Armies may march on their stomachs, but businesses march on their data. If a company’s operational, market or competitive data is old, inaccurate or simply hard to access and analyze, the consequences can be dire. On the positive side, companies able to rapidly collect and leverage meaningful data can significantly improve their battlefield prospects. Data management, access and analysis haven’t always received the same amount of consideration, or respect, as the corporate applications that generate and consume the data. In recent years, however, IT leaders have focused much more attention on their organizations’ data management platforms and capabilities. The reasons for this shift are twofold:
1. An expanding collection of systems—from corporate IT systems and cloud services to smartphones and social media networks—is generating massive amounts of potentially valuable raw data.
2. The speed of doing business has accelerated, putting much more pressure on companies to find data almost instantaneously and to mine that data for valuable intelligence almost as quickly. Beyond these fundamental business realities, other market and technology trends are putting new pressures on existing data management infrastructures. Everything has direct ramifications in the data management world, and some of those ramifications aren’t pretty.
To get a better picture of the current data management landscape and its likely evolution, IDG Research Services surveyed 100 senior-level and 100 midlevel IT managers in June 2012 regarding their data management and analysis objectives, challenges and plans. The two groups of managers largely shared the same perspectives about the topics covered, although some interesting differences did emerge.
Among the survey’s key findings:
Q: The total cost of ownership (TCO) remains a top evaluation criterion for data management systems, and budget constraints are a major challenge.
Q: Improved access to real-time data and analysis also tops the list of data management objectives.
Q: Nearly half of the survey respondents expect to evaluate new data management approaches within the next two years, and more than one-quarter are considering moving to an entirely new database platform.
Q: There is a strong preference for an integrated software platform for meeting data management needs.
The 200 survey respondents represented a variety of industry and government/nonprofit sectors as well as a range of organization sizes. More than half had 10 terabytes or more under management, and nearly one-quarter had 100 terabytes or more.
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