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DataGravity 2015 Predictions: What smarter storage trends mean for IT in 2015


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Jeff Boehm, vice president of marketing at DataGravity

What smarter storage trends mean for IT in 2015

There's a common thread in the news and trends that gripped us in 2014: despite the industry's best efforts, our data could not always be maintained. "Big data" was one of the year's top buzz phrases, maintaining its presence in our business decisions and conversations with colleagues, customers and partners. However, we also started seeing the dark underside that can accompany large amounts of amassed data and the risks to compliance and privacy if that data isn't properly managed.

Over the year, whether dark data posed risks to unknowing organizations, a lack of intelligence and analytics led to unforeseen costs and lulls in productivity, or sensitive data was exposed to the public domain and its security was compromised, many news stories in IT and beyond seemed to reaffirm the industry's need for intelligent storage and governance policies. Thankfully, with this need fully recognized and a market for solutions to these problems established, 2015 is on track to become the year these issues are solved.

Below are the top trends we expect will take shape in 2015, some of which we've already started to see:

People will expect more of their storage.

Let's be honest; you didn't buy your smartphone just to make calls. Across a business and around the home, devices and technology are becoming more intelligent and more capable of delivering new insights that make owners' lives easier. Our thermostats, refrigerators, cars and watches have increasing compute power that helps them collect data, learn our behaviors and adjust their own in order to better complement our routines and goals. Just as users now expect these devices to offer a rich set of features beyond basic functions, IT will soon expect primary storage platforms to support analytics, governance and more.

One of the top drivers in this shift in thinking is an increased focus on education within IT. Companies are learning to ask targeted questions of their data in order to shed light on insights that measurably improve business, and those who have not yet adopted data-aware technologies are recognizing the impact of new innovations in the IT industry. As business intelligence and the ability to derive insights from data becomes a built-in part of the storage experience, IT professionals and business users will use these new features to help customers, partners and employees better understand the implications and potential of stored data.

Dormant data will no longer be a hindrance.

Most people come to a point in life when they realize it's easier to go to the doctor for a standard checkup before they're forced to go when a problem becomes unbearable, and the same concept is being applied to the data center. Dark data, or the files, messages and information in dormant storage on company servers and devices, was once seen as a hindrance to an organization and a drain on its expenses. Now, it's becoming an active concern.

Dark data can include elements that pose serious security and compliance risks for the company, but the company has no way to uncover those risks until it's too late. To proactively manage this untouched information, companies are beginning to employ best practices for data governance and implement routine data maintenance procedures.

IT will get serious about compliance and security.

Business, IT and even consumer news in 2014 was peppered with security breaches, violated protocols and cyberattacks launched against individuals and enterprises alike. In 2015, companies will be more prepared with the resources they need to identify, manage and prevent these issues. In particular, IT and business leaders will be more mindful of the risks that can begin before their eyes.

Companies will now pay closer attention to which users have access to certain files, and what power those users have to edit, share or manage files. This will extend beyond an organization's walls to include every member of its ecosystem, from channel partners to end users. Did an employee leave the company after mistakenly storing financial information in the public domain? Did a customer support interaction with a customer involve the transfer of personally identifiable information (PII) that was not properly encrypted after it was shared? To respond to these potential violations in security, organizations will strengthen ongoing governance strategies and careful data analysis, and enable every employee to function as a data detective.

IT is climbing the corporate ladder.

Data-aware storage is taking insights traditionally confined in a company's back room and moving them to the executive board room. Data is now recognized as one of an organization's most strategic assets, and IT teams - the stewards for that data - have become the providers of a critical business function. As a result, business leaders will no longer see IT teams merely as providers of services and support for line-of-business (LOB) applications. Instead, they will begin to recognize IT's role in assisting LOB users and the business as a whole.

New awareness around data security will also play a role in this shift in perception. Since the consequences of outdated storage and governance have a widespread effect on an organization, from its customers to its professional contacts, the responsibility to recover from an outage or breach is similarly distributed across employees and management levels. In 2015, all eyes will be on IT to lead the way into a data-aware future that can provide security for every professional who is looking for it.

Beyond the storage industry, 2015 looks to be a rich year full of advancements and innovation, as well as surprises. We're looking forward to reading how it is defined by its headlines, as well as the industry's attitudes toward them. Until this new culture takes shape, we know that the one thing we can count on is that this will be the year IT demands more of its storage and receives business insights from its data.  


About the Author

Jeff Boehm is the vice president of marketing at DataGravity. Jeff brings more than 20 years of experience with a rare combination of marketing skills, organizational leadership and technical background to DataGravity. Having shaped the business intelligence and search markets working for industry pioneers and disrupters, Jeff is excited to be redefining the storage market.
Published Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:17 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:57 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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