Author: Robert Hof
Hortonworks Inc. Chief Executive Rob Bearden grabs a napkin off the hotel conference room table at the San Jose Marriott and scrawls a bell curve to illustrate the typical adoption pattern for new technologies.
The technologies in question here are Hadoop, a way of storing huge amounts of data across clusters of computers, and related Big Data analysis software sold by Hortonworks and other companies. Just past the curve’s initial ascent, where tech-savvy companies have started buying and the curve arcs upward, Bearden draws an X. That’s his way of showing that mainstream customers are just starting to adopt the software in large numbers — similar to a curve for the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in the early 1990s that made giants out of Oracle Corp., SAP SE and others. Big Data software, he declares, is “tracking on the exact same route.”
Or is it? Big Data technologies led by Hadoop, developed originally by Yahoo to handle its massive Web index, have taken 10 years to get to this point. Yet the largest companies that bought billions of dollars worth of ERP software have yet to crack open big budgets for the new wave of software.