Data Growth Presents Challenges And Opportunities

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1 A Custom Technology Adoption Profile Commissioned By AT&T August 2012 Introduction Today s CIO faces many challenges. Businesses are craving data as they look to remain competitive, and scour external data sources, including a multitude of social networking sites and consumer platforms. Additionally, internal data coming from customers, mobile users, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and the like adds to the complexity. The phenomenon of big data, which Forrester defines as data that consists of variability, velocity, volume, and volatility, is a reality. 1 Today Businesses are challenged with not only trying to harness large amounts of data but also how to correlate, aggregate and analyze this data to make important business decisions. This technology adoption profile focuses on storage-as-a-service and the value of cloud-based services to securely store, manage, and effectively leverage all this data to find the valuable nuggets of information that can improve a business s process or offering. Cloud-based services allow for flexibility, accessibility and the on-demand capacity for data needs in a secure and compliant manner, while never giving up control of data. This profile examines the demands in addressing data growth including: The complexity of business data management. The infrastructure requirements from data growth. The benefits of cloud-based data storage. Data Drives Information Which Drives Business Value Consumer-driven IT has presented new challenges within the enterprise. Initiatives like bring your own device (BYOD) have changed the way IT must operate. Furthermore, the empowered consumer has many tools and channels with which to provide valuable information to any enterprise. Social networking sites are full of valuable data literally at your fingertips. But if this isn t enough; a great deal of internal data is being created through applications such as CRM systems, databases, and field-based mobile sensors. Today, enterprises are already experiencing the data growth dilemma. According to Forrester s Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2011, 3 of large organizations in the US already have 1 petabyte or more of data companywide (see Figure 1). This will only continue to grow as more data is gathered, processed, and analyzed.

2 Figure 1 The Amount Of Data Is Scaling Beyond The Petabyte Range Overall, including the data/information on networked and direct-attached disk storage that you know about, how much data/information does your firm currently maintain? PC backups for disaster recovery and continuity 39% 1 9% 4% Server backups for disaster recovery and continuity 22% 2 17% 11% "Big data" not otherwise captured in other options Data warehousing, business intelligence, reporting, and analytics Enterprise content management Digital and web content repositories, such as video, audio, images, and web pages Archiving, all forms, including compliance, discovery, and infrequently accessed data General file storage, including file servers 1 23% 30% 15% 24% 10% 22% 19% 22% 23% 9% 9% 22% 24% 1 13% 11% 5% 15% 22% 7% 22% 15% 10% 9% Database systems 9% 21% 10% Overall, companywide 1% 32% 3 7% Other data 31% 17% 5% Base: 417 US IT executives and technology decision-makers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees Source: Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2011, Forrester Research, Inc. Less than 1 TB 1 TB to 9 TB 10 TB to 99 TB 100 TB to 999 TB 1 PB or more Don t know For the business, this data is a goldmine. External data sources provide them with the necessary information from customers, allowing them to analyze data in real time and at a more granular level. Historically, analysis has been done in non-real time, usually with static data. Today s business intelligence and real-time analytics tools allow businesses to analyze data within seconds. According to the Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2011, 44% of US IT decision-makers said that their business is growing and as a consequence the data generated continues to grow, while 3 said they re generating more data from business intelligence and analytics (see Figure 2). This growth in data is also coming from a growing number of devices and sources. When Forrester asked 50 US IT decision-makers about which devices and sources were driving growth in data, 77% stated internal systems such as databases were driving growth with enterprise applications (6) a close second (see Figure 3). However mobile devices, external data sources and even employee personal applications are also driving the growth in data within large enterprises. As a result of this data growth, businesses require an effective way of aggregating and correlating data quickly to meet the needs of business users. Page 2

3 Figure 2 Business Growth Is Driving The Increase In Data Why is the amount of data stored by your firm increasing? * Regulatory compliance and auditing requirements require us to keep more data than before Business is growing, so there s more data generated by existing systems 44% 49% We are generating more data warehousing, reports, and analytics on existing business data We are capturing more data per business activity than before We have increased our replication and disaster recovery capabilities 32% 3 35% Base: 417 US IT executives and technology decision-makers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees Source: Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2011, Forrester Research, Inc. *Showing the top five reasons Figure 3 The Mix Of Data Is Changing Which of the following devices/data sources is driving the growth of data within your organization? 74% % Internal systems (databases, CRM etc.) Enterprise applications Mobile devices/ External data mobile sensors sources (thirdparty aggregation) Employee personal applications Other Existing Infrastructures Are Not Up For The Challenge IT organizations today are already feeling the pain of trying to keep the lights on. Business initiatives are moving at a rapid pace, but sadly the infrastructure upgrades to support these initiatives are not. While businesses look to bring in all of this data, IT is tasked with figuring out how to store, manage, and secure it, make it easily accessible to an increasingly mobile and global workforce, and ensure that the business can ultimately extract value from it. Existing infrastructures today are not up to this task. In asking respondents about their challenges, 42% said that their network was not capable of handling all of this data without affecting the performance of other applications (see Figure 4). Respondents agree that a significant upgrade to storage infrastructure is needed to aggregate all business data effectively (see Figure 5). However due to the unpredictable nature of unstructured data, forecasting future storage requirements is a major challenge for organizations today. Enterprises are also facing the challenge Page 3

4 of uncertain regulations with regard to data retention and so are keeping all of it because they re still unsure what is required. Figure 4 The Infrastructure Is Taxed As A Result Of Data Growth What are the biggest challenges your organization faces in managing all your data? Network infrastructure deficiencies, which impact performance of applications Insufficient/no data management/retention tools or strategy Data growth is out of control The format of the data has changed/more varied formats than before Insufficient storage capacity We have no challenges with managing the growth of data Other 30% 2 34% 42% 40% Figure 5 Storage Continues To Be A Challenge What changes to your current infrastructure would be necessary to aggregate your data to meet your business needs? A significant upgrade to our storage infrastructure 2.3 Implement a more robust business intelligence tool to make the data more accessible A significant upgrade to our network infrastructure Ranked in order of importance (out of 5, 1 being most important) Offload existing data and applications to the cloud 3.3 We don t currently need changes to our infrastructure 3.8 Cloud Services Enable Your Business Initiatives Today s CIO understands that their IT organization must add value to the business. It s not about just managing infrastructure anymore, but about understanding what is best for the business. Page 4

5 Cloud services allow organizations the ability to securely collect, aggregate and store all kinds of data in the cloud. They also provide the flexibility to manage databases across different silos and applications. The data can then be queried and correlated to drive business decisions. Additionally, the complexity of data management is reduced considerably when leveraging cloud storage. There s no need for additional infrastructure investments and the sunk cost of managing all of the data on premises. Cloud services provide a highly resilient and on demand network in a secure environment, allowing for data to be easily accessible and searchable for your business through any device and endpoints at any time. The storage capacity needed can be adjusted on demand, paying for only what you use, and nothing else. Most enterprises today fall into the never-ending trap of adding more capacity to their infrastructure because in most cases they have reacted to, but not solved, the problem. In fact, 30% of respondents indicated that they are expanding their storage capacity, but slowly realizing that this will not be economically feasible or scalable (see Figure 6). However, many enterprises have their eye on the future, and 40% of respondents indicated that they are interested in leveraging cloud services for storing, managing, and securing their data. The reality is that as CIOs continue to work with the business to understand requirements the process of leveraging cloud services will move faster and in time will become an extension of their own infrastructure environment. Figure 6 Enterprises Are Starting To Rethink Their Strategy What solutions are you considering to make managing data growth easier? Purchase more storage capacity 30% 2 22% 4% Purchase more network capacity 24% Implement a content management solution Leverage a cloud service provider for storing, securing, and managing data 10% 1 40% Implement a data life-cycle management and retention solution 4% 2 24% 10% Expanding/upgrading implementation Planning to implement in a year or more Interested but no plans Don't know Planning to implement in the next 12 months Implemented, not expanding Not interested Summary This technology adoption profile study, together with data from existing Forrester surveys, shows that organizations are now faced with an ever increasing amount of unstructured data and are struggling to effectively correlate and analyse the data to drive critical business decisions. Cloud services are now emerging as one of the key solutions to the data growth challenge that face CIOs. IT organizations must move quickly to drive business benefits from the plethora of data entering the network by aggregating, correlating and analyzing structured and unstructured data. Those that fail to act quickly risk being left behind. Page 5

6 Methodology This Technology Adoption Profile was commissioned by AT&T. Forrester leveraged its Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q It isolated responses of US IT decision-makers at enterprises with more than 1,000 employees. Forrester Consulting supplemented this analysis with custom survey questions asked of 50 IT decision-makers. The respondents were asked about the devices that currently drive data growth within their firms, the challenges data growth brings to their IT organizations, and the solutions they plan to implement to help manage data growth. This supplementary survey was conducted in May For more information on Forrester s data panel and Tech Industry Consulting services, go to Endnotes 1 Source: Big Data Needs More Than Just Big Storage, Forrester Research, Inc., September 30, About Forrester Consulting Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging in scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who apply expert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester, Technographics, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additional information, go to [1-KCJGMZ] Page 6

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