People are no longer obsessing about the cloud the way they did a couple years ago.
The cloud is a given, and now the focus is just about making it better.
The bad news? If you thought the cloud hype was out of control, big data hype could eclipse it.
Big data has a better origin story, with Nate Silver and Billy Beane in early starring roles, and while the cloud took some time to pay off for many organizations, big data often yields results almost immediately.
Big data and the cloud go hand in hand. If it weren't for all of the advances in cloud computing over the past several years, big data startups like Cloudant, Cloudera and CloudPhysics wouldn't exist.
Okay, I cherry-picked startups with "cloud" in their names, but go ahead and throw Skyhigh Networks, SnapLogic and XtremeData in there too.
If cloud computing hadn't pushed down so many costs, from CPUs to storage to running experiments in the cloud to test out new ideas, big data would likely be a big on-premise solution that only large companies could afford. In other words, it would be BI 2.0. Yawn.
As is, companies like SiSense are already targeting the mid-market, despite the fact that big data is still in its infancy. In fact, Anurag Agrawal, CEO of research firm Techaisle, believes that in 2016 global SMBs will spend$1.6 Billion on big data solutions. If his prediction comes true, big data will grow faster among SMBs than cloud computing.
Agrawal predicts that between now and the end of 2016, SMBs will spend $3.9 billion on big data hardware, software and services.
Cloud computing is often considered a great equalizer. A three-person business can access the same cloud services as a Netflix or eBay. Big data could be an even bigger equalizer. The cloud equalizes access to tech resources. Big data could equalize access to market intelligence, especially if big data service providers take the data they've analyzed, make it anonymous, and reuse it for their subscribers. An SMB could conceivably learn as much about customer behaviors as a major retailer.
Of course, incumbents will like do everything in their power to lock up their own data and deem it proprietary, but even if they do, SMBs will still be able to learn plenty from crunching publicly available data.
Or as Stewart Brand once said: "Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. That tension will not go away."
The emergence of big data practically guarantees it.