The Future of Business: How to Get Ready for the Zettabyte World

Businesses need to prepare to store, organize, and analyze massive amounts of data in the near future. From data management to Edge computing, here are the elements that can help support the ideal Zettabyte state.

Thanks to ever-growing computing capacity as well as the increasing proliferation of smart devices and systems, the amount of data that will be generated in the near future is truly astounding. We’re no longer talking about gigabytes or even terabytes–the new unit of scale is the Zettabyte, equivalent to a billion terabytes.

Unfortunately, most businesses do not have the infrastructure in place to handle such massive amounts of data, which require not just more storage but enhanced speed and agility to support a fast-changing business environment. Let’s explore some elements of this infrastructure and how to get it the ideal Zettabyte state:

Embracing a Holistic Data Management Approach

Today, many businesses manage data via an integrated tech stack of different components like data warehouses, data lakes, customer data platforms, and more. Such a system has proved effective for handling data that is largely stored via a physical infrastructure. However, it would struggle to manage either the volume of data or the scale and speed of analysis required to stay competitive.

In the Zettabyte world, data will be moving not just among physical servers and components but from and across multiple clouds and devices, requiring a data center architecture that is elastic enough to quickly adapt to changing requirements.

“Companies that lag in evolving to support this approach risk being unable to meet the customer where they are.”

– Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner of Futurum Research

Making Data Pipelines Intelligent

Pipelines are like data’s circulatory system–they ingest, classify, and deliver information across an organization to drive business operations and decision making. Many companies use a combination of technologies to manage this process, but those may require time-consuming manual oversight at critical points. In addition, because businesses may not have the resources to closely monitor data pipeline design and function, opportunities for greater efficiency or optimization may get lost.

The future of business requires an intelligent data pipeline that can handle the challenges of managing diverse sources of data, varied formats, and other inconsistent elements to ensure the continuous, smooth flow of information. An intelligent pipeline for the Zettabyte world characterized by machine learning capabilities and automation will give businesses more time to focus and act on the insights they produce.

Building in Security, not Bolting it on

Today, data security is often treated as a discrete function within systems. However, as data increasingly zips around among systems, devices, servers, and public and private clouds in the Zettabyte world, this “add-on” mentality won’t’ be sufficient to keep it safe. A single data breach or instance of downtime could have catastrophic effects.

“Having a cyber resiliency strategy in place is the difference between business continuance and business existence.”

– Todd Lieb, Director of Strategy & Programs at Del Technologies

We must think of cybersecurity as an ecosystem that is integrated everywhere data is housed, transported, and analyzed. To thrive in the Zettabyte world, it’s vital to have intelligent systems in place that can instantly recognize anomalies and other patterns that are potential signs of infiltration and attack, and quickly mobilize to prevent or mitigate them.

Finding the Right Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud refers to the combination of public and private cloud systems to store and manage data. Rather than using these clouds in separate compartments (as you would in a multi-cloud environment), a hybrid cloud provides the flexibility businesses need to support ongoing digital transformation, by enabling platforms to easily communicate and operate across digital boundaries and architectures.

Without physical or digital silos, businesses gain the agility to access, transform, and move data as needed. As the demands of data management rise in the Zettabyte world and the rate of business change increases, a hybrid cloud is an adaptable solution that supports greater speed, consistency, and productivity.

Generating Data at the Edge

Much of computer processing power has moved to the Cloud. The on-demand availability of resources and its centralized nature has supported greater efficiency, collaboration, and flexibility for all types of businesses and industries.

However, this isn’t enough to succeed in the Zettabyte world. While the Cloud will still be a major component of data infrastructure, more data processing will move to the edges where data is generated, saving the time it takes to move it back and forth.

“The Edge in essence is distributed, decentralized and spread across the world … a connected extension of core and cloud.”

– Ty Schmitt, Vice President and Fellow at Dell Technologies

Get Ready for the Future of Business

Is your organization’s infrastructure prepared to manage the forecasted influx of data and, better still, primed to take advantage of the opportunities it offers?

Experience “The Zettabyte World: Securing Our Data-Rich Future” interactive eBook to learn more from leading industry and Dell Technologies experts how to prepare for this future.