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Data is the new oil, but information is the new gold
Friday 29 September 2017
By Alex McMullan, EMEA CTO, Pure Storage
Across industries, the same question is being asked time and time again – ‘how do we get the most value from our data?’. In many organisations, only a small proportion of the data held is currently used to obtain actionable customer insights that help drive new revenue streams.
But the pace of technological advancement is growing fast, and consequently the volume and velocity of data is growing at an exponential rate. The problem is that the majority of businesses just aren’t keeping up.
As we shift from cloud computing architecture towards greater reliance on edge computing, the data demands involved are putting substantial pressure on networks. The datasets required to sustain the Internet of Things (IoT), for instance, are getting bigger but the challenge of collecting the data from thousands or millions of data sources and moving that data to the compute elements is proving tremendously difficult given existing network capabilities.
And this is only the beginning – over the next decade the business environment will be almost unrecognisable. Everything that can be connected will be, bringing greater efficiency to business processes, but the data involved in sustaining this will be enormous and it will be feeding a whole host of new artificial intelligence (AI) based applications and services.
For a long time, AI felt a nebulous concept. Now we’re seeing examples of machine learning in many aspects of our daily lives, and we will only become more accustomed to these technologies as chatbots and AI assistants become mainstream consumer technologies.
In a business context, companies are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible through AI. The world’s largest technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Amazon, are collectively investing billions in artificial intelligence, and turning the pools of data available to us into the fuel for machine intelligence.
But AI brings with it a dichotomy for those looking to invest. On one hand, the potential of AI to address macro challenges in critical areas such as healthcare and genomics is immense. On the other, it requires seriously strong infrastructure to underpin the innovation. Take the automotive industry – making autonomous cars a mainstream part of our lives will be a data-heavy task. Cars will need to be fed vast amounts of data to operate efficiently and safely. This industry will become a pool of data that needs to be managed.
Regardless of industry the useful processing of data, either contemporary or historical can add value to the bottom line as useful information is extracted and used to compete more effectively, innovate more rapidly, improve customer engagement and so on.
When it comes to processing data a simple, scalable, high-performance data centre environment is already one of the most powerful strategic assets any firm can possess, and that’s not going to change in the future. But as we’re moving to the cloud-era it brings with it a new set of demands for storage, with a requirement for a high degree of performance at scale.
Businesses need to act fast, so cloud-era flash storage must be able to handle data at speed, as high latency and data bottlenecks are going to have negative impact across the business. A cloud-era solution therefore focuses on exponentially expanding the value of data through faster and more reliable access. This enables businesses to build a new class of applications to extract new insights from data and leverage technology developments such as AI.
As we move into our AI defined data rich world, it’s critical that organisations start considering how they will be able to support their AI and ML systems to draw out those insights. After all it’s only when you can extract the information hidden in the data that the data itself becomes valuable.
To find out more about how flash can help your business in the data rich world come along to one of Pure Storage’s speaking slots during IP EXPO Europe:
Wednesday 4th Oct, 11:40-12:10 - Next Generation Storage for AI and Deep Learning
Wednesday 4th Oct, 14:20-14:50 - The First Mainstream NVMe Storage Array
Thursday 5th Oct, 11:00-11:30 - Synchronous Replication, Simplified