As more businesses both in the public and private sectors collect data for the purpose of making more informed decisions in order to service customers better, Actian chief technology officer Mike Hoskins has predicted that it will drive the next big shift in the technology sector.
Speaking to journalists in Sydney on Friday, Hoskins claimed that over the next few decades — and not just the next few years — big data and analytics will be the main topic of conversation, and not just about how much of it can be accumulated, but what businesses can do with it.
"We were in an era where hardware dominated for 30 years, we had an era where software dominated everything for about 30 years, but five or six years ago we started to see companies like Google and their cohorts emerge as data companies," he said.
Hoskins said that in conjunction with the emergence of big data and analytics, the value of data has also increased, drawing on how hackers are no longer hacking banks to steal their SAP software, for instance, but are after data because it is now a form of asset.
"The spotlight is shifting from the sheer bigness to what can you do with it. Can you drive advance analytics, can you extract meaning, can you find the deep hidden patterns and augment data that will let us make decisions everyday in our business lives and even in our personal lives," Hoskins said.
Hoskins added that the Internet of Things will further drive the big data trend, creating machine-generated data.
"Every dumb object in the world is becoming smart. Everything that goes beep, beep, beep will constantly, and I mean, permanently, emit streams of data."
However, the main challenge that organisations are now faced with, due to the amount of data being collected, is where to store it all.
"This wave or river of data will overwhelm and make obsolete the entire software industry," Hoskins said.
"The famous products known and love are worried about this next age. Who is going to build this infrastructure that is going to be able to capture that data, and then analyse it? The answer is nobody."
In light of that, Hoskins has predicted that "every single business that will be crunching data will be crunching data on Hadoop".
"It's going to become the dominate platform in which we will all process these rivers of data," he said, describing Hadoop as holding "incredible promise, but it's really stupid and immature in so many ways, but clearly it's the landing zone for where data goes".
He added that it's the most realistic option, as it will be too expensive to store big data in Teradata.
Earlier this year, Actian consolidated its analytics portfolio. This saw its ParAccel, Pervasive, and Vectorwise technologies unified under the Actian Analytics Platform brand. Specifically, the ParAccel technology was rebranded as Actian Matrix; Pervasive's technologies as Actian DataFlow and Actian DataConnect; and Vectorwise to Actian Vector.