3 winners, 3 losers in the move to big data

CIOs will do well, traditional vendors will fare poorly, and users will find a mixed bag

The move to big data is afoot. Recently, Yahoo and Google both tossed their very big hats into the ring, and the cloud computing leaders are already offering access to big data services. It's becoming the killer application for cloud computing, and I believe it will drive a tremendous amount of growth in 2012 and 2013.

However, with any shift in technology, there are those who win and those who lose. Here are three of each for your consideration.

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Winners in the move to big data
1. CIOs.
This group can finally get its enterprise data under control on the cheap and make sense of all the information it's been trying to manage. Although many CIOs have been the target of corporate budget cuts, they finally can put a big mark in the win column.

2. Users. Ever dial into a call center that has no idea who you are or what you mean to the company? Big data lets companies understand their customers at a level once unheard of, including demographics, social circles, and dealings with other businesses. Customers should benefit.

3. Cloud providers. What do you do with an public IaaS cloud? Big data is a good start, with value that's easy to define.

Losers in the move to big data
1. Big data
base vendors. They'll suffer as the market turns to the big data names, which are more open (Hadoop-y, I call it). Proprietary database software will lose some of its attraction, and the movement to big data and the cloud services that deliver database systems for big data will cut right into the proprietary vendors' bottom lines.

2. Data warehouse/BI specialists. They did not see this coming. They've been busy working with traditional analytics technology to manage data sets for business analysis and decision support, including million-dollar hardware and software systems. The movement to big data and cloud computing commoditizes many of their concepts -- and makes these older approaches appear wasteful.

3. Users. The use of big data lets huge amounts of personal information be culled, combined, and analyzed. Thus, everything from who you dated in high school to your buying patterns in college to the number of miles you put on your car each year could be much easier to obtain. Much of this will be through analysis of patterns of massive amounts of available data that you had no idea would provide this kind of visibility into your personal information. Bye-bye, privacy.

This article, "3 winners, 3 losers in the move to big data," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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