With the amount of data soaring and interest in the means and desire to take advantage of that data also escalating, it should come as no surprise that HP is looking to cash in on Big Data. However its latest approach, a Big Data certification program for its Vertica business, is a novel approach to the growing market and one of its biggest challenges, a looming shortage of Big Data skills.
“The Big Data era is upon us, said Chris Selland, Vice President, Marketing, Vertica, HP. “It’s a challenge or opportunity depending upon how you address it. You need tools and people.”
The opportunity is, and getting bigger, fast. IDC predicts that investment in Big Data technologies and services will grow to nearly $10 billion in 2013, and Nemertes Research said nearly 30% of organizations have initiated Big Data projects, with another 5.6% expected to in the next 18 months. The top driver of Big Data projects is the need to analyze data already on hand, followed by initiatives facing out toward customers, but it creates technology challenges around storage and management, as well as organizational challenges.
However finding money is not the only challenge. “By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data, generating 1.9 million IT jobs in the United States,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. “But there is a challenge. There is not enough talent in the industry… (and) only one-third of the IT jobs will be filled.”
That’s where the Big Data Solutions training and certification program for the HP Vertica Analytics Platform comes in, said Selland. Available through HP ExpertOne, the program is intended to validate the skills and proficiency of HP Vertica system administrators, database analysts and application developers responsible for managing Big Data analytics. Our partners and customers want to complete a formal certification process that establishes their qualifications as Big Data experts, he said.
The certification initiative will be provided though the company’s ExpertOne program which currently offers certifications and training to more than 500,000 IT professionals in Big Data, cloud, converged infrastructure, networking, operating systems, security servers, software, solutions and storage.
The program is to get people trained and certified on our platform, said Selland. “We’re trying to enable both our current and future customers to be more successful using the Vertica platform.”
While the market – or at least the vendors and analysts – have jumped on the Big Data bandwagon, Selland cautions that volume was initially the only attribute linked to it. “What was missed in early forecasts were velocity and variety.” In many ways, Big Data is not volume but velocity and variety. “Any organization that has to deal with Big Data has to deal not just with volume, but fast moving data, velocity, and the variety of data.”
HP, which is struggling to get its act together after a number of internal and external challenges, including massive writedowns of its services and Autonomy units, and a hardware business beset by a soft market, has said that Return on Information will become the single most important measure of success for organizations over the next several years. “We really believe that the I in IT is just as important as the T,” said Colin Mahony, Senior Vice President of Products & Business Development at Vertica. “Analytics is powering just about every aspect of every part of every business.”