Big Data’s Big Opportunity in the Bleak Economy of 2013

Predictions 2013 Big Data 12-26-2012-A“Companies that have embraced the future have been rewarded,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Mad Money, highlighting SAP’s forward-thinking mindset — and rising stock price. “The company’s last quarter — it was fabulous — it was the best third quarter in its history.”

The 40-year-old enterprise software provider is also poised for a bright 2013 thanks to the past year’s initiatives, including:

  • SAP HANA’s market blitz
  • Focus on mobility with integrating Sybase
  • Acquisition of cloud computing powerhouse Ariba.

Walldorf-based SAP does not even seem to be weighed down by faltering European economies.

“If companies have less revenue, they’ve got to reset their core space, and they’re going to have to do more with less,” SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott told Cramer last month. “Software from SAP is going to help them do that.”

The Data is in the Details
The doubling of the world’s data every 18 months holds tremendous potential for SAP in 2013.

“Big Data could be huge this year,” Barry Trailer of CSO Insights told SAP’s Bonnie D. Graham during last week’s 2013 Predictions episode of her weekly Coffee Break with Game-Changers. “But people have to figure out how to use it.”

Indeed, enterprises must quickly and efficiently sift the good, useable information from the torrent of irrelevant data that inundates them. But that is often difficult for organizations to do, as The Financial Times pointed out this month, especially when so many vendors seem confused themselves.

“It’s probably a good idea to manage that Big Data and have that crystal ball for the enterprise, which is SAP HANA,” McDermott told Cramer. “You bring all the data — structured and unstructured — into main memory so you can Google your data.

It may sound elementary, but many employees around the world cannot easily search their own organizations’ databases the way they can browse the Web via search engines at home. The remedy stems from SAP’s 2012 innovations in its in-memory database platform, not to mention cloud, mobile, applications and analytics

“There’s a lot of evolution in HANA,” SAP Executive Board Member Vishal Sikka told SAP TV. “It’s like this little girl that I have who is running so fast, and we are just trying to keep up with her.”

Ready To Run
For 2013, Sikka and his crew may have to accelerate to the clip of the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice.

Fantasy Football for the NFL will be run on SAP HANA in the cloud,” McDermott told Cramer, peering into his own crystal ball. “Now you’ve got people getting immediate answers to their questions; you get your favorite players; you pick your favorite teams; NFL wins the game and you’re a happy fan.”

But reaching the end zone isn’t likely to stop SAP in 2013.

“It’s not done,” Cramer said of SAP’s surging share price. “It’s got room to run.”

This post originally appeared on Forbes.