By Moshe Yanai, Founder of Infinidat
As we look ahead into the second half of 2021, it is important to understand and monitor market trends that continue to evolve. The following are three trends that we are tracking this year, spanning across artificial intelligence, business continuity, and data protection.
AI and Deep Learning Are Being Demystified
The term artificial intelligence (AI) has been overused, abused, and misused over the last few years. While some companies tout their automation capabilities as AI, at the end of the day that’s all it is – automation. What differentiates automation and AI is the intelligence behind it. True machine learning is a more valuable subset of AI, and there is an even more intelligent and sophisticated layer known as deep learning.
Deep learning allows solutions to dynamically react in real-time while making proactive suggestions and decisions based on multiple sources of information – offering up a number of different options for one request, and then using the outcomes to make more informed decisions for the next iteration.
With resources cut due to the pandemic, there is an increased emphasis on efficiency and cost effectiveness. Tools that leverage deep learning will have a huge impact on the storage industry in areas like performance, latency, and security – especially for next-generation applications and digital transformation projects. Organizations increasingly need to see beyond the myths and misconceptions around AI and look for tools rooted in deep learning to be prepared for the newer, more effective use cases of the future.
Investments in IT Projects and Priorities Are Shifting to Enable Business Continuity
To prepare for unprecedented situations and business environments in the future, organizations’ priorities are switching when it comes to making decisions about IT projects and technology investments. In 2021, there is more of a focus on investing in the technologies that keep businesses running without human intervention if something were to go wrong.
Even IT projects that do not have a tangible, short-term impact on businesses are receiving much more scrutiny compared to tactical, long-term investments. More strategic digital transformation projects will be delayed, especially ones that involve large-scale data analytics, and there will be an uptick in the need for preventative and remediation type technologies, such as data storage backup, immutable snapshots, and/or active-active replication. Systems need to be protected from data unavailability as well as from increased cybersecurity risks. As a result, all IT infrastructure plans need to be adjusted.
It is more important than ever for organizations to shift to more cost-effective storage options with higher availability. Without knowing what the next disruption could be, companies increasingly need a self-managed solution to meet growing capacity needs while budgets will continue being cut. There is also much more scrutiny into purchasing decisions and higher pricing criteria for technology since businesses have been economically challenged during the pandemic. Whereas vendors have historically focused on the total cost of ownership as opposed to the acquisition cost, priorities will switch moving forward, and the cost of acquisition will become a greater factor than the cost of ownership.
The Need for Data Protection Will Lead to More Industry Consolidation
One trend we continue to see in 2021 is the consolidation or partnerships between software companies and data storage vendors, as these vendors aim to add services like encryption to make their products more compelling and competitive in an increasingly security-focused business environment. Rather than build it themselves or reinvent the wheel, they’ll look to established vendor services.
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