Big Data is arguably the most noteworthy IT buzzword in 2014. However, mountains of data are worthless to investors if they cannot be put to legitimate and profitable use. So, the question then – what are investors looking for in a Big Data company?
Infrastructure. Investors wantinfrastructure already in place. They want to see servers, storage, switches, and lines that are in place – not only for running today’s operations, but also hardware that is already in place to support strategic growth. If Big Data is the buzzword, scalability is the hot topic. The ability of a business to rapidly increase operations (very common among tech startups, for instance) is paramount.
Roughly 83 percent of IT budgets are in place to maintain existing operations, with only 17 percent for growth. Two solutions arise – either making very wise use of the portion carved out for growth, or freeing up the budget for more than 17 percent. Either one is a win, but the better budgeting has a significant competitive advantage in a constantly growing industry. Therefore, a big data company serves to accommodate the growth of a business’s IT strength in either scenario.
Security. This obvious ingredient simply cannot be stated strongly enough. Especially after Heartbleed, Target, and several other high profilesecurity breaches.The expectations of a big data company are quite different than other companies. Investors want to see layers and layers of incredibly complex security. Big data companies have an enormous bulls-eye on them for highly complex attacks, not just a relatively minor DoS or DDoS.
Furthermore, being compliant in particular areas is incredibly important (PCI, HIPAA, SOX, etc.) HIPAA and SOX, especially, have a lengthy list of measures that can be difficult to navigate, and infractions in PCI compliance can become very costly. Companies contracting with Big Data don’t want to worry about these – therefore, a company looking for investors should be prepared to accommodate seamlessly.
Disaster Recovery. Business continuity, disaster recovery, redundancy, you name it. For a big data company to prosper, it needs to have a backup for a backup. For other companies that contract with big data companies, they want the security to know that their SLAs are as solid as the company that backs them. They want five 9’s (99.999 percent uptime) emergency failovers, generators /dual power grids, and any number of other safeguards.
There are several more items that investors will examine, such as the specific use of big data, colocation rack space, innovation – the list runs on. But no matter what the company is, these three are absolutely essential to investors, as the primary purpose of big data companies is to capture, assimilate and provide the data contracted clients are looking for. Ultimately, clients are looking for the right information with particular parameters for business intelligence purposes, and the ability to perform is the single, top priority of investors.
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