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Panzura 2020 Predictions: The year of the collaboration economy

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Rich Weber, CPO, Panzura

The year of the collaboration economy

2020 will be the era of the hyper-competitive enterprise, where the ability of an organization to thrive depends on its ability to disrupt the competitive advantage held by industry leaders. Moreover, hyper-competition will continue to accelerate, as businesses vie for a greater slice of market share by out-competing each other using a wide range of real-time tactics. Some might adjust their prices to just slightly lower than their closest competitor, while others, such as airlines, tweak their ticket prices up until departure time. Video gaming companies, too, will do whatever it takes to leapfrog their competition by iterating their offering as quickly as possible. 

However, no organization can call itself hyper-competitive unless its employees are able to access and work on data in real-time, regardless of where they are located. 

Employees' skillsets are infinitely more valuable to employers than their proximity to key business location.  This is why virtually every vertical industry sector has distributed teams who are tasked with continuously creating and tweaking project deliveries to stay ahead of, or exploit micro-markets, as they arise. In fact, the common maxim today is that every business is a software one, and as entire industries become software-driven at their core, global companies must be able to develop applications 24/7/365, beating back the competition to gain crucial market share.

Disappointing digital transformation

This need for collaboration has seen many companies rush to the cloud to achieve this vision, only to be disappointed by the results. While the cloud is often touted as a ‘silver bullet' that gives enterprise employees the freedom to collaborate from anywhere, at any time, in truth, conventional cloud data storage solutions are having the reverse effect. They stifle collaboration, hamper productivity, and end up being detrimental to the business in the long run.

Unfortunately, when the concept of real-time collaboration is applied to much larger files which are located in the cloud, conventional technology hampers the real-time experience. This results in employees having to deal with slow and incremental changes to project files, which they are locked out of for significant periods of time, and takes the hyper-competitive edge away from businesses by denying them efficient workflows, competitive advantage, and the ability to develop new products and services, and to create new revenue streams to drive profitability.

Legacy File Locking Technologies

There's no doubt that Legacy File Locking technologies remain the most significant challenge to collaboration in multi- and hybrid-cloud environments.  This is because, when multiple users across different geographies need to collaborate on the same files within the same organization, legacy solutions require files to be replicated.  This results in massive bandwidth consumption as well as issues with file versioning, copy data sprawl, write collisions, and potentially data corruption. 

Because of this, the challenge for businesses across the board is how to drive the real-time data file collaboration that is so crucial to them, between teams that are globally dispersed, and at the same time, steer clear of outdated, traditional conventional File Locking technologies which hamper business agility, kills business opportunities and significantly lengthens time-to-market. 

This is made even more complex when you consider that not only is the volume of data growing exponentially, it is quickly spreading across the enterprise, residing in silos among disparate sites and infrastructure, and forming data islands. This is creating another major stumbling block for organizations, who wish to rapidly mobilize and access their data, by making a unified search for data across the businesses close to impossible. The result - they end up throwing more and more money at solutions which claim to solve to the multi-cloud conundrum, but that are not up to the task.

Not all solutions are created equal

While there are solutions on the market that profess to solve data sprawl and legacy file locking, not all solutions are created equally. An increasing number of corporations are looking for cloud-native solutions that enable distributed teams to collaborate seamlessly, and in real-time, on the files they need to, regardless of their geographic location.

Regardless of the specific strengths or weaknesses of the solution you choose, ensure it is holistic rather than piecemeal and satisfies the following three requirements:

  1. Real World Global Collaboration: The solution must allow team members to work together in real-time without changing workflows and processes that are proven to work.
  2. Impact on Organizational Speed: The solution must be fast to use by any team member using the platform anywhere. And it must remain fast even as the utilization scales.
  3. Overall Enterprise Value: The solution must be priced in a way that allows senior leaders to justify the near term spend and demonstrate long term value in driving growth.


About the Author

Rich Weber 

With over 20 years of experience in the enterprise software, networking and storage industries, Rich Weber is hands-on manager of product management, IT and operations teams. He has also previously held Director and VP-level roles in product management and operations. Before joining Panzura, Rich was VP of Operations at Opvista and prior to that ran operations at Wi-Fi infrastructure provider Trapeze Networks, which was acquired by Belden in 2008.

Published Friday, December 27, 2019 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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