I’ve been in a lot of customer meetings lately as well as meeting with high tech press and analysts and all everyone wants to talk about is BIG DATA (arguably one of the biggest technology paradigm shifts since Apple invented the PC). The challenge as I see it like most technology innovations, EVERYONE and their brother is bending their company and product messaging to carve out their portion of the upcoming revenue bonanza.

People are confused by this. Here is an example of the Big Data problem: I was talking to a friend today who happens to be the CIO of a large division in a global multi-billion enterprise and asked him what he thought about the Big Data movement and he says “We’ve been trying to do that for years but the tools haven’t really been able to manage the load and I’m still skeptical.” He goes on to say that too many companies look at Hadoop and other Big Data/no-SQL repositories like MongoDB and Cassandra like the next bigger data warehouse.

Here’s what Big Data is NOT: Big Data is NOT a bigger data warehouse. What a colossal waste of innovation and opportunity to have IT groups in large enterprises think this capability is nothing more than another bigger data warehouse. I think to a large extent this vision is fueled by software companies who are bending their companies and messaging so they can get a piece of the pie.

Unfortunately I’m old enough to remember the growth relational databases back in the good old days in the late 80’s and early 90’s when relational databases were first getting started. First there is the stepwise progression in the underlying platform and then there will come NEW innovative technologies that will easily and seamlessly integrate and accelerate the value opportunity from the technology. Ultimately NEW applications will be developed that integrate the technology components to bring real off the shelf solutions to enterprises.

Let’s look to the future and break the chains. It’s a much lighter and brighter world when technology moves forward without being encumbered by the “legacy” technology already deeply embedded in the enterprise.