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Big Data Study: Companies Are Willing to Take the Plunge

Published on 13 May in SAP

The vast majority of decision makers sees real-time information as essential, yet only one in four Big Data projects shows real success. A study by SAP partner Capgemini reveals why.

The need for speed: Of all the questions that Capgemini asked 1,000 decision makers, none found more agreement than the one inquiring whether managers would in future require information in real time. Decision makers want to be informed about new developments as they happen – without delay.

Big Data study: Germany lagging behind internationally

While Germany appears to be lagging behind international developments, the number of Big Data projects is clearly on the rise. According to figures from Capgemini’s study on IT trends, around 20% of German companies make use of Big Data analyses. Another 20% are currently piloting projects or have already completed them.

A new Big Data study, titled “Big & Fast Data: The Rise of Insight-Driven Data” and published in March 2015, revealed that Germany lags behind the international status quo in this area. Roughly half of all companies have already implemented Big Data technology, and a further 21% are planning to implement it.

One thing is certain, companies can no longer “hide” from Big Data. This is because:

  • … there is a real risk that a company’s competitiveness will suffer if it fails to integrate Big Data concepts. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed agreed with this sentiment; only 10% disagreed.
  • … Big Data enables companies to enter industries that they weren’t involved in before. Using data-driven approaches, even startups could give established companies a run for their money. This is what 64% and 53% of the managers surveyed believe, respectively.

Competition will likely lead to established companies investing in preventative measures, with the aim of making their own business more efficient and reducing costs. Companies will also try to increase their market share through disruptive business models and by exploring new sales opportunities. Over half of the companies (56%) are planning to invest in Big Data within the next three years. Only one in 20 companies is planning to spend less money in this area.

Learning curve ahead: Decision makers regard 73% of Big Data projects as failed

It’s important to keep in mind that the digital transformation is a far greater endeavor than delving into Big Data through a pioneer project. Not all trailblazing initiatives need to show immediate success: In fact, around 73% of the interviewed managers declared these projects to be unsuccessful. They see the primary reason for this in development, which they say is moving too slowly. Almost half of the interviewees (45%) said that the development cycles take too much time for line managers, while 52% believed the development process itself is to blame.

Decision makers demand faster processes. Unfortunately, IT development cycles still don't seem to be up to par. Figure: Capgemini, 2015

Decision makers demand faster processes. Unfortunately, IT development cycles still don’t seem to be up to par. Figure: Capgemini, 2015

But there is still hope: One out of five companies sees itself as well prepared in this area, suggesting that the speed of development has been aligned with their business departments’ requirements. Experts at Capgemini have produced findings that support this notion: 43% of companies are already restructuring to meet the demands of Big Data. Underscoring the significant role that Big Data plays for the workforce, a third of all companies has since introduced a new management position termed Chief Data Officer. The core challenge, however, still lies in finding the right staff.

Companies still reluctant to invest in projects, employees, technology

Companies currently lack the experts they need to kick off Big Data properly. Cost is one of the main factors holding back Big Data. Graphic: Capgemini, 2015

Companies currently lack the experts they need to kick off Big Data properly. Cost is one of the main factors holding back Big Data. Graphic: Capgemini, 2015

Capgemini asked managers to list the three most significant obstacles that companies still need to overcome. The results show that Big Data is stuck somewhere between the lack of money, time, and staff. This notion is further supported by the discrepancy in numbers between those managers who require real-time information for their decision process (77%) and those who want to invest more (56%). Big Data projects cost time and money. Skills in data analysis have to be acquired before they can be applied, and the necessary technology has to be procured.

Finding the required number of highly qualified Big Data experts, however, remains one of the biggest challenges. Companies that want to retain competent specialists will, once again, need to invest heavily. In this sense, the main problem companies face isn’t so much a lack of motivation to make Big Data a reality, but the lack of a concept that regulates how resources can be intelligently reassigned and how companies need to position themselves to make Big Data happen.

Read the full study.

Top image: Shutterstock

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