Asia Pacific in 2013: Hype, fear, panic and paranoia drives the “googlization” of business intelligence and analytics

In a previous post I highlighted that disruptive technologies don't even need to be implemented to be disruptive. The mere fact that vendors and other organisations are either creating or being swept up in the hype can be a major disruption to any organisation. 

In our soon to be released research on Asia Pacific Trends for 2013 we highlight a number of disruptive trends that are affecting organisations all all types and sizes - whether commercial, government or not-for-profit. None is more profound than the impact that big data will have on Asia Pacific organisations in 2013. The Asia Pacific region has a very broad spectrum of capabilities, maturity and variations in its outlook and optimism. Big data and deep analytics are two areas where we see significant disruption occurring. The Asia Pacific 2013 trends report highlights some of these differences in Asia Pacific and calls out specific implications for specific markets. There's also more detailed information in our Big Data in Asia Pacific report, also due out shortly.

This information will be valuable for both domestic in-region organisations and global organisations with operations in the Asia Pacific region. The variances in adoption across these markets will be profound. The differences between leaders and laggards will increase and the gaps between the big data "have's" and the "big data "have not's" will start to become more and more evident. More to the point, an emerging "war for talent" is already pushing organisations to build out capabilities ahead of the curve. Many of these capabilities are being developed without ever having a defined business case or even long-term committed business sponsors in place. The ability to attract and retain top talent will not just be a localised issue either. It will be pan regional and create a whole new set of issues for the next generation of IT organisations.  

If I were to add my own predictions to the 2013 Asia Pacific Trends on big data, I would include the following:   

  • Hype. The hype around big data in Asia Pacific is only just getting started. The latter part of 2013 will be the peak of the hype cycle in Asia Pacific. In the mean time, the successes from early adopters will become "folk-lorean legend". Vendors will not be the only ones responsible for creating this hype either. End-user organisations themselves will also generate it. In fact, organisations will whip themselves into a big data frenzy without too much help from anybody.  
  • Fear. More uncertain economic conditions and an increasingly competitive market will drive fear into the hearts and minds of organisational cultures. The fear of missing out. The fear of losing the opportunity to attract the right talent. The fear of not having something great on your next resume. The fear of making a major mistake in over-investing in big data systems. Fear makes us do all kinds of things and 2013 will be the year that fear around big data will both spur some organisations on - and hold some others back.   
  • Panic. When the impact of fear spreads across a large number of people or organisations, it multiplies to create panic. The rough formula goes like this: Panic = Fear x Fearful. Whether big data is seen as successful, or a major flop, the fear that builds around it multiplies to create panic. It's this behaviour that drives irrational decision making inside organisations. "We just have to do this". "It's a cost of doing business". "If our competitors are doing it, we must learn to do it better". "We must cancel all big data projects now!" These statements don't sound like they're based on panic. But they are. The fear just drives the discussion. It's the panic that forces organisations to make irrational decisions. 
  • Paranoia. It's a bit of the old "am I getting enough sex?" question. Doubt and paranoia breed where no benchmark or metric dares to go. As a result, 2013 will see many organisations looking to benchmark their big data investments and strategies. They won't even care that much about performance. 2013 will be the year that big data in Asia Pacific becomes about benchmarking and strategy assessments - and will become consultants fodder. Yes, probably even ours...  

So 2013 will be a lot about big data in Asia Pacific. But it's not really *just* about big data. It's also about the increasing demand for instant access to any data that is driven by organisations themselves. The big data hype is not as much about the underlying analytics as it is about the users expectation. That expectation is that *all* information technologies are (or should be) as powerful as the Google search engine and as easy to use as an Apple iOS device.

What will you do with big data in 2013? What predictions do you think we'll be making about big data in 2014? Let us know.