Cisco's global technology reports typically focus on the most buzzworthy (if not discussed to death) topics in business technology.
Previously covering mobile and , Cisco's latest study hones in on IT managers and what they see as the biggest opportunities and challenges presented by big data.
For starters, it looks like IT professionals at most major businesses worldwide have at least accepted big data as more than just a flashy trend.
Researchers said approximately two thirds of IT managers agreed that big data will be a priority this year and over at least the next five years as well.
But the major roadblocks are obvious: security and risk management.
Roughly one in four respondents pointed to large volumes of data, the number of ways to access data, and budget constraints as the top reasons why securing big data projects is such a hassle.
Those budgets are only going to increase, considering any changes and investments made in big data projects are likely going to involve IT staffing changes and infrastructure upgrades, particularly around the cloud.
So, what's next? Well, a thought-out business model would be a good start.
More than a third (38 percent) of those surveyed admitted that while they have big data solutions already being deployed, they still need "a strategic plan to take advantage" of all of that unincorporated data coming in.
One interesting opportunity highlighted in Cisco's report is the interest surrounding machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in factory automation, which Cisco suggested could "be extremely valuable in optimizing a production process."
This goes hand-in-hand with the growing proliferation of network-connected smart devices delivering data from digital sensors, smart meters and video.
So far, Cisco found that smart device adoption is still in its infancy considering only one-third of respondents worldwide replied they have plans to use these data sources.
For reference, the survey was conducted by independent market research firm InsightExpress in July and August of 2012 across the following 18 countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Turkey, South Africa, India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. There were 100 respondents in each country.