Infrastructure remains big barrier for big data

Big data-related spend predicted to make up 23 per cent of IT budgets within three years

Existing infrastructure not being up to the task has topped a list of challenges when it comes to Australian organisations implementing big data projects, according to a new study.

Australian participants in an international survey of IT decision makers by Vanson Bourne cited the inadequacies of their organisations' existing infrastructure as the most common barrier to implementing big data projects.

Forty five per cent of the Australian participants cited infrastructure not being up to the job as a major obstacle for big data projects, compared to a global average of 32 per cent.

Globally, most organisations' existing projects involved 2-3 petabytes of data (39 per cent) or 3-4 petabytes of data (29 per cent).

Infrastructure as a barrier was followed by organisational complexity, with too many people or departments involved in big data projects, and the difficulty of justifying the ROI of big data projects.

Fifty nine per cent saw a need for major investment in infrastructure such as storage in order for their organisations' big data projects to succeed.

This was followed by the need to invest in increasing their organisation's the skill base through hiring (51 per cent) or training current staff (45 per cent).

On average, 15 per cent of the IT budgets of Australian organisations covered by the survey was being spent on big data projects, with that expected to creep up to 23 per cent within three years.

The driver for big data projects was most commonly a push to improve customer experience (cited by 67 per cent of Australian respondents — compared to a global average of 60 per cent). That was followed by the need to grow customer numbers, and competitive pressure.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 1000 IT managers for the study, which was commissioned by CA Technologies.

"Australian organisations are facing challenges in tackling infrastructure complexities during the implementation process," said Chris Wilson, CA Technologies' vice-president, solution sales, Asia Pacific and Japan.

"However, the results indicate they have the appetite to overcome the obstacles in order to fully develop and implement Big Data strategies that will deliver business results."

The State of Big Data Infrastructure: Benchmarking Global Big Data Users to Drive Future Performance is available online.

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