An exciting year ahead for enterprise storage in 2022

2022 will be the year of recovery as countries around the world come to terms with COVID-19. Business travel will pick up, face-to-face meetings and conferences will be back on the agenda, and companies will accommodate a hybrid workforce split between work in the office and work from home. But what do we expect to see in the world of enterprise storage?

Containers will be a competitive differentiator

Let me first address what is topmost on the minds of CIOs, Digital Transformation. This will only accelerate in 2022, but not only that, the focus will be on finding those competitive differentiators that will allow companies to stand out from their competitors. One way they will do this is through more significant investment in technologies such as containers and Kubernetes. They will look to develop bespoke cloud-native modern apps and containerized microservices.

Containers and Kubernetes are the driving force behind how the industry is reinventing the way we build and run applications, fueling enterprise IT efficiency, and their popularity will only continue to expand in 2022. For example, the number of start-ups in the application of Kubernetes in the security space will increase in line with a general focus on vulnerability management and reporting capabilities.

Modern data protection

This brings us to our second expectation for 2022, which is also a top priority for CIOs, protecting the company’s data assets. Information security is not a new issue, but we’ve seen a rise in the number of ransomware attacks in the last two years of lockdowns, which presents a new challenge for CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers). No longer is it enough to ensure you have a comprehensive security infrastructure. You also need to ensure that you keep immutable copies of your data and have the means to rapidly restore that data in the event of a ransomware attack.

We’re also seeing pressure now from Boards of Directors and governments to ensure that organizations don’t give in to ransomware demands. As a result, we see a “Trust Infrastructure” start to emerge to address identity issues in the digital space, potentially through the use of immutable technology such as blockchains and security certificates.

Cloud everywhere

The need to move faster is one of the key reasons why organizations embrace cloud operating models everywhere, including on-premises. Running everything using a cloud operating model enables them to automate their operations, creating a flexible infrastructure that provides their organizations with on-demand access to data services.

As a result, we expect to see more automation and orchestration tools enabling organizations to seamlessly deploy cloud operating models. We also see subscription services models become the norm to enable greater velocity. Companies will become more nuanced in their approach to technology adoption. For the non-core parts of their business, they will opt for speed, resilience, and simplicity and opt to consume those technologies as a service to focus most of their effort and capital investments in core areas.

Technology adjacencies

Now let me address adjacent areas that will impact storage indirectly. The first is data moving more towards the edge. As we move toward 5G and beyond, the Internet of Things and connected ecosystem will result in even more data to be generated and collected at the edge. This will require a robust distributed IT infrastructure that can manage and protect data centrally and at the edge. Large volumes of primarily unstructured data are collected through billions of sensors to provide companies with greater insight into the business.   

Another adjacent area is the emergence of Web 3.0. The introduction of Web 2.0 transformed the internet from largely static web content to interactive experiences and user-generated content brought about by the emergence of mobile, social, and cloud.

We are witnessing the next paradigm shift to Web 3.0 built upon the three foundational layers of edge computing, decentralized data networks (such as Blockchain), and AI. Web 3.0 will enable distributed users and machines to interact with data and value using peer-to-peer networks without 3rd parties, thus shifting data ownership to an open, trustless, and permissionless framework.

More innovations ahead

2022 will be an exciting year for technology as the world becomes increasingly digitalized. There are exciting new areas of technology, some of which may catch us by surprise, for example, neuromorphic computing, and I would be remiss, not to mention the metaverse. Strap yourselves in and prepare for a wild ride in 2022.

The author is VP & CTO, Asia Pacific & Japan, Pure Storage

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