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Letter from the Editor: Welcome to Insights

Samta Bansal

Michael Zimmerman

Managing Editor, Insights, Hitachi Vantara

Michael Zimmerman is Managing Editor of Thought Leadership, including Insights and the corporate Newsroom, at Hitachi Vantara. Before joining the company in 2021, Michael spent more than 25 years in journalism and communications, managing editorial teams and working directly with business leaders and decision makers from across the technology and political spectrums to mine and craft stories of import and interest.

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When NASA launched its James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) a few weeks ago, its mission was as large as the 7.2-ton payload: to reach back in time, to the depths of the ever-expanding universe for clues and insights about the formation of the very first galaxies. It’s no small feat or quest, considering the amount of the visible universe is less than 5% of the total universe. NASA is going well beyond the one billion stars within our Milky Way for this project, and well beyond the approximate several hundred billion neighboring galaxies looking for clarity and answers.

Looking for clarity in expanding universes should ring familiar. Back here on Earth we continue to generate, retain and share increasingly larger and larger volumes of data each day. As a result, it’s becoming ever more difficult to capture, analyze, and synthesize that information into useful, strategic decision-making. Consider IDC’s Global DataSphere study from 2021 that estimated that 64.2 zettabytes of data was “created or replicated” in 2020, far outpacing other earlier prognostications (1ZB = about one trillion GB). But that’s not all. The report also predicted that over the next five years the world would generate more than twice the amount of data created since the “advent of digital storage.”

A variety of indicators support the projections, from a rise in data hoarding and lax retention programs to machine-based data-generating devices, not to mention cultural phenomena including social media and smart phones. Connected IoT devices, on their own are expected to generate 73.1 zettabytes by 2025. Meanwhile, half of the world’s population is using smart phones, more than one billion are on TikTok, and as of this writing almost two billion sites (and growing by the second) crowd the World Wide Web.

Your Guidance System

As businesses embark and progress on their digital transformation journeys, corralling and making sense of their own growing data volumes can seem like a drifting dream. Expanding distributed environments, ever-complicated mixes of on-premises datacenters and private and public clouds, scattered edge networks, and entrenched siloed pockets of productivity are just some of the digital challenges they face.

What’s needed for the hybrid cloud and data-driven world is guidance, as much as solutions. What’s needed in the crush of product and services material are perspectives from people who have architected massive data migrations, cloud integrations, application modernization, smarter infrastructure mapping, and much more; perspectives that put data and its accessibility, availability, scalability and security, at the core.

That’s the charge for Insights by Hitachi Vantara, our new site that’s dedicated to publishing fresh perspectives and points of view on the latest data trends and innovations. Through context and best-practices our goal is to serve as a trusted resource for those architecting or fine-tuning their data-driven strategies; to augment your research, confirm your understanding, or spark new ideas.

On Insights by Hitachi Vantara we’ll work to share stories that give you new ways to consider your approach to data, from the datacenter to the edge because we believe in its power to positively impact everything from sustainability to supply chain management, from the enterprise to the environment.

The Surround Sound of Silence

Consider the nonprofit Rainforest Connection which works with governments around the world to preserve vital ecosystems by preventing illegal logging and fires by listening for anomalies in the forest. With solar-powered IoT acoustic sensors placed across the canopy of a forest, the organization collects acoustic recordings of virtually every living, moving thing from beetles to baboons. It analyzes the mountains of data and develops “bio-acoustic signatures,” base-levels of what a normal day or night sounds like. Once the signatures are created the org uses the sensors to monitor the forest continuously, and through AI, alert officials when deviations in the sounds are detected.

Remarkably, what it found was that the sound of the forest changes long before a logger pulls the starter cord on the chainsaw. Animals complain with intrusions, they move, they grow silent. When such anomalies are detected, alerts are automatically sent to officials on the ground, who can deploy to the scene with precision to stop illegal activity before it occurs. That’s a far cry from traditional manual surveillance that includes scheduled physical inspections, which usually results in identifying the remains of illegal activity.

The Rainforest Connection’s surround-sound approach to data management and analysis drives home the possibility and opportunity of the data-driven organization.

And as organizations around the planet lean in on advanced data management and analysis to optimize their ever-expanding enterprises, they too will reap the benefits of insight and clarity to make better, more strategic decisions.

Look for much more in the way of thought-provoking stories and videos with practical applications on the pages of Insights by Hitachi Vantara in the days, weeks and months to come. And welcome.

Send us a note with comments, story ideas, reflections and experiences of your own. We’d love to hear from you. And subscribe to get stories emailed to you – as they post.

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