Digital transformation has created significant new value for enterprises globally. The ability to develop new products and services, optimize existing operational processes, and utilize new generations of turnkey services between partners, vendors and customers have all been enabled by this process. However, one aspect of digital transformation which often gets overlooked is how it enables enterprises to generate and collect unprecedented amounts of data that can, if understood, be used to create additional value.
THE VALUE OF DATA
Across the world, businesses are generating more data than ever before and from a large variety of sources. Whether we typically think data includes content, business metric information, user records or metadata – that is, data about data itself, these data types are becoming increasingly critical to the business agenda. But, unfortunately, today, much of it sits unused. The World Economic Forum estimates that we could secure around $100 trillion of incremental gross domestic product (GDP) growth if we could fully unlock the value of this data. One of the keys to achieving this is to help businesses understand how data affects them. Not as a concept but as a source of value that we think of today as tangible, with actual physical gravity and generational value that they could use to their advantage.
Data Gravity is the principle that a body of data will attract other data over time, as well as applications and services which use that data. For example, suppose an organization has multiple branch offices. Each office generates data and metadata, thus creating a level of Data Gravity over time, where each office becomes a self-contained data island. Unfortunately, many businesses avoid moving their data because of the potential cost to perform the move – financially, technically, and organizationally – and so it is easy for their data to become siloed due to its increasing buildup of gravity. Remember? Data attracts more data which compounds exponentially over time.
So, why is that a problem? The problems with not moving the data over time could include:
- Security: It is challenging to pinpoint exactly where all sensitive data is stored. Additionally, meeting data governance, data privacy and compliance restrictions across many individual data stores to ensure that sensitive data is stored safely is hard. However, the loss of customer trust and the impact of losing trade secrets or intellectual property due to not securing data is infinitely more costly.
- Geographical: Growing data stores across disparate physical locations will require travel and/or remote support and possible downtime due to continual maintenance.
- Data Analysis: Branch-level data provides minimal operational context. Only complete datasets at the organizational level will allow access to valuable strategic insights.
EXTRACTING TOTAL VALUE
To extract the total value from an organization’s data, they must understand how and where it generates. Also, how to bring it together to the point of aggregation where sophisticated data analysis understands what that data means. Not just in the context of its local environment but within the global operating environment of the entire business – and be able to do so in a practical, economical fashion.
The difference between extracting this value or not can be very significant, as modern enterprises start incorporating sophisticated data analysis methods into their daily operations. For example, when using data and metadata to determine capabilities such as global sentiment analysis in near real-time, a global social media audience's reaction to a company's products is no longer restricted to the world's largest brands. By overcoming Data Gravity and bringing multiple data sources together in a practical, economical fashion, enterprises of any scale can realize substantial business benefits. By 2025, 80% of data worldwide will reside in enterprises, and being able to extract its full value will bring essential growth.
UNLOCKING YOUR DATA VALUE
Digital Realty's PlatformDIGITAL® helps enterprises unlock their trapped data value. Our team of Cloud Certified Solution Architects is here to listen, analyze and translate your business needs into a fully cohesive solution to help your business economically scale over time to:
- Take the challenge out of overcoming Data Gravity in your environment to help your teams realize their true business growth potential
- Improve business agility
- Access new markets across our comprehensive global footprint
- Enable new revenue growth by shortening the time and effort required to bring data where it needs to be and connect it to the services and applications that matter the most