As enterprises move through digital transformation, the evolution to data-centric decision-making and technology-based strategies, data growth rates are very high. In a recent IDC survey, 51% of respondents indicated their data volume is expected to grow between 20% and 49% in 2022, and 31% of respondents expected growth rates to be somewhere between 50% and 99%. Roughly 80% of this data will be unstructured as most of the new applications being deployed as part of digital transformation will be fueled by unstructured data.
Digital transformation, and specifically data-centric decision-making, requires investment in data infrastructure. And yet, many IT organizations do not know how to go about designing a data infrastructure. Challenges that IT decision makers (ITDMs) face when setting it up include:
- Making the connection between the data plane and the storage infrastructure that holds the data. If data storage is not efficiently implemented and/or managed, data integration and analytics processing will suffer. Conversely, data intelligence gathered in the data plane can be leveraged to optimize storage decisions and locations to ensure compliance with internal and external policies. ITDMs need to look for storage vendors that provide solutions to make this connection natively.
- Ensuring that the data infrastructure is future-ready. IT leaders are becoming increasingly disenchanted with rising cloud costs, such as high egress costs, and are looking to take certain workloads back to private data centers. This shift is leading to a dramatic change in consumption patterns for data storage. Storage is shifting from being consumed exclusively on-premises to being consumed in a hybrid manner, including in and via public and dedicated cloud environments. ITDMs should ensure their hybrid cloud infrastructure is designed to be scalable and elastic and has the metering features of a cloud offering with an OpEx expense profile that works well in today’s uncertain macroeconomic environment.
Evaluating Data Infrastructure Vendors
So, what should ITDMs consider when evaluating a tech provider to help solve those challenges? IDC recommends the following:
1. Look for a provider that delivers a full suite of performance and capacity-optimized storage solutions that meet the needs of your main workloads.
2. Look for a provider that can deliver operationally friendly, flexible consumption services when procuring newer on-premises storage.
3. Look for solutions that are designed to work in a hybrid cloud environment, with performance and capacity on and off ramps for workloads to move between on-premises and public cloud environments.
4. Look for a provider that offers a solution that natively connects the data plane to the storage infrastructure, delivering storage infrastructure as code.
5. Finally, as businesses focus more on return on data-related investments, their need for reliable data infrastructure will increase, leading them to invest more with vendors that have a solid reputation in delivering storage infrastructure for enterprise IT and industrial IoT and operational technology (OT) use cases.
IT organizations are seeking a comprehensive product and services portfolio that can help them effectively design and deploy hybrid cloud infrastructures, enterprise applications, and IIoT/IT/OT solutions more successfully while architecting the infrastructures to extract data more intelligently to drive business initiatives.
Potential customers also want to know how their technology providers deal with their products’ impact on carbon emissions in their facilities and overall operations and are interested in KPIs around sustainability; this environmental focus is clearly a factor in procurements and RFPs.
IDC sees technology providers investing heavily in sustainability efforts and ITDMs are engaging with the ones that are addressing their key concerns.
Considering Hitachi Vantara
Over the past few years, Hitachi Vantara has made a conscious effort to capitalize on key dynamics shaping the IT market. The company foresaw that a pure-play storage infrastructure vendor had to move its value proposition up the stack, expanding into data-driven intelligence. Hitachi Vantara is making some big bets for the future around:
- Simplifying infrastructure with software-defined capabilities
- Being data-driven with more value from AI and cognitive solutions for customer value
- Scaling solutions horizontally with differentiating vertically via an industry cloud strategy.
Hitachi Vantara is working to optimize these horizontally applicable solutions for specific verticals via an industry cloud strategy. Finally, Hitachi Vantara’s converged IT/OT strategy is worth noting.
Learn more about how Hitachi Vantara can help you design and deploy hybrid cloud infrastructures to extract data more intelligently and drive your business initiatives.
Ashish Nadkarni is Group Vice President and General Manager within IDC’s worldwide infrastructure research organization.