WHITE PAPER Balancing Business Innovation With IT Cost Control: Big Data Adoption and Opportunity in EMEA

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1 WHITE PAPER Balancing Business Innovation With IT Cost Control: Big Data Adoption and Opportunity in EMEA Sponsored by: HDS EMEA Alys Woodward August 2012 Daniel Bizo IDC OPINION IDC EMEA, 389 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4AE, U.K. Tel In these first decades of the 21st century, technological advances are providing great opportunities for organizations to streamline operations, identify new areas of growth, and understand the internal and external dynamics of their trading operations as never before. However, the ongoing economic challenges mean that organizations must do this in conjunction with reduced IT budgets. Organizations are being pulled in two conflicting directions: their top priority is to reduce costs, but their investments are driven by the need to support business innovation. New technologies and opportunities, however transformative, must therefore still fit into the overall cost profile that is accessible to the customer. Big Data is an emergent discipline, focusing on bringing together a range of information types, technologies, and techniques for managing, storing, and generating value from challenging datasets. The datasets could be challenging in terms of their volume (sheer magnitude), velocity (high-speed data entering the system, or high-speed analysis required for business user), and variety (going beyond the structured database-friendly formats that business analytics successfully addresses). IDC and HDS conducted a survey across the EMEA region to investigate the challenges, opportunities, priorities, and investment plans of organizations as they relate to Big Data and the cloud. Top-line findings were as follows: The top challenges cited were to align IT costs to business budgets and growth, security and compliance issues, and rapid data growth. The main priority was to reduce the cost of IT across the board, although there were significant country differences, particularly in Russia, where helping the business drive increased revenue or competitive edge was the highest priority. Despite hype around the possibilities of analyzing social data, organizations see the key challenge of Big Data as it relates to internal corporate data, which is stored in various formats, and with different ownership across departments. However, the top benefit of Big Data cited was greater insight into cost savings. Organizations need to identify the most valuable information sources, and "start small while thinking big" in order to drive out insight, while not creating more data silos that will need to be broken down in the future. Organizations do not see compelling ROI for Big Data. IDC recommends organizations start with optimization-based use cases for this reason. It is much easier to predict the ROI due to Big Data related improvements on a pre-existing process than to predict the ROI of insights, when you don't know quite what those insights are or where you will find them.

2 IN THIS WHITE PAPER In this white paper, IDC discusses the challenges, priorities, and investment drivers for IT faced by organizations in EMEA, and specific challenges and benefits related to Big Data. The white paper references results from a survey sponsored by HDS EMEA and conducted by IDC. In line with the strategic priorities and customer base of HDS EMEA, this survey focused on decision makers and influencers for data storage decision makers. More information on the survey is available in the Methodology section in the Appendix. SITUATION OVERVIEW Priorities and Investment Drivers for IT in EMEA IDC identifies four pillars of transformation that are driving evolution in IT strategies: mobility, social business, the cloud, and Big Data/analytics. There is also a strong economic force which overlays the need and desire for transformation: the need to do more with less. Particularly in Europe, national economies are undergoing great challenges and far-reaching transformations, and controlling cost, both with the current situation in mind and with an eye to the near future, is essential. Top IT Challenges The need to do more with less notwithstanding, organizations still need to update and refresh their IT infrastructures in order to improve services and support the business need to innovate. New technologies can have a role in doing this while reducing cost. In order to assess where organizations need the most help from technology suppliers, IDC asked about the challenges they face in adapting their IT strategy to current market conditions. IDC found that cost is the most widely cited challenge, with 56% of organizations responding that they need IT solutions that align to business budgets. Security and compliance are also major concerns, according to 53% of organizations. The third most common challenge is rapid data growth, which is a problem for 41% of organizations. However, only a third of the respondents think of providing access to corporate information as a challenge. This could indicate that despite the data growth, their information architectures can handle this growth or it could indicate that providing access to corporate information is not something that is particularly close to the top of the priority list. Figure 1 shows the results. 2 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

3 FIGURE 1 Challenges Adapting IT Strategy to the Current Market Q.: What are the main challenges to adapting your IT strategy to the current market conditions? Aligning IT costs to business budgets and growth Security and compliance issues 56% 53% Rapid data growth Deploying new applications like mobility Decommissioning legacy systems, migration to new platform Providing access to corporate information 41% 39% 37% 34% Datacenter space Environmental impact (carbon footprint, power and cooling) 18% 24% Others, please specify 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Note: n = 251. Multiple responses permitted. "Others" excluded. IDC asked about organizations' main IT priority for the next two years. Top of the list was cost reduction (cited by 30% of respondents), followed by improving the alignment of IT with business needs (28%), then improving overall IT service levels to the business (27%). Significantly lower was providing innovative ways for the business to drive revenue increases or competitive edge, at 16%. The broad spread across priorities, with the highest consensus across any group at 40%, shows how organizations in different industries, with different cultures, and different levels of maturity in IT terms, have differing priorities. There are some interesting country variations, showing the variation across EMEA: In France, the top priority is cost reduction (42%) and it is cited by a much higher proportion of respondents than in the broader respondent base. The German market is more focused on improving IT service levels (32% of respondents) than on cost control, although cost reduction comes second at 30% IDC #IDCWP29U 3

4 A significant proportion of U.K. respondents (39%) were most focused on improving IT alignment with business needs, with cost reduction in second place (28%). Finding innovative ways to support business innovation/revenue increases was the top priority in Russia. A third of Russian respondents cited this as a main IT priority, with improving IT service levels to the business second at 30%, and improving IT business alignment in third (27%). Only 10% of Russian organizations cited cost reduction as a main IT priority. This reflects the rapid growth and fast pace of evolution of Russian organizations, but also reflects a lack of concern about the variable economic climate and political uncertainty that Russia currently faces. Organizations are determined to improve their IT landscapes regardless. Figure 2 shows investment priorities, for all respondents, and by country. FIGURE 2 Main IT Priorities for the Next Two Years Q.: Which of the following statements best describes your main IT priority for the next two years? 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Reducing the cost of IT Improving the alignment of IT with business needs Improving overall IT service levels to the business Help business drive increased revenue or competitive edge Note: n = 251 What Drives Investment in IT? Priorities do not always drive investment in IT, particularly for organizations that are controlling costs tightly. IDC looked at how EMEA organizations are driving investment. The first thing to notice is that there is very little difference in average priority between the different drivers. Organizations in general have a range of drivers for investment; no one clearly stands out as the leader. However, this is only true for "all 4 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

5 respondents." There are some noticeable differences between countries in terms of investment drivers. Enabling innovation, supporting the business strategy, and making the organization more flexible were the most popular drivers for IT investment. This shows that when organizations spend, they want to focus this spend on innovation and agility. Enabling "green" initiatives was the fourth most popular investment driver. Organizations realize that although some "green" technologies and activities have a cost reduction angle, they have to spend in order to make these savings. Figure 3 shows drivers for investment in IT and their importance. FIGURE 3 Drivers for Investment in IT Q.: How important are each of the following drivers for investment in IT? Enabling the business units to innovate 3.33 Supporting the business strategy 3.32 Making the organization more flexible Enabling green/environmental initiatives Business continuity considerations Helping the business drive value from corporate information Driving down or controlling the cost of IT Complying with legislation and regulations There are significant differences in investment drivers between countries and regions. In France, enabling innovation and green were ahead, while business continuity and compliance were behind. France's economic challenges lead it to focus on innovation, but its priorities are cost control. This is a hard balance to achieve IDC #IDCWP29U 5

6 In Germany, green is huge, with enabling innovation and driving value from corporate information almost level. This reflects the drive toward green in both culture and legislation in Germany. In the U.K., each response had a higher average score, but there was less difference between the responses. The highest driver was supporting the business strategy, while green was relatively low. This could indicate higher motivation to align business and IT in the U.K. In Russia, business continuity was by far the strongest investment driver, with green the lowest. Compliance was second, and driving value from corporate information was second lowest. The Other EU region, of smaller European geographies, had the highest score for making the organization more flexible. Organizations in smaller geographies, particularly in the Nordics, are often keenly aware that they need to compete with large multinationals on agility and flexibility. FIGURE 4 Drivers for Investment in IT by Country/Region Q.: How important are each of the following drivers for investment in IT? Enabling the business units to innovate Supporting the business strategy Making the organization more flexible Enabling green/environmental initiatives Business continuity considerations Helping the business drive value from corporate information Driving down or controlling the cost of IT Complying with legislation and regulations 6 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

7 Information and Big Data: Barriers and Benefits to Implementation Barriers to Information and Big Data Deployments Many of the priorities and investment drivers would ideally be underpinned by the availability to business users of a consistent, accurate, and timely source of information that can be used to inform decision making. Identifying areas of possible cost reduction, or revenue growth, or improved responsivity to business needs, can all be identified by analysis of corporate information, providing that this corporate information source is clean, consistent, correct, and timely. However, defining and delivering such a source of information is challenging. Providing the ability to search the information source, or repository, in order to find the right information for the right user is also a challenge. These challenges increase exponentially once the underlying data comes from a broader range of sources than the traditional transactional information usually integrated into business analytics systems. The existence of data in varying formats and the inability to integrate between these formats was the chief barrier cited by the respondent base. The lack of a compelling business reason to integrate information was the second barrier. This demonstrates a longstanding problem for business analytics systems the value of information lies in its value to the business for decision-making purposes. If no action will be taken as a result of the information, then it has little if any value. In theory, having a corporate information repository is important in case it is needed but in practice to create such a repository would be unfeasible. Organizations need to decide which information is the most important to them, and work to integrate that information first. Without a compelling business reason to integrate information, the effort made to do so is wasted because the information won't be used. A challenge for information-aware IT departments is to help the business learn how fact-based decisions can improve the quality of their operations in almost every area. The third barrier was that data ownership is shared between different departments. This is a common obstacle to enterprise datawarehousing projects, and it stops some organizations from maturing from departmental business intelligence (BI) to an enterprise view of performance. This obstacle can be overcome, but not by technology it is a management issue. Figure 5 shows the responses IDC #IDCWP29U 7

8 FIGURE 5 Barriers to Making Information Available and Searchable Q.: What are the barriers to making information available anywhere at any time and searchable, independently of application and media? Data exists in different formats that cannot be integrated There is no compelling business reason to do this Data ownership is divided between departments 29% 34% 33% Cost would be too great 29% Data exists in too many isolated silos Data cannot be replicated: compliance 28% 26% Data volume would be too great 24% Other 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Note: Multiple responses permitted. When moving to Big Data specifically, other barriers become apparent. Organizations are concerned about the total cost, their lack of budget, and also the lack of clear ROI. Although some elements of Big Data are somewhat mature (examples are accelerated datawarehouses, event streaming, and scale-out storage) others are less so, such as Hadoop. Gathering these technologies together under the "Big Data" umbrella is also relatively new. Thus organizations are concerned about the cost and their lack of budget for Big Data projects. The lack of clear ROI relates to the lack of compelling business reason cited in Figure 5. Business units want to know exactly what they will get out of information-related projects, in the same way they would know what they get from infrastructure refreshes and ERP implementations. However, it is much harder to predict the value of information in advance. Quantifying the business benefit gained from "greater insights" is difficult. 8 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

9 FIGURE 6 Barriers to Big Data Implementation Q.: Which of the following do you consider to be the main barriers to Big Data technologies implementation at your organization? Overall cost 45% Lack of budget Lack of clear ROI Current IT infrastructure cannot support Big Data Services cost Hardware cost Software cost Lack of employee skills Lack of visibility into available data sources Not familiar with Big Data 33% 29% 24% 22% 21% 20% 20% 19% 11% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% There are some interesting country differences for barriers to Big Data: In France, the greatest barrier is lack of budget. French respondents have cited cost issues all through the survey. For Big Data in particular, lack of budget could mean that last year organizations were not thinking about Big Data, meaning there is no budget to spend this year. In the U.K., the top challenge is the inability of the current infrastructure to support Big Data. U.K. organizations are generally mature in the use of business analytics and have some of the largest datasets in Europe; this factor combined with cost control over the past few years could mean that U.K. organizations' infrastructures have been put under greater strain by recent growth in data volumes. Services and hardware costs are the greatest barrier for respondents in the Other EU region. Germany is least concerned about the skills challenge. Germany has many universities focusing on high-performance computing (HPC) research and as such may have a healthier skills base coming through from universities into its workforce IDC #IDCWP29U 9

10 The highest barrier in Russia is the lack of clear ROI. This indicates that Russian organizations need to be convinced that Big Data can help them achieve their goals of delivering increased revenue and competitive edge, before they will engage in Big Data projects. The Benefits of Big Data So much for the barriers, but what are the benefits of Big Data? IDC asked about the importance of a range of business benefits. Top of the list was improved planning and budgeting. The second was greater insight into cost savings, and the third was risk analysis and mitigation. The top four benefits relate to improved control, cost savings, and risk mitigation, while the three options that relate to growth and expansion were last in the list of priorities. Figure 7 shows the results. FIGURE 7 Benefits of Big Data by Importance Q.: Which of the following potential benefits of Big Data technology would be most important to your organization? Improved planning and budgeting Greater insight into cost savings Risk analysis/mitigation Fraud detection Predict customer behavior Better customer segmentation Insight into revenue generation 41% 39% 37% 27% 25% 23% 19% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% The results showed a great deal of variation by country; not one of the countries and regions in the survey ranked the benefits of Big Data in the same order. France, Germany, and Russia cited greater insight into areas of cost savings as the top benefit to obtain from Big Data. Improved planning and budgeting was the top ranked benefit of Big Data only for the Other EU group, but this group felt so strongly that its opinion weighted the average. This demonstrates a lower level of maturity in business analytics than the other markets, because Big Data is not required for planning and budgeting business analytics technologies are perfect for this. 10 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

11 In the U.K., risk mitigation was the most popular benefit. The U.K. was the most likely market to identify greater insight into revenue generation opportunities as a benefit of Big Data. This demonstrates a good understanding of where Big Data extends and enhances what business analytics already provides, and underlines the maturity of the U.K. in its use of business information. Table 1 shows the benefits of Big Data, ranked by the percentage of respondents identifying the benefit as important. TABLE 1 Benefits of Big Data Importance by Country/Region Q.: Which of the following potential benefits of Big Data technology would be most important to your organization? Benefit of Big Data All Respondents France Germany U.K. Russia Other EU Improved planning and budgeting Greater insight into areas of cost savings Risk analysis/mitigation Fraud detection Improved ability to predict customer behavior Better customer segmentation Greater insight into revenuegeneration opportunities Data Types to Integrate for Big Data The key difference between datawarehousing and Big Data is that the latter can more easily incorporate multiple data types. So we asked about the order of importance of data types for integration with Big Data technologies. The results cited structured data as the most important data source. This shows that organizations are still struggling with business analytics, as this has been physically possible for around two decades now. However, integrating transactional information is challenging: making the data consistent between multiple contributing systems, getting the data out to business users in a timely way, matching business requirements, and often people don't know what they want till they see it because the underlying data structures do not match the view they see in an application. The second most important data type is documents. This is interesting this shows that organizations know there is value in data but they are not sure where. Big Data emphasizes the volume, variety, and velocity of information, in event streams and 2012 IDC #IDCWP29U 11

12 social media information, but these respondents are more interested in bringing value out of documents. Adding this to the other answer from before indicates that respondents know there is value in their information, but they don't quite know where it is. Figure 8 shows the importance of data types to integrate for Big Data. FIGURE 8 Importance of Data Types to Integrate for Big Data Q.: If you were to consider Big Data technology, which of the following types of data would you first consider for integrating? Structured data (relational database tables) Documents Archive data Unstructured data (audio, video) Event data (real-time messaging or EAI data) Semistructured data (XML) Spatial data (GPS, coordinates) Machine or sensor data (RFID, sensors) Social Web data (data from social networks, blogs, Web forums etc.) Web logs and clickstream data Note: Respondents were asked to give priorities for data sources. This figure shows a score weighted by the priorities given (between 1st and 5th priority). How Close are Organizations to Getting Started With Big Data? Despite the challenges, organizations generally realize the importance of Big Data and are in the process of getting started on projects and programs: 10% have already started deploying Big Data. 30% have already started or will start in the next 24 months. 12 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

13 10% say they never will deploy Big Data. We think the definition of Big Data will evolve though companies say they will never deploy it, they may still get some way along the path of proving information for corporate decision making. Figure 9 shows the results. FIGURE 9 Timelines for Getting Started With Big Data Never (10.4%) Already started (10.4%) Within the next 3 6 months (4.4%) Within the next 12 months (7.6%) Within the next 24 months (8.0%) No current plans (59.1%) Cloud When looking at the state of attitudes and activities around Big Data, it is interesting to look at the cloud. The cloud was a very new market five years ago, but in a short time it has achieved widespread adoption, not to mention recognition as a transformative force in IT. IDC asked about organizations' plans to adopt an external cloud infrastructure partner. Figure 10 shows the results IDC #IDCWP29U 13

14 FIGURE 10 Use of External Cloud Infrastructure Q.: What are your plans for adopting an external cloud infrastructure provider as part of your service delivery model? 30% 25% 24% 24% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 17% 16% 9% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 6% 6% 7% 3% 2% 0% 0% 0% All France Germany U.K. Russia Other EU May replace some (1% 50%) IT infrastructure components May replace many (>50%) IT infrastructure components Already using public cloud service provider(s) Note: Responses saying "No plans to adopt external cloud infrastructure" were excluded. FUTURE OUTLOOK IDC believes that Big Data will become widespread very quickly. The survey indicates that 10% of organizations across EMEA have already started a Big Data project, and a further 20% will start in the next 24 months. We expect the speed of uptake of Big Data to outstrip even that of the cloud, which has gained very high traction over just five years. The main reasons for this are summarized below: Organizations can start small and think big. Big Data does not have to be bitten off in one big mouthful it can start in a relatively small, focused area, while organizations and their business users learn where the real value of information lies. As the market matures, the areas where Big Data can generate ROI will become clearer. Big Data is very dependent on the specific use case, whether for customer intelligence, fraud detection, or risk management. As more of the most advanced organizations embrace Big Data and share their stories (or their staff move to different opportunities) the market will gain knowledge and experience of how best to leverage Big Data for clear business benefit. 14 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

15 CHALLENGES FOR HDS Big Data computing can be disruptive to storage. Many of the Big Data type workloads are both compute and data heavy for achieving quick results on large and complex problems, and traditional IT infrastructure architectures may very well prove to be inadequate, from both a technical and economic perspective. High-speed analytics require low data access latencies and high levels of data parallelism, but often very little or no storage management or RAS features when working with copies of data that are not in production. Established networked storage vendors like HDS may need to fine tune their storage features and configuration practices, software licensing policies, and ultimately price points in order to reach the performance levels desired by Big Data with good economics. Big Data needs compute infrastructure. While HDS offers servers that are widely used and have a good reputation in Japan, it is not a recognized server vendor in Europe or the U.S. Europe is especially dominated by a handful of large server vendors with a loyal customer base. HDS needs to build awareness and acceptance for its sophisticated server technology if it wants to present itself as a Big Data infrastructure solutions provider. It should also consider using appliance sales approaches by closely partnering with selected ISVs and vertical resellers to overcome any pushback that may arise from server infrastructure groups in the enterprises. Thought leadership versus delivery. HDS is widely known and respected for its down-to-earth approach to technology and concepts. In previous publicity engagements, HDS has focused on addressing customer reality and delivering on its promises to improve the overall economics of data storage and IT, and to meet the highest customer standards. HDS has created a compelling long-term vision for information management in which data can be decoupled from application silos and made accessible for further use some time in the future. However, it needs to fight for its fair share of the dialogue around Big Data and the future of data, without diluting what HDS as a company stands for in the eyes of the customer a delicate balancing act. ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE/CALL TO ACTION The key challenge for organizations that want to embrace Big Data is to do so within existing cost constraints, and with budgets set in a pre Big Data world. Despite these issues, organizations should get started with Big Data, even in a small way, quickly. This market will move more quickly than the cloud, and organizations do not want to be left behind. Also, gaining insights from information and moving business users toward fact-based decision making is a journey that takes time, and organizations should get started on this journey as soon as possible. The first challenge is to find where in your organization the truly valuable information lies what data source is it in, what business process is it a part of, and, once extracted, what insights can this information furnish and what decisions can it help end users to take? There is nothing shameful in starting a Big Data initiative with a relatively straightforward optimization-based use case. Use cases based on optimization have the advantage that their ROI is relatively predictable increased 2012 IDC #IDCWP29U 15

16 throughput, reduced cost, reduced processing time, etc. are relatively straightforward to calculate for an existing process compared with the business value that can be gained from improved insights from information. Such value from insights can be great, but the organization needs to accept that it may take a number of attempts to extract the right data in order to gain these insights. Such acceptance often comes with maturity. Examples of such optimizationbased use cases could include the following: Faster cleansing and integration of customer data can lead to the ability to segment customers more quickly, which means marketing campaigns can be run more often and to a more targeted base. Integrating a broader range of datasets into an enterprise risk system means more risks can be evaluated and prioritized. The ability to perform richer predictive analytics on a wider dataset in a fraud detection system can lead to faster and more accurate identification of fraudulent activities, and a reduction in false positives. One challenge that the business analytics market has long faced, and the Big Data market also faces, is matching its capabilities with organizations' key priorities. The key investment priorities for IT departments are to enable business strategy, innovation, and flexibility. By supplying insights into how businesses can effectively do this, Big Data and the cloud are key enablers of these priorities. APPENDIX Survey Methodology The survey was carried out over six weeks in April and May The target audience was: B2B (data storage decision makers or influencers) Organizations in France, Germany, the U.K., Russia, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the Nordics Organizations with IT spending in excess of 30 million (except Russia, where IT spending is in excess of $5 million) n = 251 (50 each in France and Germany, 51 in the U.K., 30 in Russia, 70 in rest of Europe) 16 #IDCWP29U 2012 IDC

17 Copyright Notice External Publication of IDC Information and Data Any IDC information that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from the appropriate IDC Vice President or Country Manager. A draft of the proposed document should accompany any such request. IDC reserves the right to deny approval of external usage for any reason. Copyright 2012 IDC. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden IDC #IDCWP29U 17

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