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Datrium Drives Vision for IT Transformation in the On-demand Economy

May 2019 by Datrium

Datrium shared its vision for IT transformation, establishing the requirement for an autonomous data services platform that equips enterprises to transform IT and win in the on-demand economy. To compete in this new business reality companies are racing to digitally transform, however many have lagged in transforming their IT systems to handle the extreme amount of data and network traffic produced by modern application workloads. To support the demand for instant user outcomes, IT must fully transform and overcome the rigidity, latency and complexity of traditional data infrastructure.

"We now live in an instant economy - consumers expect instant services from businesses. What is fast today will feel slow tomorrow. This is the new normal. Every business is trying to adapt and requires data infrastructure that can deliver instant outcomes,” said Sazzala Reddy, Datrium CTO and co-founder.

Companies that provide on-demand services to consumers, like Lyft, DoorDash and Lugg, keep setting the bar higher for increasingly personalised service and instant gratification. A parallel trend is taking hold in the on-demand enterprise1, defined as “any company which leverages technology alongside its operations to deliver intelligent, immediate interactions to both their employees and the customers they interact with.”

To accelerate their speed of business to meet customer, partner and employee expectations, enterprises are already leveraging ubiquitous virtualisation and increasing their adoption of technologies like Kubernetes-but they need to do more. With mission critical data distributed across on-premises and multiple public cloud infrastructures, IT also needs a unified data management layer that delivers instant access to data no matter where an application runs, along with consistent data management, extreme application availability, a uniform experience and data mobility across premises and multiple clouds.

IT transformation challenges inhibit digital transformation

The main driver of IT transformation for the on-demand enterprise is to improve the customer experience, delighting external and internal customers. For digitally native companies, digital transformation is built into their culture and business models. Organisations not born in the digital age face the added challenge of managing legacy applications, systems and business models that further constrain their ability to transform. In fact, 41 percent of respondents in a recent Datrium State of IT Transformation research study indicated that the time required to manage legacy infrastructure is one of the most significant barriers preventing their companies from reaching their IT transformation goals.

Reddy explained: “To manage data across its lifecycle, IT has to manage multiple data services: primary storage, backup, disaster recovery, security and mobility. Enterprises currently buy more than five products for these functions, which creates silos and land-locks data. These separate products add operating friction and slow down everything. The cloud is no different, as the same functions are needed and data is siloed the same way. Data distributed across multiple clouds results in more silos and no global organising principle. Data mobility across premises and public clouds is an additional challenge. This rigidity combined with cost adds significant friction to IT transformation.”

Several IT transformation problems inhibit digital transformation:

● Product sprawl has negative effects on cost, SLAs, risk management and business agility.

● Workload immobility is simply not practical. Primary storage, backup, security, mobility and DR orchestration products are land-locked and unable to move easily to the cloud. Data services convergence and consistency across clouds are essential for multicloud workload portability.

● Siloed data management, i.e., when data lives in separate silos, makes data difficult to govern, secure, audit, analyse and search and to plan for growth.

IT transformation and the role of autonomous data services

We are standing at the dawn of a new era of autonomous systems. In this age of reduction, modern technology should eliminate complexity. Who needs a complex interface to do routine and repetitive operations in a world where, for example, robots are already assisting surgeries, making them faster and safer? It is a time for a wholesale reconsideration of underlying IT infrastructure to a newer model that can run smoothly with autonomous data services. What is required is a shift from traditional SANs and siloed point solutions for primary storage, backup and disaster recovery to a new unified approach on a single platform that is converged by design. Bolting-on data services - whether adding backup to primary storage or vice versa - increases security vulnerabilities without fixing the core issues around performance, scalability and data recovery.

“Imagine a ’drag-and-drop’ data centre. To enable this, we need a new convergence model where all the data services move with the data, one that eliminates data silos and uses machine intelligence to automate routine and repetitive tasks, providing the horsepower to run business in real-time while liberating IT organisations from complexity,” said Reddy. “Just as the smartphone eliminated the need for a separate phone, camera, GPS and messaging device, an autonomous, multicloud data infrastructure that provides universal data management obviates the need for separate primary, backup, DR, encryption and mobility.”

Complete IT transformation can be achieved when:

● Data is not tethered to the infrastructure - IT organisations have the ability to leverage any cloud and instantly move across premises and any cloud while having a uniform experience

● There is massive simplification in operational environments - data can be organised from birth to death with a unified platform for on-premises and cloud

● IT is liberated from complexity - organisations can define business intent with global data policies, enabling autonomous data services to achieve them with zero administrative touch

IT organisations are eager to attain next-level IT transformation. According to the Datrium State of IT Transformation Survey Report, 86 percent of enterprises expect to increase investment in IT transformation over the next five years and nearly 70 percent of respondents agree that it would be valuable to have their primary and backup storage on a single platform that doesn’t require paying extra for backup and managing a separate solution.

1 Jerry Chen, The On-Demand Enterprise

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