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2016 Year in Which World Will Start Producing More Data We Can Store

Reports Seagate GM of France and executive director of EMEA OEM sales Jean-Louis Cazenave.

seagate,cazenaveJean-Louis Cazenave, GM of Seagate France and executive director of EMEA OEM sales, in the company since 1997, offers his predictions in 2016 concerning storage and increased data.




2016 will be the year in which the world will start producing more data than we can store

We are living in a world that is more connected than ever before. The upcoming year is already being heralded as the year of ‘The Connected Device,’ with connected fridges talking to smartphones talking to game consoles talking to connected cars. As technology advances, devices are better able to analyse and share stored data to learn our habits and preferences. Sooner than we might expect, we could all live in Smart Homes – where the thermostat automatically adjusts when you wake up, your refrigerator gives you a grocery list, and your car starts to warm itself up while you’re eating breakfast.
The innovations impacting our daily lives aren’t limited to our homes. Amazon recently unveiled its new ‘Prime Air’ delivery drone, and although it could be a while before one lands on your doorstep, it’s becoming a more likely possibility every day. Google and other companies are working on driverless cars, which can take in, assess and react to an enormous amount of environmental and travel data in a fraction of the time it takes human drivers.

Businesses, too, are finding new ways of creating and using data to improve and expand. To give one example, customer-centric businesses like grocery stores are applying the latest advancements in video surveillance technology to analyse customer behaviour, thereby improving efficiency and driving profits. Gone are the days when grainy security footage was only used to keep an eye out for pickpockets.

All of these new technologies have one thing in common: they require reliable, secure and efficient storage. A delivery drone is worthless if it can’t store the destination address. Driverless cars would run haywire without the ability to store GPS data. Your thermostat will have no idea what temperature to hit without your stored preference. Even the best business can’t succeed without quick and secure access to the data that keeps its wheels turning.

It’s tempting to think of that storage as a bottomless resource, but the reality is traditional storage solutions simply can’t keep up with the exponential growth in data creation. There’s a stat I always return to: in 2013, the world generated enough data to fill 600 billion DVDs. By 2020, even conservative estimates project that we will produce more than ten times that amount. As the Internet of Things continues to expand, with over 50 billion devices connecting in the next five years, I anticipate that even the more ambitious estimates will be eclipsed.

So what’s the solution to the looming challenge this presents to the storage industry? It lies in a more rounded and strategic approach to storage. There are exciting new innovations happening in our industry – everything from the futuristic-sounding DNA storage to the more immediate development of HAMR, which provides 100 times the capacity of current magnetic storage. Flash storage technology is another exciting area of innovation that works well for short-term storage needs and is particularly effective when it’s paired with a longer-term, highly reliable storage device like HDDs. And of course, anyone who glances at the latest technology headlines will know that cloud-based storage technology is critical to manage the rising flood of data – researchhttp://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/cloud-storage.asp indicates that the global cloud storage market will triple in the next four years.

The bottom line is that as the rate of data creation increases, we will need every storage solution we can get. Everything from HDDs to SSD, HAMR to flash, DNA to electron storage, will play a role in ensuring that we can securely store the data the world produces. The trick is to look at storage from a cost and availability perspective, finding the right type of storage for the right need.

It will be more important than ever, too, that we ensure that the storage technologies that consumers and businesses are using in 2016 can reliably protect the sensitive data they hold. With growing public awareness about data security and governments around the world looking to implement stronger regulations on data privacy, reliability and security are essential considerations in any storage plan.

A more rounded use of secure storage technology won’t be the only solution. In 2016, both consumers and businesses will need to start thinking carefully about how, and what, they store. Do proud parents need to keep the thousands of photos they take each year, or would retaining the best 100 be a more sustainable (and probably more enjoyable) approach? And moving forward, should employees be asked to only keep the final version of their huge interactive board presentation?

In 2016, technology is yet again going to generate huge beneficial shifts in the way that we live and work. To make these advances stick, let’s also ensure that we have the right cultural and business habits in place to store the data that will inevitably ensue.