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Transforming Into a Data-Driven Enterprise:

Paths to Success

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Cloudera and Intel | January 2018 An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
IDC research shows that
over 80% of the CEOs
of large European companies have 80%+
digital transformation (DX) at the
centre of today’s corporate strategy.

Harnessing the Digital Advantage

Businesses of all kinds As part of this shift, forward- IDC recently conducted a
recognise that they must thinking companies are investing survey sponsored by Cloudera
rapidly digitise their heavily in becoming data-driven and Intel to discover how
businesses to remain organisations, utilising an evidence- organisations across Europe
competitive in the face of based culture that expands their are tackling the challenge of
massive technological change. capacity to collect, analyse and digital transformation and
They must develop new monetise data in areas such as in particular looking at their
business models and routes enhancing customer experiences, usage of Big Data analytics
to customer and partner empowering the workforce and and AI technologies to pursue
engagement using the power rethinking business models. that agenda.
of digital.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
The growing importance of data and
advanced analytics to transform
the business
The TOP 3 strategic aims for digitisation are: 1
1. Improving efficiencies 2 3
2. Driving innovation
Innovation Improving More
3. Becoming more agile driven efficiencies agile

The growing significance of Big Data analytics to DX


of organisations cite Big Data analytics of organisations believe

43% as “important” or “extremely important”
in driving digital transformation
70% Big Data analytics will be
“important” or “extremely
innovation. important” over the coming
2 years.

This InfoBrief outlines how organisations across Europe are tackling the challenge of digital transformation and in particular
looks at their usage of Big Data analytics and AI1 technologies to pursue that agenda.
1. For a definition of AI and other related terms please refer to the glossary on page 18.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
Today, few organisations are taking a
coordinated, enterprisewide strategic approach …
Although there is clear linkage between Big Data analytics
projects and business goals, a potential stumbling block
is that a large proportion of projects (55%) are run
independently, with only some sharing best practice. Cloud

This is not uncommon among Big Data analytics IT’s leadership is

practitioners, but it’s an approach with drawbacks. critical to effective
Especially when best practices from successful data management.
implementations are not shared across the organisation, Our survey illustrates

initiatives don’t get prioritised, and resources are not an organisational

deployed in the most effective way. landscape where data
is highly distributed and
siloed, for example:
31% of respondents
We know that business leaders are involved in these Big indicate they are managing structured
IT oversees Big
Data analytics Data analytics initiatives, but what we also found is that and unstructured data from multiple
in 95% of
organisations where this is the case, in 95% of cases, IT was the locations including on-premise and in
most likely function to be overseeing these projects. the cloud.

IDC believes IT plays a critical role in driving effective use of data across the organisation by leveraging the
accumulated knowledge of best practices to drive more efficient collaboration and help untether data for business
decision making.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
A piecemeal approach persists
In reality, what we find is that working practices vary among organisations.
Align efforts to specific
A tactical approach has taken root, 40% of respondents run
and the largest cohort — 36% of specific machine learning
respondents — indicate Big Data
analytics goals focus on supporting
36% and analytics projects in
isolated pockets with a
decision making for certain processes, lack of a consistent and
aligned with a near-term strategy. rigorous data strategy.
This compares with only 20% that
indicate they have the capabilities
and data platform in place to support
organisationwide decision making.

The risk of a piecemeal approach is that innovations remain at the edge
and are not integrated back into the core IT enterprise environment or scaled across
other business units, which is critical for the long-term success of Big Data analytics Align efforts with specific
transformation projects. They will likely suffer inefficiencies in hardware, software Big Data projects
and people utilisation, flexibility and scale.

Overall there is still much work to be done to drive Big Data analytics maturity in terms of a more coordinated
architectural approach tied in with better ways of coordinating and collaborating on initiatives.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
Organisational and technological challenges remain
Struggling with skills

Although Big Data technologies have been
around for a numbers of years — and
analytics solutions for much longer — the
BUT … what is equally interesting is that 37%
of organisations believe their existing IT
systems and infrastructure are not suitable,
survey indicates that 44% of companies
scalable or of sufficient high performance to
are still struggling to source specialist
service their needs.
Big Data and data science skills, such
as Apache Hadoop and programming
languages including Python and R, needed
to deploy Big Data solutions. 37% believe their infrastructure is unsuitable

Skills shortages are a perennial issue for many organisations that This is particularly alarming since the
increasingly recognise the need to adopt a multipronged strategy to plug volume, variety and real-time nature of Big
the skills gap; this also includes employing technology platforms that help Data is set to increase, especially when
shortcut aspects of the set-up, configuration and implementation process. we factor in the tidal wave of data coming
from the Internet of Things. And so the
demands on an agile, performant and
scalable data and analytics platform will
only grow in importance.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
Paths to data-driven success
To successfully ride the digital transformation wave, organisations must focus on three critical
Big Data analytics capabilities:

1 3
Leveraging advanced analytics
and AI that moves from backward-
looking to proactive support for
business operations using predictive
Managing future Big Data Implementing a suitable
and prescriptive insights
workloads with a flexible platform to run advanced
hybrid model analytics

We see companies leveraging the 3rd Platform technologies of Big Data analytics and the cloud for digital transformation.
These in turn are enabling them to deploy key innovation accelerators, particularly the cognitive technologies of AI and
machine learning.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
1 A hybrid environment is needed to manage
future Big Data analytics workloads
One of the best practices that is, or will be, an important factor in success, is the use of hybrid cloud. IDC research shows
that hybrid cloud is emerging as a popular method of utilising the best of what public and private cloud and on-premise
environments have to offer, providing the flexibility to locate data and analytics services based on business need.

We asked organisations about their chosen deployment model for Big Data, machine learning and analytics tools. We found
that on-premise is currently the most popular deployment choice. However, cloud usage — especially private cloud — is
significant too and is expected to grow the most in terms of planned deployments.

18% 27%
10% 48%

No plans
On-Premise Private Cloud Public Cloud

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
1 Cerner: Improving care
and driving down costs
through better insight
from data

Cerner Healthcare, a US supplier of healthcare IT systems, is using an

optimised Big Data platform to get a better view of the health of the As a result of having a full
population and use the resulting insights to manage and control costs
of chronic conditions.
picture view of population
The Big Data platform, which includes mechanisms for ensuring data health data, Cerner is now able
security and integrity, helps Cerner understand the most significant
risks and opportunities for improving health across a population. With
to determine the better use of
over 2 petabytes of data sets, the system computes quality scores for
managing chronic conditions, such as bloodstream infections, and
health resources and predict
allows analysts to see which conditions can gain most by improving certain chronic conditions
those scores. These findings and insights are then shared with
hospitals to provide better care and value. more accurately than before.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
1 Maintaining flexibility is The need to flexibly assign Big Data,
machine learning and analytics
important for more advanced workloads is key.

Big Data analytics workloads

Organisations are employing a variety of deployment modes for different tools types. Private Cloud
For example, commonly deployed tools such as BI, reporting and ETL tools are primarily
Public Cloud
implemented on premise — something that IDC doesn’t expect to change significantly in On-Premise
the future. Business-focused visual analytics tools, however, will continue to be primarily
deployed in the private cloud.
Uptake of machine learning and deep learning, however, is still relatively modest at this
stage with private, on-premise and public cloud roughly equal in deployment popularity, with
the biggest growth expected in private cloud.

Of those organisations looking to deploy machine and

12% deep learning, flexibility remains key, with 12% yet to
identify their chosen deployment method.

IDC research indicates that the flexibility to augment or move data and analytic workloads according to business need is a
key requirement for organisations seeking to exploit advanced analytics. This, however, needs to be balanced against the
ability to optimise cost and performance, for example by leveraging existing infrastructure, to ensure the right TCO equation
is achieved.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
2 Predictive and prescriptive analytics are core
ingredients for a data-driven business
The desire to become more intelligent and forward looking businesses is apparent among respondents; 46% of organisations
want to leverage additional forms of predictive insights or prescriptive recommendations as part of their future Big Data analytics
capability. However, they are not there yet. The survey results indicate organisations are in the early stage of analytics maturity:

The Analytics Maturity Curve

Cognitive/ Self-Learning



Descriptive Using Planning Not using/not planning to use

IDC believes prescriptive analytics that utilise techniques such as machine learning are the next step on the path to data-driven decision making. The
discipline builds on top of strong data processes garnered from descriptive and predictive analytics to optimise and recommend actions based on
desired outcomes. By evolving these data and analytics practices, organisations can provide a deeper level of insight into customers, processes and the
business to drive better and faster decisions in real time.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
2 Octo Telematics reduces cost
and improves performance
through IoT
Octo Telematics, a UK-headquartered
provider of telematics and data analytics
solutions for the auto industry, is using
machine learning to forecast driving
habits, evaluate crash scenarios and build
fraud-detection models.

+170 BILLION & ±400,000

Octo Telematics: processes
and IoT DATA
analyses miles of driving severe crashes from
5 million connected cars

The self-learning capabilities of the machine learning algorithms provide the necessary insight to improve risk forecasting and crash
reconstruction. As a result, Octo Telematics has improved insurer services and reduced costs by improving crash notification and
response times, enhancing safety, reducing claim processing times and helping deliver a differentiated customer experience.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
2 Data science toolkit needs to flex and expand to
support new analytic requirements
Data science is an important discipline for organisations wanting to turn vast amounts of raw data into
meaningful insights used for better, faster and more informed business decision making.
It’s also a discipline that typically employs a variety of advanced analytic techniques including both open
source and commercial software components. Any effective data science toolkit therefore needs to
empower data scientists to use their preferred technologies, languages and libraries.
To meet the growing business demand for data-driven insight, organisations are also looking to involve more
specialists, as over half of organisations — 57% — expect to increase the use of data scientists in pursuit
of their Big Data analytics objectives.

Our survey indicates that organisations view open source tools and
technologies as an essential ingredient of the data science toolkit.

are using
open source
For advanced analytics users the most
popular open source languages are:
A quarter of organisations
believe data science to
46% data science
frameworks Java 84%
be very important or an
extremely important part
and languages Python 55% of their Big Data analytics
R 43% environment.

IDC research shows that a business data lake can often provide a scalable processing environment in which
data scientists can move towards a more iterative and agile approach to analytics and insight delivery.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
3 Build the right platform for advanced analytics
As companies build out more advanced analytics, especially machine learning
and AI workloads, they will need a suitable platform to run on.
Although usage of sophisticated forms of analytics such as machine and deep
learning is a considerable way behind the more common forms of descriptive
and predictive, this is expected to grow.

31% of organisations plan to use self-learning and AI

techniques such as deep learning and neural nets.

IDC’s research shows a healthy pipeline of planned usage and expected growth for AI. In particular, over a third of
organisations are actively piloting AI today, or have firm plans to implement it, while 38% are currently evaluating AI’s potential.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
3 bringing scale
and performance to image
recognition apps, the Chinese ecommerce giant, is developing AI-enabled applications to improve its ecommerce services such as product
search. As part of this initiative, it is working on a large-scale image feature extraction application that will help support activities
such as website search and image deduplication.
During the development, faced several architectural and technical challenges when building deep learning applications on
GPU servers for the complete end-to-end data analytics pipeline.
To resolve these performance and resource allocation issues, decided on a system that leveraged an open source,
distributed, deep learning framework called BigDL, built for Hadoop/Spark clusters based on standard CPU servers. The ability to run
deep learning applications without changes to the cluster and the ability to take advantage of the scale of the open source platform
(Apache Spark) helped improve both performance and development agility.

As a result, the company is now able to analyse a massive number

of images (around 2,000 images per second with a CPU cluster,
compared to around 540 previously with a GPU cluster) using BigDL. now plans to expand the framework to a wider range of
ecommerce challenges.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
3 Moving to an appropriate advanced
analytics platform
The survey indicates that organisations recognise the need to move to an advanced
platform that makes developing and deploying AI applications easier, while remaining
cost effective. Standard hardware for
training and inference
Specialised hardware for
training and inference
Some organisations will have more demanding
requirements than others. The survey suggests 14%
that companies are conscious of the need to
match their problem domain with a cost-effective
solution. Their needs may be best served by a
platform that can be used across the business 36%
and can integrate with existing infrastructure.
Only 36% have felt the need to use specialised
hardware for both aspects of ML — training
and inference. 50% of respondents are using
standard hardware for inference (operational)
use, with specialised hardware for model
training. 14% are using standard hardware for Standard hardware for 50%
both aspects. inference, specialised
hardware for training

IDC believes that TCO will be an important consideration for organisations designing and deploying an advanced
analytic applications platform. For example, balancing new performance requirements with the existing skills base and
software stack — potentially leveraging and extending existing compatible hardware and software platforms to meet the
needs for AI — will be decision factors as this may help to control costs.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
Conclusions and essential guidance
We have seen that organisations recognise the power of Big
Data analytics, the cloud and AI solutions to drive their essential
digital business transformation agenda. However, they are
not as well prepared or mature as they could be to drive that
agenda forward with these technologies. To truly transform and
innovate through Big Data, AI and analytics, organisations must:

Assess data and analytics needs in context of the shift
towards digital transformation.

Get the organisational structures right; enterprisewide

2 project coordination, involvement of LoB and executive

3 Tie data science and analytics projects to organisational

goals — look for effectiveness as well as efficiency.

Invest in an enterprise data and analytics platform that

4 supports a journey toward higher levels of maturity and
deeper, richer and faster insights.

Maintain flexibility for advanced analytics workloads
including employing a hybrid cloud approach.

Consider hardware and platform requirements carefully —
plan for specialised hardware only where necessary.
An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
Apache Hadoop: supports the Business data lake: a repository for Machine learning: a subset of artificial
processing and storage of extremely storing and managing multistructured learning that learns patterns in large
large data sets in a distributed data, i.e. a range of data types. Data data sets and predicts similar patterns
computing environment on industry- starts in its raw format with business in new data without being explicitly
standard hardware. focused data models emerging through programmed.
continued use rather than being
Artificial intelligence systems: self- imposed upfront. Machine learning frameworks: a set of
learning, reasoning systems that can capabilities designed to abstract some
Data science: a discipline utilising of the complexity of machine learning
augment or replace human decision various advanced statistical,
making in situations that involve algorithms and open up techniques to a
mathematical and analytical techniques
complexity, very high information broader base of developers.
and tools for managing, organising and
volumes, and/or uncertainty. extracting actionable insights from data. Predictive analytics: analysis of
Cognitive/self-learning analytics: Deep learning: a subset of historical data to help answer the
a system that learns as it operates machine learning that leverages neural question “what will happen?”
through use of advanced forms of networks capable of unsupervised Prescriptive analytics: uses analytic
analytics such as deep learning; they learning with data that is unstructured and optimisation techniques to answer
are adaptive, iterative and contextual, or unlabelled.  the question “what should I do?”
thereby making new classes of Descriptive analytics: uses basic Neural nets: analytical model based on
problems computable. statistical techniques to answer the
the series of algorithms that attempt to
question “what has happened?”
Big Data and analytics: represents a identify underlying relationships in a set
collection of software and processes for Digital transformation: the continuous of data by using a process that mimics
data extraction, integration, governance, process of adapting or driving disruptive the way the human brain operates.
movement, curation, analysis and changes in customers and markets
by leveraging digital competencies Training models: in deep learning
visualisation deployed to support or terms, a neural network that uses
to innovate new business models,
automate decision making and where products and services. algorithms to continuously develop an
data science techniques are used to understanding of a data set.
provide artificially intelligent insights. Inference models: in deep learning
terms, a neural network that runs
Big Data workloads: the optimised using trained parameters to classify,
and dynamic processing of large scale, recognise and process new and
complex and real-time data sets. unknown inputs.

An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by
About IDC
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technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional,
and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided
strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives.

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