Is Big Data only for big organizations?

by Sharon Lobo    Aug 14, 2013

Big Data

The last couple of years have witnessed a lot of debate surrounding Big Data at various technology forums. Technology experts across industries continue to share their varied perspective on how should ideally companies approach Big Data.While it is obvious that large organizations having humongous amount of data should be the first adopters of Big Data. However, the fact remains that SMBs cannot be discounted in the scheme of things.

While there are loads of definitions surrounding big data, in general it is management and analysis of both structured and unstructured data. Similar to large organizations, SMBs too have access to information from various sources including social media platforms, CRMs, sensors etc. However, the capturing and analysing this data is by no means a small feat.

It is not surprising that SMBs understand this fact and are investing in Big Data solutions. According to findings from a Techaisle survey, global SMB spend on Big Data would reach USD 3.6 billion by 2016 from a mere USD 867 million in 2012. The survey also highlights that 18% of midsize businesses are actively investing in big data, while 25% are currently investigating it. However, the remaining 57% choose to all-together ignore big data.

So why is it? One reason could be the paranoia surrounding Big Data, as Gagan Mehra, Chief Evangelist – Terracotta, Software AG, points out, “Big Data creates fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst organizations, additionally the tools available to manage it are not simple to use and require specialized IT skills, which they do not possess.”So while the above statement is true for organizations across sizes, it makes more sense for SMBs as they anyways do not have surplus IT skills and resources at their disposal.

However, Indian SMBs don’t have the luxury to shy away from big data for the simple reason of the humongous data volume we deal with.As Gagan states, “If in the US you had to manage data of a million users, in India it would be 10 million or 25 million for a given similar IT project.”As India is home to a large number of SMBs when compared to large enterprises, Big Data solution providers would have to cater to the former. So it is inevitable that Indian SMBs could actually be one of the major contributor to the projected USD 3.6 billion by 2016 Big Data market.