According to storage giant EMC, the big data analytics industry is still in its infancy with many businesses having yet to trial the technology.
Speaking at the EMC Forum in Westminster, EMC president and chief operating officer Howard Elias said fewer than a quarter of the firm's customers had begun to use big data analytics tools.
"It wasn't that long ago that people were scratching their heads about cloud computing. We are in that same phase today with big data. We are at the early innings," said Elias in his keynote.
Elias said IT departments were increasingly seeing the need for a new breed of professional, the data scientist, who needs a broad combination of technical and business skills.
"Data science is not just another word to call business intelligence. It's about acquiring new data sets, finding new mash-ups, and creating new ways to visualise and interact with data," said Elias.
However Elias said EMC's current focus lies with helping customers virtualise applications. He added that virtualised applications are essential for all organisations because they allow businesses to be more flexible and also because they are more secure.
"Most customers have passed the 50 percent mark of virtualising [applications]. At EMC, 90 percent of apps are virtualised. The last set will not be virtualised because they will be retired over the next few years," said Elias.
"We will be more dynamic as apps are virtualised and we can be more secure. It doesn't matter if everyone can access the infrastructure because we will wrap the app and the data in a secure way, so the identity is protected."
Elias was also bullish on the revenue targets EMC is expecting next year.
"We did $20bn last year and analysts are expecting $22bn next year. It's this financial strength that allows us to make investments and continue to innovate on this journey," he said.
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