The data strategy for digital transformation involves modernizing data protection, data services, data governance, and activating data intelligence.
Explaining the recent reorganization of product portfolios at the company, Paul Bruton, Business Director – Data Intelligence, Asia Pacific, Hitachi Vantara, stresses that the focus is data. Says Bruton, “Application and storage are not different, they need to come together through metadata. With object storage solutions, we have data intelligence, which helps organizations to start the move towards IoT.”
But Burton’s larger point is about the need for a data strategy and the role of object storage in being able to deliver on the needs of digital enterprises.
The Need for a Data Strategy
At the core of digital transformation is data. When data is looked upon as a core asset, it is important that CIOs develop a more nuanced approach towards managing data. It is no longer about just storing data away. Hitachi Vantara’s approach to data is to evolve a data strategy that involves modernizing data protection, modernizing data services, modernizing data governance, and activating data intelligence.
Several new trends dictate the need for a new way of looking at data. With computing at the edge getting heavier, Bruton says that the edge has to leverage object storage by ‘looking inside’ the data. Then, there is the specter of toxic data and ways to prevent it. Toxic data is a term that stands for data that is stolen from an organization turning from a mere loss to a threatening liability to the organization. The need for GDPR is fast approaching with May 25, 2018 as the deadline for implementation and compliance. GDPR is a data protection regulation in the EU but it impacts all global organizations.
Then comes the issue of unstructured data which accounts for 80% of all the data. An IDC report states that less than half of the data is analyzed and operationalized, the rest is tantamount to value opportunity that has been passed up.
The Foundational Aspect of Object Storage
Bruton’s fervent pitch is for an object storage-based data platform.
The Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), an object storage-based solution, has been around for ten years, but it needs to factor in the above trends. HCP incorporates existing content repositories, delivers new age file sharing, collaboration, and end-user data protection capabilities, simplify searches, and provides APIs to design new workflows and customize the user experience
Object storage is in high demand to bridge the gap between traditional storage and emerging cloud technologies to obtain the most value from enterprise data, no matter where it resides. Because object storage uses an integrated approach to manage data through object storage systems, it fuels interest and investment from infrastructure and operations leaders, and enterprise developers.
Delivering on the Data Strategy with HCP
Bruton avers that there is no starting point for data strategy. Of course, there are some considerations such as driving costs out of traditional data protection to invest better in digital transformation and moving data to cloud to make it a portable asset. And while doing that comes up the issue about data protection, governance, and compliance. Bruton is quick to point out that there are benefits that are to be gained right from the beginning and one doesn’t have to wait till the end. For example, with data portability there is no need to back-up, employees are happy with the mobility and access to data, object storage being inherently secure because it is not susceptible to ransomware, and such other benefits. The pie is complete when data intelligence services and analytics are added.
Bruton says that these features have been embodied best in HCP. Gartner recently rated Hitachi Vantara’s HCP offering with an ‘Excellent’ rating in its Critical Capabilities for Object Storage report. In the report, Gartner analysts wrote about their evaluation of thirteen object storage products based on eight critical capabilities: capacity, interoperability, manageability, performance, resilience, security and multitenancy, storage efficiency, and pricing. The analysts also wrote about their evaluation of the object storage products based on five use cases: analytics, archiving, backup, content distribution, and cloud storage.
Backing up HCP’s strengths, Bruton says, “Hitachi Vantara’s expertise in managing data helps support organizations to protect themselves whilst modernizing their workplaces; thus making it mobile, secure, and empowering. With the help of such evolving technologies, Hitachi Vantara integrates a proactive compliance into the data management strategies for enterprises to revolutionize their content management.”