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IDC predicts big data will be worth $23.8bn by 2016

Analyst firm suggests big data market will grow by seven times the rate of the rest of ICT.


The International Data Corporation (IDC) yesterday released the Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012-2016 Forecast, predicting that revenues for the worldwide big data technology market will reach $23.8bn (roughly £14.8bn) by 2016. 
That figure will be the result of annual growth rate of 31.7 per cent – seven times the rate of the ICT market. 
Dan Vesset, the vice president for IDC's Business Analytics and Big Data research, said: "The Big Data technology and services market represents a fast-growing, multibillion-dollar worldwide opportunity. […] It is an important topic on many executive agendas and presents some of the most attractive job opportunities for people with the right technology, analytics, communication, and industry domain expertise."
The report divides the market into server, storage, networking, software and services. Predicted growth rates of 21.1% for services and 53.4% for storage represent the largest growth rates within the report, relating to the current dual use of storage within big data environments. The report further predicts that a shortage of big data technology skills and analytics will push buyers towards cloud solutions and appliances, with a greater focus on automation across the information management and analytic life-cycle to make up for the lack of available talent.
Some predict even bigger growths for the big data market, pointing to the complexities of segmenting the sector into parts. Derrick Harris, a technology journalist, comments that the report does not include the market for analytics software, ‘a critical piece of the overall big data picture’, which IDC itself predicted would hit $51 bn (£31.15 bn) by 2016. 
“Where does one include the rash of Software-as-a-Service applications targeting fields from marketing to publishing?” wrote Harris. “They’re all about big data at their core, but the companies selling them certainly don’t fit into the mold of “big data” vendors.”
He continued: " Whenever you hear terms like Hadoop, analytics, machine learning, machine-to-machine, data warehouse, NoSQL, data science, visualization, data management — you name it — someone somewhere is associating them with big data revenue. And even when the marketing hype and overly broad categorizations (and perhaps false distinctions) subside, the business of capturing, storing, processing, analyzing and visualizing data — however it’s done — is only going to get bigger.” 
IDC is a global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets, with more than 1,000 analysts covering over 100 countries.