Enterprises must prioritize the bigger picture during IT upgrades

Forecasting storage capacity requirements and managing the exponential surge of data are some of the biggest challenges modern-day enterprises grapple with.  A hybrid approach enhances business agility by facilitating seamless interaction among applications and components. However, a similar level of distribution and accessibility is essential for effective data management, ensuring holistic operational efficiency.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve rapidly, enterprises are confronted with the formidable task of managing data and storage. Simultaneously, they must accommodate new technology deployments and ensure operational scalability. In an exclusive conversation with Nisha Sharma from CIO&Leader, Ajeya Motaganahalli, VP of Engineering and Managing Director, Pure Storage India R&D, delves into the multifaceted challenges enterprises face. He sheds light on the latest trends in storage and offers insights into maximizing the potential of hybrid cloud, with a particular focus on optimizing data strategies for hybrid applications. Additionally, Motaganahalli elucidates how Pure Storage is proactively assisting businesses in navigating modern complexities, spanning diverse data types, cloud integration, innovative storage models, and fostering growth in India. Excerpts from the interview:

CIO&Leader: What challenges do enterprises face when managing their data and storage needs while prioritizing new technology deployment and operational scaling?

Ajeya Motaganahalli:  Enterprises often find themselves dealing with the challenges of determining the optimal amount of storage they require. The task of accurately predicting the precise storage space needed is multifaceted and characterized by its intricacy. Adding to the diversity are distinct types of data, each having unique storage requirements.

Furthermore, in this time of storage challenges, enterprises also deal with another significant question about the data type itself. On the one hand, structured data is meticulously organized within databases, arranged, and formatted. On the other hand, unstructured data, ranging from text-based social media posts to visually rich images. Further diversifying the landscape are distinct types of data. For instance, data generated through the creative aspects of AI-generated photos, videos, or analytical insights exhibits different characteristics, intensifying the complexity of the storage challenge. In response to these complexities, more businesses are turning to cloud storage. However, using the cloud comes with ongoing costs for accessing stored data. A practical solution that’s becoming popular is a mix of both on-premise and cloud storage. This means keeping frequently used data on-site (hot data) while storing less-used data in the cloud. This approach helps manage costs and resources better, effectively solving the challenge of storage capacity.

CIO&Leader: How are you addressing these challenges?

Ajeya Motaganahalli:  First of all, we made the technology choice of only working with Flash right from the company’s founding. Flash performs better, is more resilient, consumes less power and takes up less space than legacy mechanical hard disks which used to be the predominant storage in data centers. Secondly, our Evergreen model protects our customers’ long-term investments by regularly updating hardware and software components, minimizing the need for disruptive hardware replacements and lowering e-waste. Pure also offers flexible business models catering to diverse markets, including pay-as-you-use and ownership options. This approach not only streamlines data management but also maximizes cost-effectiveness and adaptability.

CIO&Leader: What recommendations do you have for organizations upgrading their IT infrastructure?

Ajeya Motaganahalli: When organizations upgrade their IT systems, they should consider the bigger picture. It’s essential to consider both the initial costs and the long-term expenses. Look for solutions that make your hardware last longer so you don’t have to spend money on replacements all the time. Also, check if the systems can grow with your needs and work well without causing many problems. This way, you can run things smoothly while keeping costs under control.

CIO&Leader: Could you provide more details about Pure Storage’s plans for expansion in India?

Ajeya Motaganahalli- India plays a pivotal role in shaping Pure Storage’s global product roadmap. The center is instrumental in driving innovation, developing new technologies, and contributing to the evolution of Pure Storage’s products and solutions.

With its vibrant tech ecosystem and a pool of skilled professionals, India has become a hub for innovation and development within our company. The Indian team’s contributions span across various stages of product ideation, design, engineering, and testing, influencing the direction and features of our key offerings. We continue to hire top tech talent and play an integral role in ensuring that the company remains at the forefront of modern data management.

CIO&Leader: Many businesses nowadays are extensively using generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to make their customer service better. These tools remember and learn from what we tell them. But are these secure and helpful?

Ajeya Motaganahalli- You’ve touched upon a crucial aspect of leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT for customer service enhancement. The potential of these tools is transformative, but their effectiveness hinges on meticulous training and data input.

These AI models, like ChatGPT, are only as capable as the data they are trained on. The accuracy and relevance of their responses depend on the quality and comprehensiveness of the training dataset. When curating the training data, it’s imperative to include various scenarios, questions, and contexts that might arise in customer interactions. By doing so, the AI can draw from a rich pool of knowledge and provide accurate, meaningful responses.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that AI models are not infallible. If certain data points are omitted or overlooked during training, the AI might not possess the complete information to answer a query effectively. This bias towards omission could inadvertently limit the quality of the responses.

From a security standpoint, ensuring that sensitive or confidential information is handled appropriately is crucial. While AI tools streamline interactions, privacy and data protection should always be paramount. Clear guidelines and protocols must be established to safeguard customer information and adhere to industry standards.

AI tools like ChatGPT have the potential to revolutionize customer service by providing quick and accurate responses. However, their efficacy depends on meticulous training, comprehensive datasets, and a keen focus on privacy and security. As organizations harness the power of AI, a balanced approach that prioritizes innovation and data integrity will be crucial to success.

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