As businesses in Europe battle tight IT budgets and the challenge of implementing cloud technologies they are putting off investing in the IT industry’s next big thing – big data.

Around 70 per cent of European and Russian firms have not invested in big data technologies and have no plans to invest in such technologies over the next two years, according to a survey of 251 IT decision makers by storage and IT services firm Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

That’s not to say tech leaders see no benefits: UK CIOs surveyed by HDS believe the biggest upsides of big data analytics to be improved risk analysis, followed by improved planning and budgeting and greater insight into cost savings.

TechRepublic’s CIO Jury was recently more enthusiastic about the benefits of big data technologies. When asked “Do you think the use of big-data technologies could bring significant benefits to your organisation?” the jury responded yes by 10 votes to two.

Clive Longbottom, founder of analyst house Quocirca, said that big data is seen as a low priority to firms with flat IT budgets: “We are in a double, triple dip environment, so there isn’t a great deal of money around. Organisations are just beginning to invest in cloud, he said, so the last thing that they want to do is suddenly embark on another big change based around big data’,” he said.

Suppliers are also doing a poor job at communicating what technologies are the best fit for businesses big data need, he said, with a tendency to sell one-size-fits-all offerings for tapping into data stored inside and outside traditional relational databases.

“There’s a great deal of garbage coming out from the vendors,” he said.

“You have NoSQL database vendors saying the database is dead, the Hadoop crowd going ‘Do it through Hadoop’. But you don’t need to get rid of SQL databases as they’re still very good for a lot of transactional stuff. The answer is it’s a mix of all three.

“As always, the technology vendor community have not done themselves any favours in messing up the messaging. It’s ‘Here comes a new bandwagon, how can we jump on it?'”.

Despite corporate reluctance to invest in big data analytics Longbottom said the technology is already benefiting certain industries, for example giving retailers ways to gauge customer sentiment on social networks.