Preparing for the Data-Driven World


While it may be cliche to say every business today is data-driven, you still need to answer how your firm will mark its data path to success.

Data can make or break businesses. Being able to produce, monitor, analyze, and share data has opened new opportunities that simply didn’t exist before. However, keeping pace with today’s phenomenal rate of data creation presents its own challenges. From security through activation, many data-driven factors can be harnessed for success.

Companies such as Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber have contributed to the notion that consumers are the largest creators of data, which to date has been true. However, it is predicted that businesses will create 60% of the world’s data by 2025, according to a recent IDC whitepaper sponsored by Seagate Technology. With intuitive technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things set to become a part of everyday life, 2025 is set to be a very different landscape in which to do business.

Data as the lifeblood of modern business 

More than ever, customers and end users are relying on data to inform everyday decisions. Whether they know it or not, the way they embrace data and real-time engagements is dramatically changing how businesses communicate with customers and target audiences. By 2025, 75% of the world’s population will interact with digital data every day, and each of these connected people will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds.

This ubiquitous presence of data has reset consumer expectations and businesses must adapt. From an infrastructure standpoint, it places greater demand on both the edge and the core to be able to produce the precise data consumers require, often in real-time.

See also: What’s the secret formula for innovation?

Real-time data is at the center of this shift. In fact, real-time data will represent 30% of data created across the world by 2025, double what it was in 2017. Customers expect access to products and services wherever they are on any device or platform. Consequently, enterprises looking to provide a superior customer experience must have data infrastructures in place that can deliver what is expected.

Being prepared

The amount of data created in the U.S. is actually growing more slowly than other regions, including China, representing 21% of the global datasphere in 2018, but only 17.5% by 2025. While this is the case, the amount of data created in the US is predicted to grow from 6.9ZB to 30.6ZB and will be a key driver of business success. During this period of digital transformation, there are a few critical elements that businesses in the U.S. must consider:

  • Real-time data: The real-time percentage of the global datasphere is set to reach 29% in 2025, driven by the growth of IoT, up from 12 percent in 2015. Looking specifically at the US, IDC predicts more than 20 times growth of real-time data by 2025. In turn, this increasing need for real-time data is accelerating cloud adoption and data creation at the edge, highlighting a shift to businesses inheriting responsibility for computing and data—as they once were expected to do.
  • Security: By 2025, two-thirds (66%) of the global datasphere will need security protection according to IDC. However, only 50% of that data will actually be protected. This means that between now and 2025, unprotected U.S. data that needs protection will account for one-third, or 10.2ZB, of the entire U.S. datasphere.
  • Data fragmentation: As multi-cloud infrastructures continue to increase, and organizations implement a plethora of services and applications from the edge, to core, to cloud, data will become highly fragmented. As a result, it will become harder to identify, classify, manage, secure, and use—meaning organizations must evaluate the complete data ecosystem and develop a data-first strategy to remain ahead of the deluge.

2025 and beyond

Union Pacific, a U.S. railroad company, is one business looking to the future and getting prepared. Using machine vision technology to inspect rail cars, the system it has implemented can scan a mile-long train moving at 70mph capturing 50,000 photos per second, creating 30GB of data every few seconds using cameras, lasers, radars, and sensors. These images are then inspected for defects that need to be repaired in near real-time. 

In the world of oil and gas, U.S. businesses are also becoming data-driven. Apache Corp., for example, an oil and gas exploration and production company, built a remote operations center in Oklahoma, to collect and analyze data to reduce production downtime and improve the efficiency of trucking and hauling operations. 

Regardless of the industry or the legacy infrastructures in place, businesses must understand the role that data plays in the operation of their organizations. To stay competitive, they need to prioritize data management and innovation to compete with digital disruptors. By putting data at the heart of their digital transformation, businesses will not only define their own future but potentially dictate the future of their industry too, in 2025 and beyond.

Rags Srinivasan

About Rags Srinivasan

Rags Srinivasan is Senior Director of Growth Verticals at Seagate Technology. Base in silicon valley, he has deep experience building storage systems and solutions for enterprise and cloud data centers. Rags is currently focused on defining data management for Edge, IoT and Artificial Intelligence.

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