IDC John Gilsenan

John Gilsenan
Consultant, IDC Ireland  @johnrosgilsenan

As a key pillar of the 3rd platform Big Data has been earmarked by IDC as a major growth area in global IT for a number of years now. Already a $100 billion + market it is set to grow by around 50% by 2020. 

So what is the situation in Ireland?  Prior to investigating this we thought it likely that the level of awareness would be good.  The Irish government’s Action Plan for Jobs of 2013 identified Ireland as having a competitive advantage in the Big Data area.  It had done a good job of promoting the country with substantial investments made to build the skills base and research capability that would allow Ireland to benefit “in term of jobs and growth from the global expansion of the Big Data sector”.

While we can’t be sure to what extent this has impacted Irish organizations we can report that Big Data features prominently as an IT investment priority in IDC’s recent IT Trends and Expenditure in Ireland 2017 survey.  In fact, Big Data came fourth on the list ahead of things such including mobility and cloud computing. This is significant because Irish organizations tend to adopt new technology after their peers in other countries.  However, if actual expenditure on Big Data in 2017 matches the level of priority that these organizations surveyed are suggesting it would put Ireland ahead in terms of adoption. Perhaps this is not surprising.  Many of the findings of the survey, conducted in October 2016, demonstrate that Irish organizations in both public and private sectors are embracing 3rd platform technologies to drive innovation.

So who is engaged with Big Data already? The survey shows that while large organizations (500+ employees) are leading the way, those planning to implement Big Data are from all size-bands. One industry that sees Big Data as a priority more than others in Ireland is manufacturing. However, manufacturing firms in In Ireland are still at a very early stage of Big Data implementation. Financial services firms are further ahead with 40% already ‘investing in new technologies in order to keep up with data growth’.  These are the two sectors where IDC sees the greatest level of global opportunity for vendors of Big Data products and sectors in the coming years. Also of great interest in the Irish context is the government sector. Just over half of organizations in this sector plan investment in the next two years according to the IT Trends survey.

If investment in Big Data in Ireland follows the pattern developing in the global Big Data market the biggest opportunity for IT suppliers will be in the IT and business services area. This will comprise more than half of the market by revenue. Vendors targeting this market must remember, however, that, according to research by Philip Carnelley of IDC, around 50% of Big Data projects are initiated by the IT function and aimed at improving efficiency. The other 50% are driven by business-specific issues such as the development of new processes, improved engagement with customers, many of the things we found were driving Big Data projects in Ireland in the recent IT Trends survey. To succeed in this market vendors must have the ability to address the needs and concerns of line of business managers as well as those in IT.

Definition: IDC defines “big data” as handling high data volumes (larger than your organization typically handles), high velocity (data with multiple occurrences per second), and high variety (incorporating social network data and other non-relational data).

For more information, see below how IDC can help your business grow in the Irish IT Market.

Big Data opportunity in Ireland