Big data applications can spell big sales opportunities for resellers if you can see those big data applications as part of an end-to-end value proposition. Every big data project requires a certain level of computing power, data storage, and programming. Beyond that there may be additional resources required, such as data capture tools, cloud resources, and off-the-shelf hardware and software.
There is lots of opportunity to sell big data applications. Research and Markets estimates the worldwide market for big data hardware, software, and services was $30 billion in 2014. According to A.T. Kearney, global spending on big data resources will reach $114 billion by 2018 at a compound aggregate growth rate of 30 percent. A.T. Kearney also notes that the average business spent about $8 million last year on big data projects.
So what types of hardware, software, and services do you need to offer to support big data applications? Wikibon has broken out big data spending by subtype. The majority of the money is going into professional services, followed by computing, storage, applications, SQL, cloud resources, infrastructure software, networking, and NoSQL. For 2013, Wikibon estimates that 40 percent of the spending went to professional services and hardware, and 20 percent to software.
Most of your big data applications revenue is going to come from services, hardware, and software, but when you start to consider vertical market applications, you are going to find other sales opportunities.
1. Point of Sales Drives Big Data for Retail
Retailers and e-commerce are seeing a huge return from big data applications. Analytics can create a three-dimensional portrait of their customers and their buying habits. Big data can enhance the customer’s shopping experience and optimize stocking and staffing.
All these big data applications need data. Mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems are increasingly using a tablet or mobile device to allow sales associates to work with customers to review product options, check back orders, and even place an online order with the customer on the show floor. The entire transaction is captured for later analysis.
Customer data is a key element in big data. Retailers need tablets and handheld POS hardware, wireless networking, CRM systems, back office servers and hardware, and other components to capture and manage transactions. Plus e-commerce sites need to be integrated into the system. You have an opportunity to sell an end-to-end mobile POS solution and data gathering tools to power big data applications.
2. Healthcare Requires Secure Data Access
Healthcare applies big data to gain insights into delivering better patient care and improving operations. While the Center for Disease Control is applying big data to analyze and predict pandemics, hospitals and individual practices are applying big data to optimize care. For example, using big data to track patient inoculations leads to more efficient flu prevention and treatment. One hospital uses big data to predict the incidence of post-operative infections and develop new protocols to reduce the rate of readmissions.
As with other big data applications, the system needs raw data to deliver insights. Migration to electronic health records (EHRs) as part of HIPAA compliance has opened new possibilities for tracking patient care. Medical professionals are now using tablets and laptops to make rounds and treat patients, accessing and entering patient information as needed.
What this means for VARs is new potential sales of secure servers, secure wireless networks, wireless hardware, and mobile data access devices. The specialized requirements of healthcare require more data security and secure access to comply with government regulations, which means new sales opportunities for resellers who can deliver secure data entry and access systems.
3. Financial Services Are Big Big Data Consumers
Banks, credit unions, and brokerage firms use big data applications for predictive analytics, customer service, and data security.
Banks gather terabytes of data from customer transactions online, at ATMs, in stores, and at tellers. They can use that data to develop new products, new customer service strategies, and new marketing campaigns.
Brokerage and investment firms use big data to track financial markets and improve portfolio performance. More investment brokers are using big data dashboards to gain market insights.
All financial institutions need better IT security. Research shows that 84 percent of security breaches are discovered by third parties, although network data logs store the information that show a breach has taken place. Big data analytics can be used to detect data breaches as they occur and trigger corrective protocols to prevent hacking.
Consider the sales possibilities for delivering financial dashboards, security and encryption tools. Every big data project operates within a larger market context. If you can determine the customers’ needs beyond big data, you can expand big data applications to encompass new hardware, software, and services. It’s all a matter of leveraging your consulting expertise.