Data storage is at the heart of any digital transformation

15 Nov 2017

Image: Evgeniia Trushkova/Shutterstock

Interxion MD Tanya Duncan outlines the core considerations for businesses embarking on a journey of digital transformation.

Digital transformation has been a major talking point in 2017 and will continue to be an important IT story. It can be defined as the changing way enterprises are using digital technologies – including social media, cloud, big data, mobile apps etc – to inherently create new types of innovation and change existing processes, which traditionally were unrealistic.

Top digital enterprises across the world use hybrid cloud to enable them to advance their customer engagement, produce new products more efficiently and enter new emerging markets at a quicker pace. For organisations to survive in today’s ever-changing market, it is essential that company executives and management both understand and embrace digital transformation.

‘Organisations need to place data at the heart of their digital strategy in order to be successful’

In Ireland, enterprises are concentrating on how to smoothly make the transition, but many are not considering the ultimate changes required to store and manage the increasing amount of data.

Digital means changing the way that data is housed and managed, and IT professionals need to understand and prepare for these changes. Organisations need to place data at the heart of their digital strategy in order to be successful.

The challenges and trends ahead

There is now more data to store and manage, which results in significant differences in how data needs to be treated. Companies need to oversee IT stacks consisting of in-house and outsourced IT, on-premise and cloud applications. As the challenges surrounding data storage and GDPR become apparent, companies will be eager to find solutions and services to meet their increasing data needs.

From Interxion’s perspective, one emerging trend is the move to digital and hybrid cloud, and the organisation’s IT infrastructure is also moving off-premise. Research conducted by IDC presented the overall trend. It is clear that IT is moving to external providers, which includes cloud and third-party data centres. Utilising hybrid cloud infrastructure, over public cloud or private cloud infrastructure, offers significant advantages, including: flexibility, security, cost efficiencies and scalability.

The future is very much in the cloud and one major benefit of moving off-premise includes improved security. Interxion is seeing enterprises moving to the cloud and data centre providers because of requirements around compliance, backup and risk as the number of security attacks increase. The central focus for data centre providers such as Interxion is data security.

Due to the increasing volume of data and organisations’ compliance with data protection, maintenance has also become a driving force for companies to move to third-party data centres. Data management and protection are the biggest issues in the world of data in 2017.

The accelerating move organisations are making with their data storage into data centres and the cloud involves new network planning and requires further thinking about expanding enterprise IT networks to the cloud.

Private connect solutions

For a significant proportion of organisations, deciding on the right approach for exact workloads normally involves creating a new network architecture. Today, many organisations want to connect to multiple clouds but also want to avoid using the public internet, which can have threats to performance and security. In response to this, cloud providers are tackling this issue with private connect solutions.

It is clear that the most common drivers of change in IT housing are: the need for flexibility, agility, security and on-demand scalability. There are major benefits of using hybrid cloud and third-party data centres in order to maintain large amounts of data and gain strategic advantages.

For example, Interxion’s customers in Dublin can now benefit from improved security, reliability, throughput and performance when accessing Microsoft Azure. This is a natural extension to a data centre that allows a client to enjoy the public cloud without having to compromise on network performance.

By Tanya Duncan

Tanya Duncan joined Interxion in 2001, where she held a number of positions before becoming managing director in 2005. With almost 20 years in the ICT industry, Tanya has extensive experience in the management of complex customer environments, capital-intensive projects and strategic business development.