United States technology company, Cisco says Africa stands to reap huge economic benefits from Big Data.
This was the message passed at the recently concluded Cisco Expo South Africa 2013 at Sun City, South Africa. International Data Corporation (IDC) in a new report, forecasted that the worldwide market for big data technology and services will reach $23.8 billion in 2016.
In Information Technology (IT), big data refers to collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.
Africa, according to the company, is not unique in the challenges it faces as regards big data, the situation is the same the world over. Since 2011, data volume has increased three times, posing a huge headache in data storage and manipulation to process information. Cost reduction has not come out as efficiently as expected. Howard Charney, senior vice president, Cisco, said only 0.05 percent of the world’s available data is being mined for value. “Thus the reason the need for Big Data cannot be underscored enough, to unlock the value that lies in unprocessed data”.
Charney said that technology has a way of bringing people forward in a way nothing else can. Cisco was summing up a research done by Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Big data, according to Cisco has the capacity to transform economies, bring efficiency in doing business and improve our interactions as consumers.
But it is in its infancy, the technology company said there is still much to be done about Big Data to explore the great potential it presents to economic growth. Data is the number one most talked about topic amongst Chief Information Officers (CIOs) globally surpassing mobility and cloud according to IBSG interviews in the year 2011.
“Big Data is already transforming businesses today and playing an integral role in defining new processes to aid in new innovation.
Today, it is not a question of whether Service Providers in Africa should invest, but how far should they go. At a minimum, they can utilise it internally to transform their operations or expand externally to further benefit their customers as a “Network Based Data Intermediary.
BEN UZOR JR