some extent these can be remedied by external sources, but other inhibitors stem from issues within the organization.

Asia-Pacific region is also lagging behind peers in the US and Europe. For instance, in a separate survey of 317 C-level executives conducted in early 2013, just 13% of respondents in Asia claimed their businesses had a well-defined data management strategy, compared to 21% in Europe and 23% in the US.

Despite the lack of progress, respondents believe in the ability of Big Data to improve their business: almost half think it can improve revenue by 25% or more. This confidence is shared even by those yet to adopt big data, where more than 70% believe it can deliver gains in productivity, profitability and innovation. Big Data may not yet be widely deployed in Asia-Pacific, but this survey makes clear that it is highly anticipated.