UPDATED 08:12 EDT / MAY 14 2015


Gartner pours cold water on Hadoop’s party with pessimistic adoption survey

The discrepancy that so often exists between the hype and reality of emerging technologies has caught up to Hadoop, according to a new study from Gartner, Inc. that offers a current view into the state of adoption among the traditional enterprise crowd. The picture is not pretty.

Only about one-quarter of the 284 technology and business leaders who participated in the landmark study said that their organizations are using the open-source data crunching framework, with an even smaller subset operating their analytic clusters on any meaningful scale. That poses a stark contrast to the often highly publicized success stories of early adopters.

While its ability to scale horizontally is undisputed, the platform struggles to meet the basic requirement of accommodating multiple concurrent analyses, which Gartner has found to play a major factor in limiting the size of implementations: A whopping 70 percent of the respondents who said their organizations are already using Hadoop reported fewer than 20 active users.

But even if the framework did have the ability to support multiple simultaneous workflows without requiring significant modification, most organizations still wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of that scalability. The research firm explains in its report that there’s a severe shortage of qualified individuals with the necessary skills to make use of Hadoop, a shortage that acts a barrier not only to growing existing clusters but also to new adoption.

The average enterprise has even less access to the specialized talent needed to operate the platform than the second-wave adopters struggling to scale their implement ions today, with a full 57 percent of the participants naming that skill gap is the biggest obstacle keeping their organizations from joining the fray. Gartner sees that making a serious dent on the continued growth of Hadoop.

The research firm reports that a mere 18 percent of the respondents to its survey said they plan on trying out or adopting the platform in the next few years, a figure that drops to 11 percent for the coming 12 months. That reflects not only a lack of ability to implement the platform but also, perhaps more alarmingly, a lack of interest.

Coming in close behind the skills shortage as the second biggest reason why organizations are not jumping aboard the bandwagon is the difficulty of extracting value from Hadoop, with 49 percent of the respondents naming that as their top concern. The issue lies in the fact that there are a slew of other options offering ready analytic functionality with a much lower entry barrier, which the study shows is significantly influencing purchasing decisions.

That’s compounded by the fact that many organizations simply don’t require the scalability and openness of Hadoop, a consideration Gartner pinpoints as one of the major factors behind the lack of interest from technologu buyers. All of that indicates that while the framework may have played a key role in elevating the analytics movement to its current central role in the enterprise, others may ultimately reap the rewards.
Photo by Anthony Quintano via Flickr

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