GigaOm's Derrick Harris just posted an interesting snapshot of six companies, cloud-based service providers all, who handle "big data" jobs (presumably in the multiple 100s of terabytes or more) for customers.
As Harris puts it: "Done right, big data in the cloud is like a marriage of managed services and Software-as-a-Service, only using very powerful software." The vendors featured include Amazon Web Services, IBM, Quantivo, 1010data, Opera Solutions, and HPCC Systems.
What do they all have in common? They all take loads of customer data and turn it into insights.
I like the way someone put it not too long ago: an industry we've known as "software companies" over the past few decades has made a sudden, almost imperceptible shift -- the major players are now "data companies." Actually, we shouldn't limit this observation to the IT vendors -- it doesn't matter what industry you're in, you're still now in the data business.