2017: The Year Ahead

2017: The Year Ahead

Glenn McPherson, Managing Director ANZ, NetApp

In 2017 data will continue to be the new ‘oil’ of the digital economy, with the potential to disrupt every facet of the enterprise; inclusive of new business models, new market offerings, and improved customer interactions. If we look back at 2016, the rapid explosion of data shifted to become the forefront of business priorities. As a result, more and more enterprises are embracing digital transformation as the key to opening new revenue streams and driving business growth. This explosion continues to accelerate, as businesses take advantage of the incredible insight and advantage they can gain by their access to and utilisation of data.

With that in mind, here are my thoughts on two key trends I expect to shape the technology sector over the next year.

Data fuels the digital economy
During 2017, data will fuel our evolving digital world. Businesses are shifting to utilising data for advanced analytics, leveraging learnings to provide differentiated service outcomes to their customers, and breaking into new markets. Put simply, a company’s data strategy is the business strategy.

TechnologyOne is a good example of this. TechnologyOne is an enterprise software services company, that is constantly improving and evolving the experience they provide their customers by the insights they gain and services they can offer from the data they manage. They securely store, manage, protect and access their data via an architecture where data can move in and out of clouds as needed for performance, accessibility, and cost benefits, whilst maintaining security and privacy as mandated by local and international regulators. Something their competitors can only dream of.

To keep pace with the evolution of digital disruption and facilitate digital business, online organisations, like ING DIRECT have shifted their data centre operations to an agile development environment as a means of quickly creating new services for their customers to access online. In doing so, they are disrupting their own and competitors’ traditional financial offerings. We’ll see more companies embrace this DevOps approach in 2017. Watch this space for more guidance on building out an agile development environment later in the year.

Cloud accelerates a service-orientated approach
As service-driven solutions increase in popularity, the volume of data in the cloud will in turn escalate.

However, as organisations shift towards the cloud, they’re also realising the benefits of cloud, such as readily accessible compute resources, and “pay as you go” commercial terms.

As utilisation of cloud increases, controlling the movement of data in and out or between clouds, along with ensuring the performance of the platforms serving data will increasingly become a focal point and need in 2017. Organisations are realising that if they focus on just one area, in isolation of key data management requirements such as cloud accessibility, performance and efficiency, and securely enabling data mobility, they risk creating silos of data, where data becomes trapped unable to be leveraged effectively for the business it is intended to serve.

A software enabled data fabric solution embedded in any storage / data management offering is therefore becoming critical to the digital disruption occurring in business today. NetApp has worked hard over the last two years to provide our customers and partners with greater clarity around the importance of Data Fabric and its ability to transform IT and business environments. 2017 will be the year it shifts from the early adoption phase to mainstream. We will see more customers using Data Fabric as a foundation for their data management strategy to allow them to shift their data in and out of various cloud offerings and consume the services easily and securely. In doing so, this offers an improved solution and service to the customers they serve.

As we move beyond 2017, we’ll see more organisations look to redefine business models around today’s data-driven economy, and transition to the cloud enabled by Data Fabric. Now is the time to ensure your business is well positioned to architect a simple and reliable cloud data management strategy.

At NetApp, we’re looking forward to helping you do just that. Here’s to an exciting and prosperous 2017!