Big data investments are paying off in a big way this year, with organizations that are investing in the ‘big-four’ technology trends experiencing up to 53 percent higher revenue growth.

The big-four tech trends are, of course, big data, mobile technology, cloud computing, and IT security. According to the newly released Global Technology Adoption Index from Dell, investments in those areas are definitely leading to improvements in efficiencies and organizational growth.

But cost remains a major barrier to implementation for many organizations, the study revealed.

Still, there is some good news on the big data front, as more organizations report they are less unsure on what to do with it all.

“While the GTAI findings remained consistent year-over-year in that 44% of organizations globally still do not know how to approach big data, we were pleased to see that gap closing in one region in particular, North America,” a Dell spokesperson told Information Management.

“In North America, organizations that have big data, but say they aren’t sure how to approach big data decreased from 40% in 2014 to 33% in 2015. In fact, the number of North American organizations that perceive to have big data that can be analyzed grew significantly from 54% in 2014 to 73% in 2015,” the spokesperson said. “North American organizations with big data also saw an increase in how well they think they are taking advantage of big data, from thinking they were achieving 64% of the data’s potential in 2014 to thinking they are now achieving 69% of its potential in 2015.”

In terms of how big data ROI stacked up against other top technology investments, the study found:

• BYOD show 53 percent higher growth rates

• Off-premises cloud have 51 percent higher growth rates

• Big data experience 50 percent higher growth rates

• On-premises cloud have 46 percent higher growth rates

• Mobile applications show 44 percent higher growth rates

Specific to big data investments, the study found that “the key benefits are related to driving competitive advantage and customer growth and retention.” These included:

• Better targeting of marketing efforts (cited by 41 percent, also one of last year’s top three goals as well)

• Optimization of ad spend (cited by 37 percent)

• Optimization of social media marketing (also cited by 37 percent)

“This is a change from last year, where only better targeting was among the top three reported outcomes,” the Dell spokesperson said.

The 2014 Global Technology Adoption Index had found that security concerns were the top concern with adoption of all of the bog-four technologies, and this year cost surpassed security in the number one slot.

With regard to big data, cost is the biggest obstacle for organizations not yet using big data, and also for those currently using it.

Among organizations not yet using big data, the primary barriers are:

• Not knowing if the benefits are worth it (cited by 20 percent)

• The cost of the IT infrastructure (cited by 18 percent)

• The cost is too high to outsource analysis or operations (cited by 17 percent)

Finally, the Dell spokesperson said the study overall results serve “as validation in many of the key use cases we’re seeing for big data currently.”

“For example, CMOs and marketing professionals are using big data to better support customer needs and target their concerns. These business needs seem to be driving stronger business interest in big data. While the GTAI findings are correlative only, one can see the connection between business roles leading big data adoption and the current business use cases,” they concluded.

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