If you are looking for an adjacent competency to add to your line card, especially one that fits with your cloud strategy, start considering a Big Data expert. And consider it soon … because according to Gartner, the demand for Big Data specialists is on the rise. Let’s be honest, finding someone with the skills to manage a customer’s Big Data needs – from management to analytics – isn’t easy, and with the cloud-powered, real-time use of Big Data – number crunching on steroids – that pool of talent is going to drain quickly. In fact, Gartner says they expect Big Data will create 4.4 million jobs by 2015.
That projection holds both good and bad news for the channel. First, if you are a provider with that type of expertise – you have a tech or engineer who finds joy in managing and manipulating data bases in the cloud – you are ahead of the game. Big Data is here to stay; with more and smaller businesses seeing the value in mining all those TBs of data flowing in from multiple endpoints. If you can create an offering around that data, you will be able to deliver analytics that have an immediate and dramatic impact on your customers’ business strategy and revenue flow. If you can’t, you may be opening the door to a competitor who does.
So if a margin-rich consultative relationship appeals to you, I highly suggest building up your expertise now. That can mean training someone internally, it could mean hiring. There is always the option of partnering, but that might not be the best path with such a lucrative and wide-reaching offering as Big Data analytics. If you do consider a new hire, look for not only a tech hire with expertise around Big Data, but make sure that person has the business savvy to put data reports into context and perspective for your customers. Delivering the analysis isn’t enough; organizations will need support around what to do with that data as well.