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2023 Predictions: Dear Future Data, Let's Connect

December 30, 2022 | VMblog.com

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The Disclaimer

The below article was  originally published on VMblog.com. Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

 

The Article: Vcinity 2023 Predictions: Dear future data, Let’s Connect
 
Brush your shoulders off

Had the past few years not already blazed the trail, 2022 would be a standalone wild ride. Certainly, there’s been some normalization of life, but we certainly are not back to normal. Inflation is cresting as quickly as hardware supply chains cycle through stall outs. “Back to work” continues to redefine itself. Organizations and consumers engrain an increasing expectation for personalization, precision, and immediacy. Yet, in a year that could be defined by nothing less than volatile-we see resourcefulness, a desire to do more with the data and technology that’s out there, and a serious shift in how predicting the future translates to preparing for it. And that is where 2023 rolls out the red carpet for agility and efficiency.

What guideposts has 2022 created to help us evaluate our current use of data and technology?

  • Value, not just risk: More data, more apps… more risk. Not only is security for enterprises becoming increasingly illustrious, but consumers are also seemingly starting to refocus on it, as well. For instance, this past year gave us fallouts at Meta and FTX. We can only expect these anecdotes to further incentivize a new wave of dialog around data (and technology) security and integrity. These scenarios implore us as business leaders to drive innovation deeply rooted in true value, not just risk avoidance.
  • Data, everywhere: Data growth continues to explode outside the data center-with great acceleration at both the edge and in the cloud. While this gives us literally more data points from more things to create more value-it is also redistributing data’s center of gravity, which makes that data harder to collect, analyze, and act on. To counter, organizations are deploying more compute at the edge and applications in more cloud regions-but are not accounting for the fact they are still moving and copying that data from where it’s created to where its used. This takes time, money, and creates complexity-stifling the efficiency of getting “information.” Our lesson: We can’t move forward without first looking back to question whether the old way is the right way-and if it is, in fact, the only way.
  • People, anywhere: Skilled talent is still hard to find and remote work (in one form or another) is here to stay. The modern organization now needs to account for how to bring their operations to their workforce, and vice versa-wherever that footprint may lead. How do we make it easy for brilliant people to do brilliant things… when everything required (people, data, and resources) are globally dispersed?
  • The second look (at infrastructure): As the race to the cloud has matured, most organizations have dipped their proverbial toe in the water (if not dove headfirst). They are familiarizing themselves with both cloud storage and compute capabilities and now have the experience to evaluate how a digital vision is deployed and its impact on their organization (e.g. rising costs, effects on existing infrastructure, influence on their bottom line). They are beginning to assess the right mix- cloud(s), edge, or on-premises locations-of storage and compute. But how do they remain agile enough to solve today’s issues with technology that’s ready for tomorrow’s challenges?
  • High value, heavy lift: Enterprises (and agencies) weren’t the only ones rushing to the cloud-with many ISVs’ powerful databases and analytics-now offering high-performance capabilities in the cloud. This scalability gives organizations the ability to easily experiment with AI/ML workloads, paving a new path to delighted consumers, optimized operations, and high velocity action. Yet, insights are only as good as the (terabytes or petabytes) of data-which still somehow needs to feed the application. How do we make data more accessible, at scale… the exact moment it’s needed?

As experience and innovations hurdle forward-organizations’ success will depend on their ability to make sense of these lessons and seamlessly oscillate between global reach and hyper-local delivery. That proficiency hinges on reliable, real-time connectivity between data, technology, and outcome.

 
Lets work smarter… and maybe better, too.

As we work backwards from the efficient outcomes we desire-our greatest opportunity to accelerate advancement starts with data. The leaders of 2023 will focus on lowering barriers to use data-thereby establishing a gateway to unlock technology, new capabilities, and success.

What tentpoles will redefine efficient use of data (and thus, technology) in 2023?

  • A new approach to security: Oh, security. Always a priority, always a strategic investment, rarely a raging success. Today we think about security in terms of server and system updates, monitoring and zero trust, backups. All great to date. We’ve historically been able to “add on” these measures to what we were securing. But today’s data landscape is rapidly changing-and accumulating. This equates to rising (or surprise) costs of total services, increased regulatory control issues, and more. Technologies to protect our assets, like encryption, will obviously continue to evolve-but organizations also need to think about the problem differently. Bolstering security profiles can be accomplished in simple, yet novel ways: reducing complexity by curbing replication of ever-increasing amounts of data.
  • An ability to maintain business continuity: Security (and backups) may be a key piece of business continuity, which we often think of at a macro, emergency-driven level. Yet disruption can happen with each run of a workflow, click of a button, delayed outcome. Companies that can deliver secure access to the right data at the right time at these tactical planes will be able to elicit compounding efficiencies to smooth operations and further carve out a competitive edge.
  • Agility and interoperability across tech stacks: Cloud experimentation and maturity is ushering in an era of a new, informed consumer: the organization. As companies become more discerning in right-fit hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures-they will seek to deploy best of breed capabilities from edge, to data center, to cloud, to private cloud, to public cloud, and beyond. Successful implementation of these strategies will require a way for organizations to move or leverage their datasets across these locations quickly, securely, and in a resource-efficient manner. While organizations may begin to force a standardization that allows continuity across major providers-savvy organizations will find technologies to enable data accessibility regardless of platforms or location.
  • Data everywhere, outcome anywhere (and anytime): The edge and IoT continue to mature. Remote work remains prominent. From every social post to optical inspection log… we’re creating and using data here, there, everywhere. That requires quick, effective access to data. We’ve seen some advancement in this space with data mesh and data fabrics-but so far that’s mostly provided a consistent look and feel. Reaching across or between data lakes is like running across a red light in a formula one race, painstakingly miserable. Successful organizations of 2023 will establish a single view of globally-accessible and globally diverse datasets their employees and applications can tap into securely and in real-time. This means true geo-distributed real-time workflows and resources will finally be possible-fueling organizations to operate more quickly, intelligently, from and to anywhere, anytime.
  • More data, more analytics, more AI: So far for 2023 predictions, it’s all about doing more with less. A good sentiment for sustainability, a great one for data. The accuracy of data insights-to guide informed decision and action-will become increasingly prioritized as data volume increases. As analytic platforms rapidly advance (and shift to the cloud or hybrid cloud models)-the most successful organizations will be the ones who figure out how to get to their data (which may not be created in the cloud) the fastest (and most cost-effectively).
 
Lets get together, yeah, yeah, yeah

Whether we’re talking cloud, edge, or our traditional offices-or any technology platforms… their value is all dependent on data. Without it, or without it in an efficient way, the significance of these transformative building blocks fade. In a constantly changing, hyper-local, globally distributed world-how do we get data into the right hands to at the right time to do brilliant things? The leaders of 2023 will reevaluate past assumptions and lean into interoperability, agility, and new approaches to efficiently access and use data. They will support a new wave of expectations and solutions to fuel innovation, empower employees and consumers alike, and make the world we all live in a better place one bit and byte at a time.

 

About the author:

Steve Wallo currently serves as Vcinity’s CTO, overseeing resources related to the insertion of advanced technologies and strategies into customer architectures and future IT decision methodologies. He is responsible for bridging future IT trends into the company’s existing portfolio capabilities and future offerings. Prior to Vcinity, Wallo was the CTO at Brocade Federal, responsible for articulating Brocade’s innovations, strategies, and architectures in the rapidly evolving federal IT space for mission success. Wallo has served the U.S Government as the chief architect for the NAVAIR Air Combat Test and Evaluation Facility High Performance Computing Center.

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