Big Data Is Key to IT Industry's Future

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Worldwide IT spending is forecast to surpass $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 3.8 percent increase from 2012 projected spending of $3.6 trillion, but it’s the outlook for big data creating the most excitement, according to Gartner Inc.

Big data creates a new layer in the economy that's all about information turning that information, or data, into revenue. Companies that get a handle on this will accelerate growth in the global economy and create jobs, Gartner said. They'll also innovate their industries, said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research for the firm.

“Big data is about looking ahead, beyond what everybody else sees," Sondergaard said. “You need to understand how to deal with hybrid data, meaning the combination of structured and unstructured data, and how you shine a light on ‘dark data.’ Dark data is the data being collected, but going unused despite its value. Leading organizations of the future will be distinguished by the quality of their predictive algorithms. This is the CIO challenge, and opportunity."

By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs will be created worldwide – 1.9 million of them in the United States – to support big data. But there's a challenge.

"There is not enough talent in the industry," Sondergaard said. "Our public and private education systems are failing us. Therefore, only one-third of the IT jobs will be filled. Data experts will be a scarce, valuable commodity."

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