I just read a great article on some of the top technology enabled business trends for the next ten years, published by McKinsey, and I can’t help thinking that my assumptions of the huge potential for data growth over the coming decade are too low, by a lot.
The article, and its more detailed 52 page whitepaper, covers some fascinating ways that IT is enabling transformative new business approaches. Some of the trends have obvious implications for the volume of data we capture and analyze. The Social Matrix and Digital Commerce will drive a higher volume of data surrounding interactions and transactions of all kinds. The Big Data trend will also have the inevitable effect that as companies derive benefit from capturing more operations data and analyzing it, they will want to keep doing more to drive additional benefits. And as the Next 3 Billion Digital Citizens come online, their pure additional volume will magnify existing trends.
But then there are the trends that will change the ways that businesses operate. As the Big Data revolution of capturing and analyzing data surrounding these operations picks up steam, these new business approaches will begin to throw off a lot of data, leading to a cascading effect on demand for managing that data for use in production applications and for business analysis. The Internet of Things, the blending of Digital/Physical, and the Personalization of Experiences will create more interactions and more related metrics to capture, manage, and analyze. The same explosion of data capture, analysis, and optimization that occurred in the online world over the last 10 years will occur in these physical and blended worlds at an exponentially higher level of volume.
Automating Knowledge Work will drive attendant data volumes as while “computers” learn they will need to store “memories” of previous interactions and “stored accumulated knowledge” to do their “jobs.” Anything As A Service will require deep tracking of usage data for operations and billing. And as data Transforms Government, Healthcare, and Education, the demand for it will explode. As citizens get a taste of open government, you can be sure there will be a push for capturing even more data around government operations to share. Personal health monitoring will balloon the health data that is captured, stored and analyzed. And Education transformation will drive data growth as means of content creation and learning assessments evolve.
Across all of these trends, the concept of “anything that can be measured, captured, analyzed, and used to drive actions, will be” will rule the day. Many implementations of Big Data analysis today simply throw analysis at the already large data sets being captured by today’s methods of doing business. These new trends have the potential to throw off exponentially more data. Staging it for production will be one issue, but the potential for exponentially higher demand for storing this data will make efficient copy data management essential.
We have seen the storage explosion in the enterprise over the last several years occur when the rate of growth in production data has been largely linear and connected to the rate of growth of the organization. The storage explosion has occurred because siloed systems for data protection, business continuity, archiving, analysis and more have applied point solutions while ignoring the very real costs driven by redundant copy storage and management.
As these new business trends play out, I can’t help but think that the underlying graph of primary data will begin to slope up in a large way. And if the slope of the production data growth accelerates, you can be sure that the slope of the Copy Data curve will accelerate 5x. Those organizations that don’t get a handle on their copy data problem today will have even larger problems tomorrow. They should be afraid of what awaits them.
The recent whitepaper on the Copy Data Management Market by IDC backs this up, saying “solving the copy data problem is a key enabler for next-generation datacenters.” As organizations plot the path of their future data management needs to enable many of the trends above, Copy Data Management will be key.
Because of this, Copy Data Management really is a core enabling technology that will pave the way for some very cool changes in how businesses operate. Without it, organizations might be stuck watching others embrace the future while they lack the ability to take advantage of the future of data.
Image credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilgengebroed/8249565455/