I was at a conference today and an interesting topic came up. The topic of hadoop came up. Now that in itself is not that interesting, but what was interesting is when the speaker asked what was the biggest issue people face to implementing big data, IT was the overwhelming answer. The simple reason for why IT is the problem is because in many large companies, IT is scared of big data.
Now you would think IT likes big data and on the surface they do. But once you get granular with big data, you start to see what a power loss it is for IT. Big data is all about giving the power of analysis and control of data to the end user. In the past that power was in the hands of IT. But big data is really a way to democratize data and the power over data. This scares a lot of IT people. As a result, IT tries to hold on to power by fighting the very people who they should be helping.
If done right, IT becomes a smaller force and a true servant organization serving the end users. In large companies where power battles take place, this is a threat to IT. So they will bash hadoop or any other system that looks like it could destroy their power base. I’ve had this happen to me where IT bashes a hadoop system because in the end, I really didn’t need them. Where in the past they were the gate keepers to my data, they were rendered obsolete. So they went on the attack to discredit great systems. Keep in mind, they don’t even bother to learn the technology because if they did, they wouldn’t go around sounding like the fools they end up sounding like.
In the end, IT’s fear of big data is a losing battle. They may win the fight but all it will do is put the company in a weak position. Data wants to be free and to try and go to the old way of business is just going to put the org in a position of weakness. Fight back, the world is changing and big data is going to change it. If you cling to the old ways of business, you will be taking orders from the guys who saw the changes coming. Don’t like IT hold you back, the world is changing, they need to change too.