Cisco sees big plans for Big Data

Survey finds it becoming a strategic IT priority over next five years

Two-thirds of IT managers recently surveyed by Cisco believe Big Data will be a strategic priority for their companies over the next five years. Sixty percent said they believe Big Data can help improve decision making and global competitiveness.

These are two of the findings in Cisco's latest Connected World Technology Report. The report surveyed IT professionals in 18 countries to determine the strategic value of Big Data.

Over half the respondents expect Big Data strategies to increase their IT budgets in 2013, and 57% said Big Data will increase budgets over the next three years. Eighty-one percent said all or some Big Data projects will require cloud computing capabilities.

More than a third, however - 38% -- say although they have a Big Data solution, they need a strategic plan to take advantage of Big Data, especially that generated in real-time by devices, sensors, and video. Though only one-third of survey respondents have a plan in place to take advantage of these new data sources, 73% plan to include data from digital sensors, smart meters, video, and other non-traditional networked "smart devices" into their Big Data plans, Cisco found.

A previous Cisco survey found that there will be more than 1.7 billion machine-to-machine connections by 2017, more than three times what they number now.

What could thwart IT's Big Data plans? Security. More than one in four respondents said data security and risk management is a major concern due to the volume of data, the number of ways to access data, and lack of budget for security. And 27% say they will need better IT policies and security measures.

Big Data has also been proposed as a way to heighten IT and business operations security.

Network capacity and the need to upgrade might also give them pause. Nearly half of IT managers  estimate their network loads will to double over the next two years, and nearly one in four expect to see network loads triple over the next two years.  

Big Data will no doubt expand IT's role in a company. Seventy-three percent said that IT will drive their company's Big Data strategy, though other lines of business are expected to participate as well: finance, R&D, operations, engineering, and sales and marketing.

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