Australian managed service providers are mopping up an increasing amount of the big data work that enterprises don’t have the capabilities to handle internally, according to new research.
The latest figures by industry research and analysis firm Telsyte suggest that local service providers are the big winners when it comes to delivering big data analytics capability for businesses, with a lack of skills and a high cost of entry holding some organisations back from doing such work themselves.
According to Telsyte, around a third of companies with a big data strategy are now outsourcing such work to big data managed service providers, compared to around a quarter of businesses going down the outsourcing path a year ago.
However, this could change over time, with Telsyte also noting that enterprises are actively investing in big data training for staff, which has seen a mini-boom during the last two years.
The figures come from the Telsyte Big Data and Analytics Study 2018, which also found that around 80 per cent of Australian enterprises with more than 20 employees currently have a big data strategy, although many are in very early stages, such as pilot programs or exploratory projects.
The embryonic nature of the stage where many Australian organisations are at in terms of big data usage is illustrated in the percentage of businesses still struggling to draws a firm line between clever and creepy.
Indeed, 38 per cent of the respondents to Telsyte’s study suggested they are struggling with the ethical use of customer data and are unsure if they are being “careful not to be creepy”.
Concerns flagged by respondents included the handling of sensitive data that customers might have shared without understanding what they had consented to, such as during the installation of mobile apps or signing up to free online services – a particularly poignant issue given Facebook’s recent privacy wrangles in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica debacle.
“There is a huge temptation to highly target and customise offers to individuals, but also predict behaviours which generate profits,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.
“However, many have had to draw the line at how sensitive customer data, such as location movements, or passively scraped data is used to target customers,” he said.
Another data point picked up by the Telsyte study was that, despite a growing wave of investment in big data, only 61 per cent of respondents indicated that their businesses were conscious of privacy and regulatory concerns around big data, even with the Government’s Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme coming into effect in February 2018.
In fact, 65 per cent of organisations surveyed claimed they protect data like other assets such as physical or intellectual property assets, and just over half are willing to share data if there is tangible benefit to their organisation.
This may come as little surprise, given that Australia’s first Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) quarterly report, published by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in early April, revealed that 63 notifications were received during the first six weeks of the scheme.
Out of the 63 notifications received, 51 per cent "indicated" that the cause was human error, 44 per cent were the result of malicious or criminal attack and three were the result of system faults.
Just days ago, ServiceNow released a report from new research conducted by the Ponemon Institute that found 52 per cent of surveyed Australian organisations had suffered data breaches in the past year.