Data-centric storage – how to see the wood for the trees in the data jungle

Main visual : Data-centric storage – how to see the wood for the trees in the data jungle

Do you remember all those data strategy graphs that showed the value of data declining over time? The graph line inevitably plummeted downwards towards the bottom right hand corner – where older data was, apparently, fit only for long-term, low-cost storage – probably never to be accessed again, but retained on tape, perhaps in a vault deep underground, forever. 

Those days are over, as today’s graphs show exactly the opposite: That data value is rising over time – well beyond its use in live production apps. So, what has turned the world of data on its head to such an extent?

You could probably write the answer something like this: ‘value = big data x analytics x AI’. Add in DEV and QA testing to the mix for good measure - plus the profound online upswing created by the pandemic – and you can see that the value of data is only heading upwards. Just look at the business models (and profits) of Facebook, Amazon and a host of other data-driven firms to see the truth of this equation.

But although the intrinsic value of data has changed, one thing has not – and that’s the need to find a way not only to survive, but to thrive in the data jungle.

Data as a profit center

For any organization generating huge quantities of data, making data pay for itself has got to be welcome news. Storing and managing data is not cheap. The ability to derive new value from it can not only offset the costs of storage but also create entirely new profit centers.

Businesses now have the opportunity to become data-driven. The journey of digital transformation depends on how well organizations can collect, store and manage data, and integrate it into their enterprise operations to transform information into money.

There’s a lot to be gained. For marketers, data provides insights on customer behavior, advertising effectiveness, A/B design testing and semantic analysis. For supply chains, it is the lifeblood of automated warehouses, real-time tracking, route management and last-mile efficiency. And in healthcare it enables telemedicine, real-time health monitoring, predictive analysis and electronic health records. These are just a few of the possibilities on offer.

You may ask: How has the Covid pandemic impacted this? What’s next now immediate crisis IT responses are in place? For us, the overall direction remains the same post-pandemic: businesses need to establish a data-driven transformation strategy to align infrastructure with the increasing value of data that the company is generating. In fact, what we have seen during the crisis is an even greater uptake of the technologies needed for transformation, especially with a focus on the short-term.

It’s a data jungle out there

Let’s start with the data itself, which can often be uncontainable and unruly. Just like the jungle itself, it is certainly ever-growing and challenging to manage, and exists in diverse formats. It can also be disorganized and difficult to access, while parts of it may be lost or have incorrect values, and other parts are simply unexplored.

Then there are the multitude of technology solutions. You will be well aware that data storage is not a single, commoditized purchase item. There are diverse data storage technologies that are each efficient, secure, available and easy to manage, when deployed in the correct environment for the right objectives, of course.

Finding the right path through this jungle is often a challenge but a trusted partner can help guide your choices and make the process easier and more efficient. Fujitsu's approach to data-driven transformation is to provide a wide choice: a combination of best in class technologies, including traditional systems and more modern approaches like Software-Defined Storage (SDS) and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI), supported by Data Protection solutions like backup and archive. When you have a data-centric storage core in place, then you can start to look at how to extract additional value from your data.

Hacking a path through the data jungle

The first step is identifying optimum selections for your organization’s current and future environments by working through questions that isolate key needs and challenges. This will help identify where a technology provides a perfect fit and – just as important – where better options are available to match specific needs.

Find out more about the data storage technologies that are available on our new data storage hub, where the concepts and benefits are explained in more detail. You’ll also find guidance and planning advice in the form our ‘Flashlights’ – these are insightful guides, written by analysts such as Freeform Dynamics, which cover specific aspects of data-centric storage. To start with, there are three flashlights available for free download:

Keep an eye on the hub over the next few months, as we will add more in-depth content on each storage technology to help you navigate the data jungle.