data storage

Data storage infrastructure is well poised to play a crucial role in business recovery

Across India, amidst the dynamic business environment, business leaders are asking: “what comes next?” Indian companies, across industries, are working day-in and day-out towards adapting to the altered normal, tackling all uncertainties. However, the age of remote work has in store a number of potential opportunities for the road ahead. It is towards capitalizing on these opportunities that data storage infrastructure can help firms with and play a vital role in business recovery.

The data explosion: A recent report by Seagate and IDC, Rethink Data, predicted the amount of data in the world is set to continue to expand at an astonishing rate. The study put India among the top three countries with the fastest data growth rate at 45.2%. This growth, powered by data, is driven by new technology users and nascent technologies such as IoT, AI, and ML, offering opportunities. But raw data is only valuable if it is made useful and today, most isn’t. This is substantiated in the Rethink Data report which states that businesses fail to take advantage of 68% of data available to them on average.

For any organization, irrespective of their industry, managing massive datasets is excessively complex and costly. Indeed, IT leaders often discard data due to the immediate cost of keeping it, despite significant potential future payoffs. And even when they do opt to keep it, the total cost of ownership of storing and maintaining massive data sets in the public cloud can be vast. This is especially true once hidden costs like data transfers, common API calls, and egress fees (charges levied for retrieving data from cloud) are accounted for.

Herein lies the challenge for CIOs: how do you build a cost-effective data management strategy that allows you to intelligently capture, store and analyse information? The answer lies in more efficient, scalable, affordable end-to-end data storage solutions – but picking the right solution is not always easy.

How data is stored can make it a boon or a burden: Gone are the days when expanding data capacity just meant buying bigger hardware. There are now many means to that end. The Rethink Data report indicates that, in India, increased use of advanced data analytics and IoT devices to automatically gather data will skyrocket the amount of data stored over the next 2 years, with the highest proportion of respondents in India choosing the first factor (62%) while the global averaged at 48.3%; and the latter as the second biggest factor (53% in India). The complexity of choosing the right solution – be it cloud or on-premise storage – often leaves companies with an imperfect fit – making data a burden, rather than an asset.

Both cloud and on-premises solutions have their strengths. Cloud offers the flexibility to create and host many applications. On-premises can offer better security, performance, and cost control. Savvy business leaders know combining the two via a hybrid model can offer the best of both worlds, but fewer appreciate the importance of moulding that hybrid according to their business needs. In fact, 22% of the organisations find it extremely challenging to decide what type of data to keep in what kind of environment – cloud, on-premise, edge, etc according to the Rethink Data survey.

For instance, a company that needs to quickly build and update consumer applications may lean towards public cloud, but still wish to store sensitive consumer data on-premises. A videogame developer working with massive files may wish to prioritise the data transfer benefits of on-premises – but still wish to leverage cloud for customer support. To that end, the technology within an enterprise storage system needs to be designed to empower businesses in modern hybrid situations. These could include solutions like performance-optimising Automated Tiered Storage (ATS) software that enables a smooth automated data progression across different tiers of storage devices and media.

Future-proof performance and scalability: A business’s data storage infrastructure is beyond the dictation of its capacity and flexibility, but also the underpinning of its performance power – something that must also grow in line with data demands. Additionally, to support business growth, businesses need to be able to scale capacity quickly. For this organizations require highly flexible products with inbuilt scalability and modularity to address its customers’ changing data requirements, enabling their customers to grow quickly, without outgrowing their IT. For instance, consider the film industry. As animation quality and resolution improve, file sizes grow and so are demands on IT infrastructure.  To address the changing data requirements, it is essential that data storage companies work with data solution integrators for media and entertainment to provide highly flexible purpose-built data storage solutions, with inbuilt scalability and modularity capable of handling huge workloads like color grading and visual effects.

Setting up for success: The world’s reliance on technology has never been greater. The new normal has thrown the rulebook out the window, especially in case of data-hungry nascent technologies like AI and IoT, that are starting to deliver on their immense promise. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for enterprise data storage solution leaders to unravel innovations such as Heated Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and the world’s first multi-actuator hard drive technology, MACH.2, while offering easily integrated storage solutions that are built on trust, affordability, and performance across endpoints, edge, cloud, and on-premise solutions.

Every business is unique, so is their data – which is why data storage solutions is not a one-size-fit-all, but tailor-made to gear organizational growth. To achieve this, rather than tinkering with old hardware or shelling out on unnecessary cloud buckets, having the right storage systems will empower businesses to look ahead, adopt future-proof technologies, and seize growth opportunities, both existing and untapped.

By Sameer Bhatia, Director Asia Pacific Consumer Business Group and Country Manager SAARC and India, Seagate Technology

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