By 2023, the IDC predicts enterprises’ ability to rapidly develop their own digital innovations will be a core competitive requirement, writes Eran Brown, Chief Technology Officer for EMEA & APJ at Infinidat. This is as more than half of the worldwide economy will be digitally driven.

It is true that data is the new gold but it is not enough to simply know that the gold is there. You need the ability to search for it and refine it. So, while the capability of the modern business to excel is intrinsically linked to data, cost optimised infrastructure, high-availability and scalability is top of mind for CIOs today.

At the same time, there are three important considerations or challenges that CIOs face with regard to storage infrastructure: data residency, automation and digital transformation.

Significant risk

Data residency remains a major focus point due to data privacy laws. Many companies store huge amounts of private and sensitive customer data and migrating all of this information to the cloud could create a significant risk. Certain data within an organisation must remain ‘in country’, in order to comply with data residency Fortunately, there are many local options available to South African companies that ensure data is stored locally and securely, reducing the threat of a possible data breach.

Data sovereignty, the ability to maintain the privacy of data and have full control over it, is critical. Many businesses that migrate to a public cloud environment do not give as much consideration as they should to data sovereignty, until they suffer a data breach.

However, having control over your data isn’t sufficient – you also need agility, as you want to get projects completed faster. This is where automation comes into play, as companies will benefit by automating as many business processes, as possible. Automation has a compound interest effect, as the more processes you automate, the more time your staff has to automate more processes.

However, the problem for most companies is that their IT staff are IT specialists but  not necessarily software developers. What they need is a set of building blocks that allows them to automate without requiring advanced software development skills.

Flexible consumption models

Going to market with data-rich solutions can portray a company as an innovator that people want to do business with. However, in order to do so an organisation will also require elasticity. This, in turn provides agility to the environment, which will needs capacity to grow and adapt to changing market conditions quickly.

Conversely, while you don’t want to pay for these capacities in advance they must be available when you need them. This is where new and innovative consumption models are useful, making capacity available when it is needed, while only having to pay for after it is used.

CIOs should therefore keep in mind that successfully harnessing data is not about any particular storage technology but rather what this technology allows a business to do. There are plenty of storage technologies available but CIOs need to look towards a solution that is cost-effective, has a quick time to market and low associated risks.

It is time for organisations to shift their focus from the underlying technology and to review their competitive edge. It’s all about finding the right solution to drive down the cost of infrastructure, providing high availability that can survive a disaster yet scale rapidly when required.

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