No one said that storing big data would be cheap, but soon the costs of doing so will become so excessive that more than a third of businesses doing so will be forced to look at ways they can monetize that data, according to a new report from Gartner.
Doug Laney, an analyst with Gartner, said that 30% of companies storing big data would look for ways in which they could monetize those assets by 2016. However, he warned that many companies struggle with a lack of expertise in that area, something that could spawn a greater demand for specialists acting as “information resellers or brokers”.
“The need to justify the expense of accumulating and managing huge volumes of data has led many organizations to consider monetizing or productizing their information assets,” explained Laney.
The costs associated with storing big data were recently illustrated by rival research firm IDC, which said that the demand for storage services would grow by 53.4% by 2016, something that it attributed to the “current dual use of storage in Big Data environments”. The IDC report reinforced Gartner’s own prediction, adding that it expects revenues from big data to increase in the same time frame, reaching $23.8 billion by 2016.
According to Laney, we’re already starting to see this shift take place among some companies.
“Several retailers are already generating millions of dollars per year in incremental revenue by placing online their point-of-sale and other data for business partners to subscribe to,” he states.
“Other organizations are reselling publicly available data or are launching new information-based products in the insurance and financial markets.”
However, Laney suggests that not every company has the capacity to monetize its data in this way, a situation that he predicts will lead to the emergence of specialized “information resellers” that can help companies to overcome these problems.
Laney also predicted that the value of the big data reseller industry would also lead to the development of more cloud-based products and applications designed to harvest the maximum amount of data possible, in order that this can be sold onto third parties.
In turn, this situation could eventually lead to tighter regulations governing the use of big data:
“Businesses monetizing information assets need to be sensitive to the reputational risk of a public backlash against such practices that may in turn lead to a tighter regulatory environment.”