Features, Insight, Opinion

Does data hoarding deliver the value enterprise needs?

Mohammad Al-Jallad, CTO & Director, UKIMEA, HPE, discusses the trend of data hoarding and how factors such as cost, viability and accessibility might hamper the value such data can provide to enterprises.

The initial scepticism of public cloud as the default place to hold all data was most likely well-founded. Even back then, with the march of the hyperscalers, enterprises had been on one hand ‘wide-eyed’ at the possibilities offered by cloud, whilst on the other concerned about issues of security and lack of maturity.

But with the digital revolution and the increased focus on agility, speed to market, fear of being left behind, and the need to store vast amounts of data somewhere – the ‘public cloud-first’ strategy took flight. Trepidation had given way to necessity – public cloud became a fashionable trend.

HPE Opinion. The hoarding of data at current trends adds an astonishing 328.77 million terabytes* every day. It means public cloud cannot sustain this exponential growth in data without fresh thinking. Organisations need to pay special attention.

*https://explodingtopics.com/blog/data-generated-per-day#how-much. Based on ‘created’ data to include new data generated, captured, copied or consumed.

There have been public cloud only success stories of course, particularly when it comes to scalability and innovation-architecting and testing. But commentators, analysts and even enterprises, perhaps through the prism of time and lessons learned, are increasingly questioning whether the vast amounts of data these endeavours generate is best stored on public cloud only.

The “store it all” approach to data management is no longer feasible. Nowadays, we’re seeing more nuanced and sophisticated thinking about how data is best stored and how value can be extracted. At the heart of this thinking is the adoption of hybrid cloud.

Solving the data mountain vs data value equation

Enterprises will need to resolve this question if they are to have ‘win-win’ stories to tell about how they’re to achieve remarkable outcomes in transforming the way they work, the services they provide, and the experiences they offer their customers and employees.

For example, what do organisations do about the continuous flow of huge quantities of data originating at the edge? There’s not sufficient bandwidth in the system to make this sustainable, and even if there was, the costs would be prohibitive in the extreme. Hoarding everything would make little practical or commercial sense unless policies and protocols were in place to prioritise some data by the value of the insights to be drawn, versus less informative and ultimately unrewarding data. So…

Question 1: Will they continue to hoard data?

Many companies HAVE decided to retain every bit of data they’ve ever generated digitally and will generate. This as a hedge to the possibility that one day they be able to extract value from it. The positive to this is that they ‘may’ be proved right – but only time will tell.

Question 2: Will the wait for value, justify the costs?

Some take the approach that all data is valuable because at some point we’ll figure out how to analyse it and it’ll have purpose. If they are incorrect, and consequently pay significant fees for storing data, they will have difficulty accessing or using it in any demonstrably valuable way.

Question 3: Is their hoarded data easily accessible?

It’s one thing to put data into a ‘convenient’ repository, quite another to have it readily available and usable through categorisation. Research tells us that EMEA organisations hold on average 54% dark data** – data that cannot be identified*. This has a significant impact on what organisations can do with this data (if anything), and perhaps more importantly waste, on storage costs.


Question 4: Are they concerned about data sovereignty?

So, Company X has a huge amount of legacy data it hopes will one day mean something from a commercial perspective. How do they feel about that data being almost entirely stored in one nation state – something more prevalent with public cloud as opposed to hybrid cloud?

Question 5: How important is control over their data?

Company Y has all their data stored with just one hyperscaler. Whilst there’s no reason to suspect anything negative, what future guarantee does the business have that they won’t get ‘locked-in’, with the power over their data shifting to the provider?

Question 6: How do they feel about sustainability?

The extraordinary data hoarding enterprises have practiced over the last decade (and continue to produce every day) leads to the uncomfortable truth that public cloud cannot sustain the growth. At least not without large scale investment in infrastructure and the negative impacts on utilisable space and energy resources.

Why HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud is the key to answer the storage vs value equation?

The conversation has shifted. It’s moved away from storing all data in one destination, simply because there appears to be no viable alternative. The narrative is now about embracing the reality that data can be prioritised by the value it will and does provide, over what it might.

Adopting hybrid cloud also means enterprises will benefit from an operations point-of-view as they are they’ll be able to exercise greater control over the data they value most, from a cost management perspective, directly onto the balance sheet.

HPE GreenLake for Storage built on Alletra MP offers a cloud-like storage experience that provides organisations with a modern hybrid cloud environment. A solution that frees enterprises from any concerns they may have about public cloud making data prioritisation inflexible, or compromising accessibility, control, security, sustainability and cost transparency.

To learn more about modernising your data as a building block for the future, visit: https://www.hpe.com/ae/en/storage.html

Image Credit: HPE

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