Data storage trends set to dominate work culture in 2022

Another top priority for CIOs is protecting the data assets of the company.
7 January 2022

Persistent talent shortages, cloud, cybersecurity, and sustainable aims are going to be the biggest data storage trends facing businesses going forward. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)

The recently-concluded calendar year 2022 was one of the most transformative years for work culture ever, as businesses big and small grappled with the repercussions of the pandemic to their operations, supply chains, partners ecosystems, and customers. Remote or hybrid working arrangments have become mainstays at many enterprises, and as global workforces become increasingly distributed, questions around company data storage and management become increasingly pressing.

This is especially true as the value and prevalence of digital data becomes much more sought-after for businesses who want to streamline their processes — utilizing data to optimize for better efficiency, cost savings, and to plan for the future. Market research firm Mordor Intelligence reports that the enterprise flash data storage industry continues to grow at 50% per year, and will continue to expand beyond 2022.

With the continued emphasis that there will be placed on secure data storage methods and working strategies, cloud and flash data storage specialists Pure Storage has released their predictions for the data market in 2022 and beyond. How has the role of data evolved to meet changing workplace needs going forward?

 War for talent

As the global economy recovers, the war for talent will result in rising wages. Employees will also start to favor companies that demonstrate a dynamic work culture with flexible work from home policies and sound ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) practices. In the technology space, we expect to see a shortage in talent for technologies such as containers, data analytics, and security.

Containers to be a competitive differentiator

Digital transformation will not only accelerate in 2022 but will also focus on finding those competitive differentiators that will allow companies to stand out from their competitors. One way they will do this is through greater 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 focussing on 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

Another top priority for CIOs is protecting the data assets of the company. Information security is not a new issue but we’ve seen in the last two years of lockdowns, a rise in the number of ransomware attacks, 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 not just from Boards of Directors but also 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 reasons why organizations are embracing cloud operating models everywhere, even on-premises. Running everything using a cloud operating model enables them to automate their operations, creating a flexible infrastructure which, in turn, provides their organizations with on-demand access to data services.

As a result, we expect to see more automation and orchestration tools to enable organizations to deploy cloud operating models seamlessly. We also see subscription services models become the norm to enable greater agility. 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 enable them to focus most of their effort and capital investments in core areas.

Drive to Sustainability

As the world marches on to net-zero goals, having transparent and auditable ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) practices will be a top priority for many companies. We’ll see many governments putting restrictions, or applying greater tax, on companies that don’t comply with certain ESG regulations. On the technology front, we expect to see companies investing in technologies that consume less power such as flash storage. Pure Storage has tracked data over the last eight years and can demonstrate customer energy savings in the region of 4 billion kWh.