Are you ready for the data juggernaut heading your way?

Are you ready for the data juggernaut heading your way?

By Mathew Zele, Business Development Manager – Cloud, Australia & New Zealand

Whilst no one can perfectly predict how we will conduct business in the future, two things are certain: we must consider short-, medium- and long-term horizons; and, we must anticipate more than one future. Easier said than done when it comes to planning for the juggernaut of data that many are predicting the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring. At NetApp, we are already laying the foundations today to manage an unknown tomorrow.

According to Gartner, a whopping 26 billion IoT devices will exist by 2020 and that figure excludes PCs, tablets and smart phones. Millions and millions of sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects will be linked through wired and wireless networks and will churn out huge volumes of data that will require real-time analysis.

It is not just the enormous number of internet-enabled devices that should be considered but, more importantly how is your business going to access, store and manage that data to deliver new revenue streams for your company?

All roads lead back to data

But with any trend being hailed as transformational comes talk of the many business opportunities that will present themselves. IoT will challenge business processes, and define new business models, creating competitive advantage for those who harness and manage it correctly.

However, McKinsey argues that business models based on today’s static information architectures face challenges as new ways of creating value arise. For example, when a customer’s buying preferences are sensed in real time at a specific location, dynamic pricing may increase the odds of a purchase.

These new models are not just confined to commercial advantage. Be The Match connects transplant patients and donors; its work facilitates thousands of potentially lifesaving transplants per year. Data is at the core of the registry and the transplant process. Naturally, the more efficiently it flows, the faster critical decisions can be made and the greater the chance that patients can be saved.

With a shared IT infrastructure built on a NetApp storage foundation, Be The Match is dramatically reducing the time to transplant and steadily increasing the number of transplants it facilitates annually. In 2007, it facilitated 3,700 transplants. In 2011 this number jumped to 5,500 and in 2015 it is projected to hit 10,000 over the course of the 12 months. By rethinking its storage infrastructure, Be The Match has transformed its business environment and is saving the lives of critically ill patients around the world.

Making sense of data

Making sense of any data and turning it into advantage requires a storage foundation that allows you to collect, analyse and manage the sheer volume of data quickly.

This storage foundation could be built on-premise in your datacenter; or you could leverage public cloud storage and software offerings to deliver both cost and time advantages to your business. We believe hybrid cloud will become the dominant vision for enterprise IT and help support the IoT. Not only does a hybrid cloud deployment free data to move unbound across private and public clouds, it also allows the enterprise to handle large amounts of data and keep scaling to keep up with growth.

NetApp believes in offering our customers choice and this belief sits at the heart of our new vision for cloud data management, Unbound Cloud. It is a completely new way of thinking about the cloud and is built on our breakthrough operating system of Data ONTAP®. On this platform, workloads are free to move dynamically across all your cloud resources thanks to built-in data portability capabilities, including the number one replication software in the industry. We want our customers to realise greater efficiencies by balancing workloads and resources in real time, turning CAPEX into OPEX, and risk into security.

NetApp has always been at the forefront of data efficiency technologies. With Data ONTAP® we’ve delivered innovations such as snapshots, de-duplication, compression, flexible clones and thin provisioning. These will all be critical in the new world of IoT; there is no other way to address the need to store and manage data at an affordable cost.

The future may be unknown but it’s a safe bet to predict that how we will work will be significantly altered in less than six years and if your business was challenged by BYOD, then it is critical to start planning now for the demands IoT will make on your network and storage platforms. The business that embraces a hybrid cloud environment today fit for a highly digitised tomorrow, hardwired for greater speed, scale and performance, will be the business that wins.