Big data projects will ramp faster-than-expected
And there are likely to be some home runs as well as spectacular failures. Ultimately, companies will have to spend time on what they want to know, why they want to know it and how this new insight will be used. It's a business imperative to get the big data efforts in gear. Based on the pilots and efforts already underway, I expect big data efforts to come out of the gate strong, ramp quickly and then there will be a re-evaluation period. Biggest roadblock to big data efforts may be a shortage of talent.
Far from imminent
The big data technology that is here today provides unprecedented functionality and processing power, but it's raw power. While highly-specialized professionals can use big data technology to produce crucial analyses, enterprise IT doesn't find it actionable yet. This is a question of standards, not just skills. Enterprise IT departments need products to be resilient and compatible with the management suites, procedures and best practices that they have in place.
Companies like Cloudera, MapR and others are working on this problem, and at some point the problem will get solved. But until the numerous big data pure-play companies consolidate and work more closely with the mega-vendors, big data will remain the province of Internet companies, skunk works teams and pilot projects, rather than the mainstream technology fabric of the enterprise.
The gap will close, but that's far from imminent.