Oceans of data: Storage challenge or opportunity?

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It’s nothing new: data growth, conservatively estimated between 25 – 40 percent per year, can easily outpace IT budget growth by a factor of 10. While it’s easy to simply categorize the ever-expanding “oceans of data” all around us as a challenge, many others gravitate to its inherent opportunities.

The data being created in today’s always-on, digital world creates unprecedented potential, and those that are able to uncover and act upon new insights from their oceans of data can realize a competitive edge. Regardless of the box you occupy on your company’s organization chart, I’m sure you can easily come up with examples whereby better use of your data could have a positive impact on your business.

Who can benefit from data?
More and more line of business leaders are looking to data as an immense opportunity, examples of which include:

  • Chief Marketing Officers (CMO’s) thirst for insights on buyer behavior and what next big promotion will be effective in attracting new clients.
  • Human Resource Executives are eager to utilize data to optimize recruiting and attract the best new talent to their organizations.
  • Chief Security Officers are driven to uncover patterns to improve fraud detection and minimize financial impact on their businesses.

The list could go on and on. But for those in IT, and storage in particular, the world can look awfully different. Successful outcomes to the challenges and opportunities in these examples require deep analytics that depend on timely access to data from a variety of sources and in a range of formats.

Oceans of data present a wide range of challenges
Storage professionals are tasked to store, deliver, manage and protect data. With finite resources and seemingly infinite volumes of both structured and unstructured data, they’re forced to grapple with challenges such as:

  • Can our data infrastructure keep pace with business and application demands?
  • Am I storing and managing data in the most efficient way possible?
  • How difficult is it for us to integrate data from multiple sources?
  • What data do I store on premises and what should I move to the cloud?
  • How do I ensure our data is protected and always available?

Turning storage challenges into opportunities
As an industry pioneer with a rich history of storage innovation spanning six decades, IBM continues to work with clients to solve their most pressing data infrastructure problems—converting challenges into opportunities:

• Selling more than 50 million pairs of shoes annually, the ongoing success of Clarks depends on its ability to quickly analyze customer data to predict preferences and speed time to market. Accelerating data delivery by up to 50 percent with IBM Flash System has enabled Clarks to speed both order fulfillment and production decision-making.
• To combat growing wait times for vital systems, Canon Marketing Japan Inc. implemented flash and software-defined storage solutions from IBM. These solutions drastically simplified management and improved processing, lowering daily employee wait time for critical reports by over 550 hours. With higher density, more energy-efficient configurations, these solutions have allowed Canon Marketing Japan to cut power and space requirements.
• A popular online dating service, Plenty of Fish (PoF), prides itself on having the industry’s best match algorithms. Serving up content and profile matches to users fast is critical to its success. However, handling over 30,000 messages per minute for 4 million unique visitors daily meant site pages couldn’t load fast enough prior to implementing flash, elevating the risk of both member erosion and lost ad revenue. With IBM FlashSystem, PoF is now able to deliver to users the match that is relevant to them immediately.

Whether you’re one to see your oceans of data as a problem or an opportunity, it’s clear that these and thousands of other organizations have been successful transitioning from challenge to opportunity by placing their trust in IBM storage solutions.

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