Data is, and always will be, the lifeblood of an organisation. This year the total amount of data managed by businesses worldwide is expected to reach 6.32 zettabytes (6,320,000,000,000 gigabytes). But in just five years that will increase to 28 zettabytes (28,000,000,000,000 gigabytes).
This means that data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009, emphasising the importance of organisations having a workable enterprise data management strategy.
Flexibility – the most important factor of any enterprise data management strategy
Although your business can be sure that data storage requirements will grow exponentially, calculating by exactly how much is much harder. The statistics above suggest allowing for between 400% and 500% over the next five years, but is that going to be too much or too little for your particular business?
With the assistance of an enterprise data strategist, you should be able to develop a roadmap that will support your data growth. For the best outcomes, your business needs to ensure that flexibility remains a cornerstone of the plan.
To build for the future, there are two initial options that will heavily influence the rest of your enterprise data management strategy:
- Developing an in-house data warehouse that will scale in line with your data storage needs.
- Using a dedicated hosting or cloud storage service which scales up according to need, albeit as the responsibility of the provider.
A third route, of course, is a mix of both options but that will require care as you move to the cloud, with someone identified and in place to manage the migration process.
For many businesses, maintaining the status quo with the first option is fairly attractive initially. But data storage is only the first part of the equation – there also needs to be sufficient backup provision to protect data against loss. This level of redundancy will add significantly to the cost of the plan and simultaneously reduce the available flexibility:
- Significant capital expenditure on facilities as well as storage and backup solutions.
- Ongoing licensing, support and maintenance costs.
- Potential problems caused by upgrade limitations, hardware compatibility issues and long-term manufacturer support.
Building an enterprise data management strategy via an outsourced hosting provider or data centre operator will help to avoid these issues, however:
- Cloud solutions are paid on a subscription basis, making the transition to an operational expenditure model straightforward.
- Hardware and backup provisioning becomes the responsibility of the service provider, including compatibility and future-proofing.
- Additional capacity is provisioned automatically, ensuring upper storage limits are never reached.
- Support, licensing and maintenance are all included as part of the subscription agreement.
- Cloud replication or data co-location ensures that information is protected against loss, and dramatically improves availability.
Building for the future
A good enterprise data management strategy should not only seek to manage the storage and processing needs of the next year or two, but instead establish a platform that can be relied on many years into the future. Taking a longer-term view of data management will help to avoid many of the common problems associated with capacity limitations, or technology obsolescence.
- Data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009 – will your business cope?
- Does your business have sufficient backup provision to handle any adverse circumstances leading to data loss?
- Would your business benefit from building an enterprise data management strategy via an outsourced hosting provider or data centre operator?