In early May, I stumbled across an IDC press release for their first forecast on the Hadoop ecosystem. Besides their usual solid research that IDC typically delivers, the forecast was notable in several ways. The IDC reports and forecasts are usually in well-defined and stable technology arenas that require the insight of a leading analyst company. Obviously, it looks like Hadoop technology has made it to that level of prominence where it would be featured in a $9,500, 26-page report from IDC.
IDC forecasts a Hadoop-MapReduce market of approximately $77 million in 2011 which is expected to grow to $812.8 million in 2016, an expected compounded annual growth rate of 60%. Now I’m sure over the years there have been segments that have grown more than 60% year over year, but that number represents some seriously robust growth. Driven by the increasing accumulation of data driven by internet activity, companies realize there is tremendous business intelligence on their customers and business operations right at their fingertips. With the proper tools, technology, and expertise, valuable insights can be extracted for a competitive business advantage.
The IDC report mentions the “scarcity of tools and qualified staff, a factor expected to inhibit growth” along with the fact that open source projects represent a large component of the market space. These two mentions go hand in hand. Due to the nature of the growing and competitive open source ecosystem, you typically get low barriers/cost to technology entry because you can download the bits and bytes for free which is also a high-level barrier for knowledge and expertise because early stage open source technology requires a bit more effort. The challenge in finding talented IT people who can deploy, maintain, and develop within the Hadoop and MapReduce framework becomes a bottleneck for the entire segment.
While that news may not be altogether good for organizations looking for Hadoop talent, it’s certainly good news for the IT professional poised to become a Hadoop expert. A high growth technology arena with a shortage of talented professionals makes for great professional opportunities. If you are an IT pro with a strong background in Linux, Java, scripting, or come from a Dev Ops, developer, or system administrator background, you might want to pay close attention to this IDC forecast. It certainly looks like hot, sunny weather with clear skies for those of you in Hadoop land!