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The Big Data Brouhaha Is Just Beginning

Between 2014 and 2019, IDC projects that big data-related spending will explode at a 23.1 percent compound annual growth rate. That's explosive by any measure.

Think you've heard it all about big data?

Think again. According to a recent report from market watcher International Data Corp. (IDC), big data-related spending is poised to go supernova over the next five years.

Between 2014 and 2019, IDC projects that big data-related spending will explode at a 23.1 percent compound annual growth rate, or CAGR. By 2019, the market watcher forecasts spending on big data products and services will reach $48.6 billion. To put that number into perspective, that's equivalent to the 2014 GDP of Latvia, according to the CIA's annual World Factbook.

The rising big data tide is lifting virtually all boats, according to IDC, which segments the big data market into infrastructure, software, and services "sub-markets."

Even though IDC projects that all three sub-markets will see greater than 20 percent growth, it has the big-data software market growing by that much and more: a whopping 26.2 percent CAGR.

IDC defines "software" as "information management, discovery and analytics, and applications software" -- a nebulous category that notionally includes SQL and NoSQL databases, data integration technologies, traditional and self-service discovery business intelligence (BI) tools, NoSQL analytic technologies, and a host of other products and services. IDC projects an only slightly less ambitious growth rate for sales of big data-related infrastructure and services.

"Infrastructure" is also a broad category, covering computing, networking, and storage hardware, as well as "data center-like infrastructure security." IDC has this sub-market growing at a 21.7 CAGR. It has the market for big data-related services (presumably, some of which will be generated in connection with big data-related infrastructure and software projects) growing at a 22.7 CAGR. Any way you look at it, demand for big data-related technologies is undampened.

"The ever-increasing appetite of businesses to embrace emerging big data-related software and infrastructure technologies while keeping the implementation costs low has led to the creation of a rich ecosystem of new and incumbent suppliers," said IDC analysts Ashish Nadkarni and Dan Vesset, in a prepared release. "At the same time, the market opportunity is spurring new investments and M&A (merger and acquisition) activity as incumbent suppliers seek to maintain their relevance by developing comprehensive solutions and new go-to-market paths."

The party can't and won't last, however. IDC projects that year-over-year growth in big data-related products and services will slowly diminish. The market watcher says this slowdown will be a function of the same factors -- for example, pricing pressure, especially with respect to infrastructure -- that are consistent with the maturation (and commodification) of all markets. With respect to vertical industries, the biggest investors in big data-related spending are discrete manufacturing, which IDC estimates at approximately $2.1 billion in 2014; banking at $1.8 billion; and process manufacturing at $1.5. (All estimates are for 2014, according to IDC.)

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at evets@alwaysbedisrupting.com.


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