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Oracle Next Generation Data Centre Index Raises Questions as to the Preparedness of Businesses for the ‘Big Data’ Boom

11 Jan 2012

Other Hardware

Key findings suggest businesses having to ‘buy’ capacity in the short term while they ‘build’ for the long term, to handle explosion in data volumes

Reading, UK – 11 January 2012

News Facts

  • Research released today from Oracle reveals that many businesses appear to have been caught off guard by the boom in ‘Big Data’, which is driven by such factors as increased interaction between consumers and brands via mobile devices, a surge in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and organisations creating ever greater levels of information within their own processes.
  • Businesses are reacting to this situation with a short term increase in outsourced data centre and cloud service use, while planning longer term to build their own in-house data centre facilities.
  • There is also evidence that the boardroom is paying closer attention to data matters at many organisations, suggesting data within the business is being recognised as having an inherent high value.
  • Sustainability is also back on the agenda for 2012 as businesses react either out of a need for a demonstrable green policy for governance reasons, or to reduce spiraling energy bills related to their IT use. In a direct Cycle 1 (C1) to Cycle 2 (C2) comparison, the overall Sustainability Index has risen from being lowest to joint top among the sub-indices1.
  • The research forms the basis of C2 of the Oracle Next Generation Data Centre Index rating the progress of organisations towards a sophisticated use of data centres in optimising their business and IT performance. Organisations are rated on a scale from zero to 10 based on research carried out by Quocirca.
  • Businesses across Europe and the Middle East scored an average of 5.58 (where 10 would be the most sophisticated data centre strategy possible).
  • This figure represents an improvement on C1 of the Oracle Next Generation Data Centre Index, undertaken in February 2011, which showed an average score of 5.22[1] suggesting businesses are steadily increasing their focus and investment into their data centre strategy, in response to the growth in Big Data. All countries, all industries and all sub topics increased their Index scores in C2 as compared with C1
  • The research surveyed 949 managers in large organisations in ten regions across the world.
  • For more information on the research data, please click here.

Index Highlights

  • The proportion of respondents with in-house-only data centres is down from 60 percent (C1) to 44 percent (C2).
  • The proportion of businesses using some external data centres has risen from 40 percent (C1) to 56 percent (C2).
  • Only 8 percent of respondents (compared to 17 percent in C1) said they would not need a new data centre facility in the foreseeable future.
  • 38 percent of respondents see a need for a new data centre facility within two years (up from 27 percent in C1).
  • Sustainability is back on the agenda
    • The Sustainability Index rose from last place (5.14) in C1 to joint first (5.64) in C2.
    • Only 6.4 percent of respondents say they do not have a sustainability plan linked to data centre use, compared to 13.2 percent in C1.
    • The proportion of data centre managers who see a copy of the energy bill has risen from 43.2 percent (C1) to 52.2 percent (C2).
  • Nordics overtakes DCH (Germany/Switzerland) to lead the overall C2 Index, with an impressive score of 6.51, fuelled by improvements in sustainability, systems management, virtualisation and consolidation. The Middle East has made the most significant progress since C1, moving from bottom of the table to a middle-ranking position. Ireland and Russia, which were included in C2 but not C1, scored lowest, with 4.79 and 4.62 respectively.

Other Findings from the Research

  • More than one third (36 percent) of data centre managers still have no visibility of energy usage, while almost 10 percent of respondents also doubt that anyone else sees a copy of the bill for data centre energy usage.
  • The Nordics and DCH lead the way on sustainability, each with a Sustainability Index of 6.57; Benelux follows with 5.76, while the UK is below average on 5.4.
  • All of the sub-indices have improved from C1 to C2[2]: the Flexibility Index rose from 5.27 to 5.46; the Sustainability Index increased from 5.14 to 5.64; and the Supportability Index went up from 5.24 to 5.64.
  • Virtualisation of IT hardware is gathering pace in the data centre but remains patchy with only 12 percent of respondents having virtualised more than 70 percent of their IT estate. 38 percent have virtualised less than 30 percent.
  • Worryingly, almost 39 percent still admit to second guessing future workload requirements. However, the proportion that use advanced analytics or predictions based on historical usage has increased from 39 percent to 50 percent.

Supporting Quotes

  • Wrestling with Big Data is going to be the single biggest IT challenge businesses face over the next two years,” said Luigi Freguia, senior vice president, Systems, Oracle EMEA. “By the end of that period they will either have got it right or they will be very seriously adrift from their own business and the threats and opportunities posed by Big Data.
    “The unique challenge of Big Data represents the coming together of many IT trends – the growth in connected applications, devices, systems and individuals in both the consumer and business world creating vast amounts of structured and unstructured data through everything they do. Mining and understanding that data holds the key to business success and that process must begin in the data centre. The findings of this report suggest businesses are becoming aware of this and are rapidly trying to get on top of their short and long-term data needs.”

  • Clive Longbottom, analyst at Quocira said: “It is clear that organisations are beginning to see the problems in dealing with the vast amounts of data held across their value chains. As the value of information grows, it is becoming increasingly likely that organisations will be forced to put a value on the balance sheet. Therefore, the capability to collate the data in a central, accessible, secure and reliable location becomes key. Even where federation of data is being used, centralisation will need to be through a data centre – and the research here shows that the majority of organisations, while heading in the right direction, still have a long way to go in order to support their organisation’s information needs.”

Supporting Resources

[1] See “Notes to Editors” for more detail on the figures.

[2] See “Notes to Editors” for more detail on the figures.

Notes to editors

In November 2011, Quocirca surveyed 949 managers in large organisations, in 10 countries / regions around the world: Benelux, DCH (Germany/Switzerland), France, Iberia (Spain/Portugal), Ireland, Italy, Middle East, Nordics, Russia, and the UK. The questions were designed such that each answer could be represented by a number between 0 and 10, giving the ability to create the overall Oracle Next Generation Data Centre Index figure. Separate sections of the research were dedicated to Flexibility, Supportability and Sustainability, providing sub-indices in these three important areas.

When repeating the research for Cycle 2, the USA was removed from the countries surveyed and Russia and Ireland added. This has affected the overall Index figures. Where these overall figures are compared between Cycle 1 and Cycle 2, only the figures from those countries common to both sets are included, to ensure that the comparison is valid. This also explains why some overall figures quoted for Cycle 1 are different from those published in the original research, launched 4 May 2011.

Contact information

Steve Walker
Steve Walker
Job Title
Vice President Corporate Communications EMEA
+44 118 924 0779
+44 118 924 3855
+44 790 151 2597

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