Entering The Age Of Big Data As A Service
We know about Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Data as a Service (DaaS). However, welcome to the future, where a mix of all of these has been put together to create the ultimate solution for enterprises going forward: Big Data as a Service (BDaaS, pronounce it however you like).
BDaaS may still be strange to some people, but it is an accurate description for a new and fast-growing product/service in the data market. Over the last few years, we have seen an explosion of businesses that provide Big Data management solutions in the cloud, in order to give companies efficient and effective management solutions for the massive pools of data.
According to estimated predictions, cloud-based enterprise IT-related expenditure, more popularly known as the “as-a-Service” activity, will grow from 15% in 2014 to 35% by the year 2021. It is also estimated that the net worth of the Big Data global market will stand at $88 billion in the same year, which means that the forecasted BDaaS net value could go as high as $30 billion by 2021.
Given these staggering statistics, the whole concept of BDaaS is worth more than a little consideration, which is the point of the following paragraphs.
An introduction to BDaaS
To begin, Big Data can be defined as the mass of ever-increasing information resources created, collected and stored by enterprises, and the subsequent use and analysis of this data for business purposes. The idea is to collect insights from this pool of data and apply them towards achieving business objectives.
Presently, BDaaS is still a relatively hazy term, but it mostly refers to a host of outsourced services and functions related to Big Data handling in a cloud-based environment. These range from supply of data and analytical tools to be used in analysis (usually through web-based control panels or dashboards) to the actual analytics work and report generation. A few BDaaS packages come inclusive of advisory and consulting services at various levels.
Importance of BDaaS
Enterprises investing in Big Data stand to gain several benefits from the virtualization and outsourcing of large dataset analytics and related activities.
However, majority of the Big Data initiatives on a commercial scale will demand for substantial investments in infrastructure and components right from the outset. If a large company launches an initiative, the cost implications at the outset are most likely considerable.
Apart from the upfront costs, there are costs related to ongoing storage and management of such large amounts of data – both in man-hours and financial input. However, with BDaaS use, all of the technical implications of your data requirements are relegated to another person – your provider – allowing you to concentrate on your core business objectives.
The BDaaS provider takes on the costs of set up and ongoing maintenance for the customer, who comes on board once all the systems are in place to lease the use of the provider’s cloud-based storage infrastructure and their analytics applications and engines. Payment is made based on the amount of data stored, or amount of time spent utilizing their resources according to specific provider terms.
In terms of security and compliance, the buck stops with the BDaaS provider, who is responsible for ensuring security of all data stored in their servers, as well as meeting government and industry compliance regulations. Meanwhile, you may bring on board remote DBA services to aid in management of your cloud-based resources under the same scheme, rather than maintain expensive on-staff professionals.
A good example of a BDaaS system is the Analytics for Twitter service provided by IBM, where enterprises are given access to twitter data and analytics gleaned from analysis of 500 million tweets daily posted by 280 million monthly active account holders.
The service comes with applications and analytical tools to enable businesses derive useful insights from that sea of jumbled, unstructured data. The company has trained over 4,000 consultants to enable subscribed businesses to derive actionable plans that will yield profits for them.
Another example is the system provided by John Deere, an agricultural manufacturing company. The company has fitted all of their tractors with sensors to enable streaming of data about the machines, including crop and soil conditions. This data is posted on MyJohnDeere.com as well as Farm sight services.
Farmers can then register to gain access to analytical intelligence gleaned from the raw data and get information about a vast array of agricultural decisions, from when it’s time to get spare parts to best places to plant crops.
The Apple Watch also provides a unique opportunity for BDaaS app explosion. This wearable technology will be able to collect seas of data from consumers who will likely have a variety of uses for it. BDaaS providers will find attractive ways to package the information and sell it to interested parties. Already, there’s an existing collaboration between IBM and Apple on a Big Data health platform.
BDaaS is also making a remarkable contribution to the sales and marketing fields. There are many companies offering products and services for customer profiling such as Acxiom, which is currently the largest direct marketing data seller worldwide. Analytical tools can be used to condense personal consumer data and give enterprises promising leads to grow their businesses.
AWS services from Amazon as well as AdSense and AdWords campaigns from Google are some examples of BDaaS related services. These services are widely used by thousands of SMBs for target marketing, infrastructure expansion and lead generation.
And finally, Big Data can no longer be mentioned without considering Hadoop, the latter has somehow led to the democratization of the former. With appropriate investment in time and effort for training, any organization can use cheap commodity hardware and open source software applications to data analytics.
While the term still indicates a lot of ambiguity, the idea of Big Data as a Service is solid with a lot more growth potential as enterprises tap into the significance of Big Data for their business goal pursuits. BDaaS services will be invaluable, especially to those businesses that cannot afford to implement their own Big Data and analytics infrastructure, providing them a chance to reap the benefits alongside their counterparts.