Businesses face prospect of ‘big data’ trebling within three years

UK CIOs are facing up to 80 per cent rises in the amount of big data they handle each year, according to research carried out by Virgin Media Business with 5,000 companies. Almost half of firms (42 per cent) expect big data to increase by 50 per cent with a third (39 per cent) expecting it to increase by up to 80 per cent.

With this sharp increase in business data comes some serious challenges for CIOs. Storing (32 per cent) and sharing (27 per cent) data were cited as being major hurdles to overcome, but both hurdles have a direct impact on business networks. So it’s unsurprising that a third of organisations said that the greatest challenge they faced was getting their hands on extra bandwidth.

Tony Grace, chief operating officer, Virgin Media Business, said: “We live in an era where data is king for many businesses. Accessing and processing data quickly, whether at work on or the move, gives workforces a competitive edge. It’s important that they have the infrastructure to enable them to do this. But bandwidth has traditionally been an expensive issue for CIOs and it’s up to service providers to work closely with organisations to free them from traditional constraints and give them the tools to work with big data.

“Legacy contracts where businesses procure bandwidth in megabit increments are soon going to become redundant. We live in such a fast paced business world that organisations need to be able to expand their networks as and when they need to without being penalised for the privilege.

“We’ve already changed the way we make our network available to our customers, and whether it’s a VPN or just accessing the internet, we give businesses unconstrained bandwidth for one price, those service providers that are yet to change to this mentality are going to be holding British businesses back from growth.“

The survey found that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of businesses gain customer insights through analysing big data, helping to fine tune what it is they bring to the market. A fifth (22 per cent) found it helped to analyse the business performance of the company, highlighting the need for service providers to support businesses in getting the most out of big data.