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The Future of Enterprise Data Infrastructure − Autonomous Automation

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Read more about author Eric Herzog.

The enterprise storage estate is one of the areas where organizations can easily automate and substantially reduce costs without sacrificing application performance, availability, or cyber resilience. Automation involves the simplification of the data center infrastructure by consolidating the storage environment. However, it’s not enough to only have a solution that automates; it is important to have one that can autonomously automate.

Imagine reducing your storage infrastructure from 20 storage arrays to two arrays with higher capacity, 100% availability guaranteed, better cyber resilience, and better real-world application and workload performance, yet dramatically lowering your total cost of ownership. The immediate benefits are substantial cost savings and freeing up manpower resources for other tasks. 

After you simplify your enterprise data center with the consolidation of your storage deployment, having autonomous automation alleviates a significant burden of you having to manage the storage infrastructure in conventional ways. Workloads, applications, and servers that directly load to that storage will experience storage that automatically, autonomously, and dynamically adjusts according to changing conditions.

A fully automated and autonomous storage platform provides dynamic, real-time management of data and storage, while dramatically lowering the need for operation manpower and operational expenses. Fewer enterprise storage arrays mean less power, less floor space, less cooling, less rack space, less CAPEX, less OPEX, and less manpower.

If there is an event that causes a surge in data usage, the storage system adapts to it, ensuring availability, reliability, cyber resiliency, and performance. This happens most efficiently and optimally in an autonomously automated system.

If you don’t have one, then when a storage array goes down, you will likely need manual assistance. A technician will likely have to come out to the site and intervene, which costs money, time, effort, and the risk of human error. It is better to get your systems back online with as little human intervention as possible.

Also, part of the shift to autonomous automation in storage is data security. Given the constant threat of cyberattacks, enterprises implementing primary and secondary storage should be using immutable snapshots, essentially taking non-deletable and non-changeable photos of all the data at set intervals for back-up and cyber resilience purposes.

Beyond that, automated capabilities for logical air gapping, fenced forensic environments, and near-instantaneous recovery also add a dynamic dimension to securing the data and storage infrastructure without reliance on human intervention. 

Proliferation of Data Drives Automation

Digital transformation and the exponential proliferation of data are creating a need for a new level of leadership and strategic management to oversee the shift to automation. By 2023, 75% of organizations will have comprehensive digital transformation implementation roadmaps, according to IDC. By 2025, driven by volatile global conditions, 75% of business leaders will leverage digital platforms and ecosystem capabilities to adapt their value chains to new markets, industries, and ecosystems. 

By 2023, investment in direct digital transformation will amount to $6.8 trillion, according to IORG. Data growth statistics show that by the end of 2022, over 70% of GDPs worldwide will have gone through digitalization. Automation needs to keep up with the astronomical expansion in data.

Automating, while consolidating storage arrays, is an excellent opportunity for IT teams to obtain a quick, measurable “win.” The storage estate is one of the areas where enterprises can easily automate and substantially reduce costs without sacrificing application performance, availability, or cyber resilience.

Rise of the Next Digital Champion Within Companies

In a recent survey conducted by Qlik Research, 40% of C-level respondents said that their organizations plan to create a new role called “Chief Automation Officer” within the next three years, with the expectation of rising to nearly 100% over the next decade.

Chief Automation Officers will work alongside CIOs, CISOs, CHROs, and COOs to enable their organizations to deliver services, scale the business, and determine the right mix of human resources and automated capabilities. This expansion of the C-suite is a natural response to the widespread increase in the adoption of automation technologies over the past few years. 

Key Takeaway

Virtually every IT executive is looking to automate at some level. Starting the autonomous automation of enterprise data and storage will catapult your organization forward and give you and your team valuable learnings and insights into the path of automation, which will only expand on the horizon. 

Autonomous automation had been thought to be something in the future, but that future can be implemented today.

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