Three related shifts in data use and management are intersecting to create a unique market opportunity. This opportunity represents a generational change from an era of structured data in stove-piped systems managed by relational data systems to one of semi-structured data in hugely scaled and interconnected and interoperable networks. How this next-generation system is to be managed is still unclear, the answer to which represents the major market opportunity.
The specific shifts driving this change are:
- The emerging dominance of "semi-structured" data
- Semantics as the next stage in "data federation" and interoperability, and
- Extensibility as a data model imperative to support these trends.
And, of course, all of this is occurring within the context of explosive data access and growth, literally at Internet scales.
This opportunity is first presenting itself through the leadership and support of the federal intelligence, defense and homeland security agencies. Certain industries, notably financial services and pharmaceuticals, are the next likely to show enterprise applicability, and specific academic domains, particularly in biology, are also innovating this trail. The emerging leaders in this nascent market opportunity will likely be determined within the next two to three years.