How to make Hadoop work with your business

Even though Hadoop is growing in visibility all the time and more companies and becoming aware of the technical challenges the open-source software can solve, there are still a number of barriers to be overcome that may put bosses off.

It was noted by ITNews that companies will have to get the grips with a different approach to their data warehousing architecture, a well as reconsidering how IT projects are funded. Therefore, it can often be the case that a Hadoop deployment will be more complex than an initial cost evaluation suggested.

While one of the key selling points of the technology is that is done not require a large capital investment to get started with, compared with some other big data analytic solutions, some IT bosses may be cautious about adopting open-source technologies unless they are sure they will have the support they need – so finding a knowledgeable partner could be a top priority. ITNews added that some organizations "are also likely to be cautious about any claim that Hadoop reduces dependence on RAID designs that have been a staple of data protection in the enterprise for decades". 

As a result, it is vital that firms focus closely on ensuring the technology will fit into their business in order to make it a success. As part of this, the publication stated companies should focus on the real-world benefits they expect to see from Hadoop.

Key positives firms have reported include reducing their data warehousing costs, improving their decision-making speed and accuracy. However, these technical merits alone may not be enough to convince senior executives of the value of Hadoop. Instead, these should be framed as supporting benefits, with Hadoop advocates highlighting how the new business approach will be validated in real-terms – such as how it will improve a marketing strategy of inform new product development.

One of the best ways for professionals to illustrate the benefits is with a real-world trail, or a limited rollout that tests the power of the software before it is deployed company-wide.

ITNews said: "Even when you have a big question in mind to answer, Apache Hadoop offers a great opportunity to 'start small' and first win over your peers with a proof-of-concept which offers fast results at low cost."

Even some of the world's largest tech firms have taken this route. The publication noted Yahoo! started its Hadoop adoption with just four servers as a development project. By March this year, it was said to have more than 42,000 servers, conducting data analytics on hundreds of petabytes of data.

ITNews recommended that firms keep these schemes as simple as possible, as executives are more likely to be impressed by a speedy result than an ambitious attempt to solve a complex problem.

The publication also highlighted the importance of communicating to staff about the aims of a project and ensuring they understand how Hadoop can help – and this needs to reach personnel outside the IT department to ensure that all employees are on board.