Shhhh … I have a secret. Most Enterprises aren’t “all in” on Big Data. Not yet anyway. Ditto for Hadoop.
It’s not that their C-level execs don’t think these technologies are important; after all, in an article about the future of Big Data the Harvard Business Review said that
Data-driven decisions tend to be better decisions. Leaders will either embrace this fact or be replaced by others who do."
That’s quite a threat.
But even so, when a group of Fortune 500 CIO’s met in an intimate setting a few weeks ago, one of them stated that he wasn’t sure that wrestling with Big Data was a good idea right now, he could end up looking like a fool; another said he wasn’t sure that he could cost justify it when he was unsure of the returns; a few others, ever so quietly, admitted that they felt overwhelmed by all the “Big Data” they had, the lack of expertise they had to work with it, and that they weren’t exactly sure of exactly what Hadoop was. “The more I learn about it, the more confused I become,” one of them said. A few others nodded in acknowledgement. Needless to say, I can’t tell you who they were or I’ll never be privy to such conversations again. It’s beside the point, anyway.
The point is that Big Data may be mainstream in companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and the like (and, yes I know there are brick-and-mortar exceptions like Target and Wal-Mart), but it’s just an idea on Main Street. CIO’s know that they will do something with Big Data, but they haven’t decided exactly when or how or what kind of returns they can expect. They’re still wondering if Big Data can give the business meaningful, actionable insights that they can’t get from their data warehouse.
I know that many of you are saying I’m full of **** as you read this, that data warehouses are relics and on their way out. And while that may be true in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, Main Street is a little more cautious. They won’t go “all in” or even “in” on Big Data and its ecosystem of technologies until they feel they must, or can be confident that they can implement it without failing.
Much is expected from Big Data, and for some CIO’s this is a problem. “You can be a Big Data Hero or a Big Data failure,” one of them told me. The risk is too great to take unless you can understand exactly what you’re doing, can hire the right people, and can work with vendors who you trust to have your back when needed.
At the Hadoop Summit in San Jose, California today, Teradata, the leading analytic data solutions company, is unveiling the Teradata Portfolio for Hadoop. The company claims that it will provide the most open, flexible and comprehensive options to deploy and manage Apache™ Hadoop. The Teradata Portfolio for Hadoop offers customers new flexible Hadoop®-based product platforms, software, consulting services, training and customer support.