As data use continues to grow how can a business ensure that its network can cope with increasing users demands without having to completely reengineer their infrastructure?
Data is expanding at a frantic pace.
According to IDC, data creation has doubled in size every two years, and by 2025 the digital universe (the amount of data created and copied annually) will grow to 163 zettabytes (ZB), or one trillion gigabytes. That equates to ten times the 16.1ZB of data generated in 2016.
This growth has come about largely due to the rapid adoption of smart phones and devices globally over the last five years, with consumers creating mounds of data at home and on the move in the form of social media posts, photos, and streaming media through gaming or platforms such as Netflix and Spotify.
It is estimated that there will be more than 6.1 billion smartphone users globally by 2020, and around 20.4 billion connected devices in use by 2020 as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand. By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day – basically one interaction every 18 seconds.
Social media aside, it has been estimated that by 2025, nearly 20 per cent of the data in the digital universe will be critical to people’s daily lives, and nearly 10 per cent of that will be hypercritical. That is a pretty scary statistic.
But data growth is not just limited to the consumer space. The consumer and corporate worlds have definitely collided when it comes to new technology adoption and data creation. The corporate world is creating data at a breakneck speed as it grows and matures, be it through the use of analytics software to monitor customer behaviour and feedback, or its own employees using smart connected devices to work remotely, as well as in the office.
This is happening at every level from micro-businesses to large enterprises, across all vertical markets, and in both the private and public sector. Data is the food of business, allowing organisations to analyse customer habits, streamline processes and tailor services and product sets to ensure maximum take-up. But currently just 0.5 per cent of data is analysed, meaning there is an explosion to come as more organisations sign up to the benefits of making their own data work for them. IDC estimates that the amount of data analysed will grow by a factor of 50 by 2025.
Therein lies the rub. All this data creation and remote user demand puts pressure on a corporate infrastructure, and raises the problem of where to actually store all the data created without clogging the network. This is where the cloud comes into its own.
There is also the question of security – in many cases, the data created is sensitive information – and a proliferation in the number of cyber-attacks and ransomware demands, mean it is imperative to keep all data safe, and ensure a proper disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity system is in place.
As much as data can define a company, losing it can be catastrophic – not only because of the consequences of losing the data itself, but the fact that it can send a business over the edge.
However, not every business has unlimited resources to invest in a newer, faster network, and execute a rip-and-replace infrastructure refresh on a regular basis.
But they need to ensure they can cope with the data explosion of the future, and remain secure, competitive and relevant to their customers.
How this is done needn’t break the bank, and will save money in the long-run.
Every business should be encouraged to invest in proper security, DR and business continuity solutions, which means that should the worst happen, they are able to recover quickly and painlessly. They also need to have a strategy for storing the vast amounts of data they will generate.
The simplest solution for most businesses is to make the journey into the cloud and manage the data in a way that takes the pressure off their own physical networks, such as cloud-based data archiving or investing in object storage or a cloud-based ERP/CRM system.
SCC offer a range of services from Cloud to PWAN that enables businesses to seamlessly expand as the organisation grows. By creating a virtual environment that is monitored, secured and controlled by a trusted IT partner, not only will the data be safe and easily accessible, but the physical infrastructure and network will not be overloaded, meaning the business can continue to focus on growth and servicing its own customers.