Working with big data is going to become one of the priorities for large Russian businesses and organizations very soon, and the issue recently drew about 400 attendees to the Big Data 2012 Forum, Russia's first large-scale event on the namesake topic.
In recent years, organizations have been facing explosive data growth, said Sergey Matsotskiy, chairman of IBS, a large Russian systems integrator, who spoke at the event. IDC forecasts that from 2011 to 2015 global data will increase in volume by 340 percent, while total traffic volume will rise almost threefold and mobile data traffic share will increase from 3 percent to 10 percent. New sources of huge data volumes are emerging, such as CRM, RFID, mobile devices and satellite navigation systems. Meanwhile, the majority of organizations lack both technical capabilities for working with big data and skills for managing it, according to Gartner analysts. Given the traditional thoroughness of higher technical education in Russia, this opens new career opportunities in the global IT market for local specialists, said Matsotskiy.
Held March 22, the Big Data Forum 2012 was organized by Open Systems Publications, publisher of Computerworld Russia and CIO Magazine Russia. Most of the attendees were from businesses that collect and process large volumes of structured and unstructured data, i.e. banks, telcos and local IT vendors.
Industry observers point to the following signs indicating that an organization is facing an issue with big data processing: the data volumes exceed physical scale-up capabilities of the organization's IT infrastructure; there is a perceived need for rapidly processing large data volumes; a wide variety of data formats or of methods for interpreting and analyzing the data is used; and the costs of data storage and processing are growing at a fast pace. In all those cases, organizations are forced to invest in new technologies for storing and processing the data.
"The term big data refers to a new generation of technologies and architectures designed for efficient extraction of useful insights from large volumes of heterogeneous data," stated Gunther Thiel, business development line manager at NetApp EMEA.
"For the first time in the history of the IT industry, a fundamental shift is under way in the notion of information itself: It is now taking the shape of social online environments, multimedia, clickstreams, sensor data, images, email messages and so on," stressed Hartmut Wagner, vice president of information management at HP EMEA.
According to a survey done by the organizers of the forum, the vast majority of Russian companies have not been facing the issue of big data (or at least, do not perceive it as serious). Nevertheless, some businesses recognize that they will have to confront the issue very soon.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.