Google is aiming to get SMEs to start using big data analytics tools even as recent trends show even the most elite of businesses are struggling to make sense of the vast swathes of data being collected.
Google's UK enterprise manager Roger De'Ath told V3 he saw big data as an area of expansion for the firm. "I think it's a massive opportunity for us. In the enterprise space there's a lot of unanswered questions with data analytics because a lot of the systems they do have are set up for a definitive purpose and to break out of that purpose is too costly and expensive, so they have a big challenge there," he said.
Google announced on Wednesday that 44 percent of FTSE 100 companies are making use of its enterprise suite, which includes its back-end cloud and analytics services as well as its customer-facing Apps suite, which includes Drive, Gmail and Google+.
De'Ath said he believes Google is well placed to make an impact on the big data analytics scene with its less well-known BigQuery big data analytics platform.
"I think it's a massively exciting area," he said. "Everything we do is at web scale – big data scale – and our whole message around our new cloud platform service is that we're opening up the services Google has built and run for its own services internally."
De'Ath added that smaller businesses not currently making use of cloud products risk "falling even further behind" if they fail to take advantage of trends such as big data analytics.
A report last week highlighted this fact, suggesting very few – if any at all – small and medium-sized businesses are making any use of big data whatsoever. Even huge corporations such as McDonald's have agreed that managing and making sense of their data is a huge challenge.
Both employees and CIOs should feel the pressure to adapt, De'Ath insisted. "I think what we're seeing is an accelerated trend of disruption," he said. "The expectations of the employee coming in are different from what businesses are used to. Businesses need to be thinking about adopting more flexible ways of working, adopting bring your own device.
"I think there is a changing role of the CIO within organisations trying to focus more on business values instead of focusing on keeping the lights on."
Google maintains a steady flow of high-profile businesses endorsing its cloud products, although in recent months both its Apps and search services have both suffered high-profile outages, highlighting both the positive and negative consequences of committing to off-premise services, especially ones that are heavily used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
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