Published: March 22, 2012

Socializing Big Data Application Development

Between EMC's announcement of the Pivotal Labs acquisition and the incredible presentations so far at GigaOm's Structure Big Data conference in NYC, there is a strong continuing theme with Big Data this week (one that I am a strong advocate of): it is all about the apps and the people who use them.

EMC announced the acquisition of an agile development firm, something that most people may not consider a natural move.  It might surprise many to learn that EMC has significantly more software developers than hardware engineers.  The latest investment in Big Data and its development of the Data Scientist curriculum begs one question: what is the application? Because at the end of the day, applications rule the world. Applications are developed to solve business challenges. And with Big Data, there really aren't that many applications that could be applied across enterprise organizations (such as, for example financial applications, CRM, ERP, etc.). So for EMC to acquire an agile development firm, it no longer needs to build applications--it can now enable businesses to build their own.

A recent ESG survey asked about the types of big data applications organizations are planning to deploy: the number one answer was custom applications.  This acquisition makes perfect sense to me.  Combined in the EMC announcement yesterday was another launch of Chorus (yes, there have been a few)--what was different this time was that EMC will be contributing the code from Chorus to the community, essentially making Chorus available via open source (is this a first for EMC?). Chorus was designed to make it easier for organizations to collaborate around data analytics.

At the GigaOm conference, socializing big data and the applications that bring value to the user from big data are key themes--it would almost appear that the agenda was staged to highlight EMC Greenplum's announcement.

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