2017: The Year Ahead

2017: The Year Ahead

Matthew Hurford, Chief Technology Officer ANZ, NetApp.

We are on the brink of a major technological evolution that will change the way we live, work and communicate. With the fourth industrial revolution, the explosion of data is disrupting conventional business models and the way technology impacts our everyday lives. More organisations are deploying cloud solutions to support expanding data requirements. Welcome to what NetApp sees for 2017.

Data is the New Currency
With the potential to reshape every facet of the enterprise, from business models to technology and user expectations, data has become the currency of our evolving digital world. Your data strategy is your business strategy.

All of the key disrupting companies from Uber to Atom bank are leveraging data on customer location and preferences to provide a differentiated service, something that will become more prevalent in 2017 and beyond.

However, traditional organisations are challenged by the shift from using data to support their business to recognising that data is their business. They need to consider how to shift from purely collecting data to leveraging data to provide better value or differentiated service outcomes to their customers. Banks can’t suddenly close brick-and-mortar branches. Their legacy lies in supporting customers with what are increasingly becoming outdated services. To keep pace with Australia’s data-driven market, NetApp is helping these customers take a bimodal approach, driving pockets of agile development using cloud native application architectures.

With every organisation approaching digital disruption in the marketplace, we’re seeing new types of data. Take retail for example, where retailers stored only critical transactional data, they are now storing large volumes of ancillary data surrounding transactions to gain market insights. Combining that with loyalty card data to provide a more personalised customer experience.

Our digital landscape is also seeing the growth of machine generated data. Autonomous vehicles are a great example of this. The data being generated can then in turn have a ripple effect on drivers, car dealers, insurance companies and car riding services. Owning a car in 25 years’ time could be like owning a horse today – a hobby. Uber will no longer require drivers to pick-up and drop-off customers. Instead, Uber, along with many other companies, will rely completely on access to data and connected devices to run their businesses. Effectively capturing, harnessing and securely storing this data will be critical to success, and NetApp is looking forward to helping customers do just that.

Cloud as a Catalyst and Accelerator
As you look to grow revenue and increase your customer base, the amount of data is going to escalate, as is the need to store it securely and ensure you can access the data you need; when you need it.

NetApp is hearing a lot about the importance of agile development and new application development workflows to drive innovation. The availability of cloud-based services provides easy access to the platforms needed to support innovation because it has dramatically reduced barriers to entry: with a credit card and an Amazon Web Services account, new projects are set up in one day and operate on a pay-as-you-go basis. NetApp is responding by providing SaaS offerings running inside the cloud; reducing data management deployment times from months to minutes and solving one of the biggest development challenges – moving your data between clouds to drive innovation. New usage-based consumption models as well as compliance and security offerings, are making cloud platforms more accessible and secure for businesses who want to innovate in the cloud.

Every organisation is looking to leverage the data they have, to gain customer insights. The goal being to provide better service outcomes for their customers. The rise of analytics and specifically analytics in the cloud will be a strong theme in 2017. The power of the cloud to gain insights quickly and cheaply is key and many customers will look to leverage cloud analytics services like RedShift and EMR from Amazon Web Services. NetApp has recognised this and can now accelerate this service adoption by securely synchronising data from on premise solutions to the AWS analytics services. This can reduce the “time to insight” from months to hours.

And as we move beyond 2017, we’ll continue to see more organisations transition to the cloud as they look to redefine their business models and derive the outcomes they want, faster. But if you don’t get it right, you risk creating silos of data in the cloud, unable to be leveraged in a data driven economy. You need to have a hybrid cloud data management strategy; at NetApp we call this a Data Fabric and we are well positioned to help your business architect a far simpler cloud data management strategy. Here’s to a prosperous 2017. We are looking forward to working with you!