Worldwide IT spending is anticipated to total $4.6 trillion in 2023 — up 5.1% from 2022. In some ways, enterprise IT spending appears to be recession-proof, but, at the same time, IT teams are challenged — perhaps more than ever — to ensure they’re showing ROI for their spending. And that means it’s time to laser-focus on a few key areas, with security at the top. As IT leaders navigate 2023, rebalance their budgets, plan ahead, and take back control of their IT ecosystems, it’s time that they look more closely at how key storage solutions can be a key piece of this puzzle.
No end in sight for cyber threats
2022 was a year of extraordinary unstructured data growth and increased ransomware attacks that have made it harder for IT teams to run efficient enterprise computing resources. Security is hands-down a top priority for anyone in IT – or in business, really.
Cyberthreats will keep growing for one main reason: Data is increasing in value. Hackers are making a lot of money, and they’re striking hard at the sectors with the biggest payoffs. Bad actors can make more money on healthcare and medical data than personally identifiable information (PII), for instance.
And these attacks are becoming increasingly expensive for organizations to deal with. 2022 was a record high for data breach costs; the worldwide average is about $4.35 million. Data protection is at the top of the list for IT leaders in 2023 and that requires ensuring their storage solution is designed with security in mind. In fact, Gartner forecasts that by 2025, 60% of all enterprises will require storage products to include integrated ransomware defense mechanisms – up from 10% last year.
Today’s organizations need an affordable, secure solution that can scale as business requirements shift in the next five to 10 years. Both new and outdated cloud-based and cloud-native apps must be able to access the data. When set up properly, cloud object storage that is secured at several levels, and includes immutable backups, can offer the security, performance and control advantages of both a private cloud architecture on-premises and a public cloud.
Immutability is increasingly becoming a strategic capability, since immutable backups keep data from being unintentionally corrupted, lost, changed, unavailable, destroyed, rewritten or encrypted without IT’s consent—as occurs in ransomware attacks. Object storage enables immutability.
The ongoing supply chain disruptions
The past three years have seen unprecedented supply chain disruptions because of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, shipping interruptions and the war in Ukraine, among other factors. One report found that the first half of 2022 saw 46% more supply chain disruptions than the first half of 2021. That meant significant delays in hardware delivery, which then hampered many IT teams’ planned projects – resulting in major impacts in terms of both infrastructure and money.
As a result, many companies accelerated their migration to the cloud. And while so far, analysts are predicting 2023 to be a little easier in terms of supply chain disruptions, that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear yet. IT teams can expect that more organizations are going to be seeking cloud- and hardware-agnostic models to avoid being reliant on potentially delayed hardware shipments. And overall, the idea of being locked into using one vendor isn’t going to work anymore.
With object storage solutions, IT teams can get flexibility and scalability without hardware lock-in, because it can be deployed in various models, whether its hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud, or something else. Enterprises gain on-premises, cloud-like data services that help achieve data sovereignty requirements and goals — all while keeping data secure. There’s the ability to scale, even during times of rapid growth and supply chain concerns, which means organizations don’t need to buy new equipment/solutions. It’s like having a private cloud.
Continued growth of AI and ML
Automation, AL and ML can help IT teams be more efficient with their resources. These are ways to optimize internal talent and move repetitive tasks off their plates in favor of work that takes more decision-making and a more hands-on approach.
However, this also drives the amount of unstructured data – and it requires a different approach to data delivery that’s application-centric rather than location or technology-centric. Applications need quicker access to the enormous amounts of data that are created everywhere: in the cloud, at the edges and on-premises, to discover useful and actionable insights.
The underlying data storage solution for AI and machine learning needs to be able to manage a variety of workloads, including both large and small files. In certain instances, workloads may comprise just a few tens of gigabytes - and range into the petabytes. Not all solutions can manage very small files, nor are all solutions designed for large files. Finding one that can adapt to both is crucial.
Traditional block storage and file storage solutions are only able to scale up to a few hundred terabytes. In contrast, object storage uses an entirely flat address space with no restrictions. The hierarchy and capacity restrictions of a conventional file system don’t apply. Backed by this capability, IT can make sure data center storage can elastically scale to tens of petabytes and beyond inside a single, global namespace is object storage.
Navigating choppy waters
The triple-threat of challenges that keep IT up at night today in 2023 — the rise in both data growth and ransomware attacks, supply chain issues, and the growth of AI/ML workloads — also bring opportunity to rethink how data is stored and protected. Object storage lends itself to addressing these demands:
- Immutability, where records are locked, and intruders can’t alter them.
- Scalability via a flat address space that can extend as far as IT needs.
- Flexibility to accommodate multiple formats, data types, and applications, which means it can fit any organization’s unique needs.
Modern businesses need a solution that offers low latency, linear scaling, and support for various payload types and sizes. With a solution that meets these needs, IT teams can address some of their main challenges for 2023 and beyond.
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