IDC: Big Data Market Only Gets Bigger -- for Now

By Steve Anderson September 16, 2014

Even casual observers of the big data market have been looking for this field to climb, and rapidly, over the course of the next several years, particularly after observing the rates at which this field has risen to prominence as it has. But a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests that the gains are likely to be more pronounced than many have expected.

The IDC report in question, titled “Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2014 – 2018 Forecast” shows that the big data technology and services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4 percent until 2018, reaching an upper level of $41.5 billion. This represents a growth rate of about six times what the overall information technology market is looking to experience in that same time frame, but even with these numbers, one point comes back: the market is actually starting to slow down.

The report continued, showing that infrastructure would make up a near majority of all sales, holding 48.2 percent of the market in 2014. The Americas region is expected to hold onto its top rank in terms of big data investing, but the rest of the world is making rapid inroads itself. For instance, the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, along with the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) market holds about 45 percent of the market on its own, when it comes to infrastructure, software and services in big data. But IDC is also looking for a big bolt of spending to come from incumbent suppliers, who will be making quite a few new acquisitions, if reports hold true.

While IDC's research director for storage systems and big data, Ashish Nadkami, notes that “the hype surrounding big data appears to be tempering down”, there was still plenty of room to be had here in terms of gains. IDC's program Vice President for Business Analytics and Big Data, Dan Vesset, noted “big data will continue to transform businesses everywhere, making them “big data driven” in the process. In the context of the broader information and communications technology (ICT) market, and even the overall business analytics market, the big data market is quickly moving from a state of nascence to a state of maturity.”

Essentially, both of the IDC staffers seemed to agree that the market was maturing, and a maturing market does commonly produce lower numbers in terms of gains. Most users have what's needed or otherwise desired on hand already, and most purchases become either replacements for broken or damaged equipment or augmentations to a current load-out. While that can keep numbers objectively higher, it also has the potential to stick to a higher level. Naturally, it's the kind of thing that only time will be able to tell in the long term, but a maturing market is commonly a stable market, and that means while big gains may be out, big numbers are not necessarily so.

Big data has too many uses to not be valuable somewhere, between being able to spot trends in the making and improve stocking levels as well as customer experience — among a host of other possibilities — so this market isn't likely to be going away any time soon. While its growth may be slowing, it's certainly not dying, and big data is likely to continue doing big things for some time to come.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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