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How Companies Can Navigate The Data-Driven Future

Though it’s only six years away, the world of 2025 will be a very different place in which to do business.

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Though it’s only six years away, the world of 2025 will be a very different place in which to do business.

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How Companies Can Navigate The Data-Driven Future

Though it’s only six years away, the world of 2025 will be a very different place in which to do business.

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Just look at the last few years to get a sense of the changes in store: artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things are contributing to the rise of smarter, more intuitive devices, which are constantly producing, analysing and sharing data. What’s more, this data-driven world will always be on, tracking, monitoring, listening and learning.

Although consumers have been at the helm of this data growth to date, a recent IDC whitepaper sponsored by Seagate Technology, predicts that businesses will be the ones creating 60% of the world’s data in the foreseeable future.

By 2025, the EMEA Datasphere – a measure of how much new data is created and replicated each year – will grow from 9.5 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 48.3ZB in 2025. These findings therefore pose a question: how should UK businesses prepare for the world of 2025, a world in which data will be a critical factor in their success?

What will the 2025 data ecosystem look like?

IDC forecasts that more than 150 billion devices will be connected across the globe by 2025, most of which will be creating data in real time. In fact, real-time data will represent 30% of the world’s Datasphere by 2025, double from what it was in 2017 (15%).

As companies increase the digitisation of their business and drive consistent and better customer experiences, consumers are embracing these personalised real-time engagements and resetting their expectations for data delivery.

Customers expect to access products and services wherever they are on whatever device or platform they have to hand and they want the purchasing experience to be personalised. This places greater demand on both the edge and the core to be able to produce the precise data consumers require, often in real-time.

Today, more than five billion consumers interact with data every day – by 2025, that number will be six billion, which represents 75% of the world's population. In 2025, each connected person will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds.

Many of these interactions will be because of the billions of IoT devices connected across the globe, which are expected to create over 90ZB of data in 2025.

Consequently, enterprises looking to provide a superior customer experience must have data infrastructures that can meet this growth in real-time data.

How can UK businesses prepare for 2025?  

In 2025 data will be a key driver of business success. The benefits of taking control of data are huge, and our research shows that businesses are aware of this. Specifically, 43% of EMEA businesses working on digital transformation projects have said data capitalisation – meaning using data to create business value – is their top priority.

However, between now and 2025 there will be an unprecedented phase of data growth that will present both challenges and opportunities for UK businesses in terms of how to store, manage and secure data:

·         Data management: Many British companies are finding it challenging to store and manage their data effectively. Furthermore, regulations around GDPR, data privacy, and the right to forget further complicate data management.

Businesses should evaluate their complete data pipeline and develop a data-first strategy to mitigate risks. Also, to avoid drowning in data, strategies should be focused on storing smaller sets of data that have significant business impact, rather than always trying to utilise as much data as possible.

·         Security: By 2025, a third of the EMEA Datasphere will need security protection according to IDC. However, research conducted by Seagate in 2018 found that almost a quarter of UK SMB employees said their company currently did not have plans in place in the event of a data breach or cyberattack.

Furthermore, 15% of respondents said their company had already suffered from a data breach or cyberattack.

This research shows that UK businesses need to start preparing for 2025 now, by ensuring security safeguards are in place to protect company and customer data.

It will be essential for businesses to educate employees on the fundamentals of data security and the importance of following procedures to ensure data is handled safely.

Looking at 2025 and beyond

Businesses across the UK are in the throes of digital transformation, leveraging data to inform decisions that positively impact the company from creating smarter products and better customer experiences, through to improving processes and operational efficiency.

Audi UK is an example of a business creatively leveraging data to inform its business strategies. It uses traffic, time and weather data to trigger advertising content that is contextually relevant to where the advert is being displayed.

For example, if it’s snowing, the ad will feature Audi’s all-wheel drive technology designed for adverse weather.

To ensure businesses stay relevant between now and 2025, companies will need to understand the role that data plays in their organisation, and prepare for how it will evolve.

To stay competitive, businesses need to prioritise data management and innovation in order to compete with digital disruptors that are already utilising their data in this way.

Organisations can take the reins by putting data at the heart of digital transformation and deploy the appropriate technologies now. By doing so they will have the ability to define not only the future of their business, but the future of their industry too.

Helen Farrier is a director at Seagate Technology.

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How Companies Can Navigate The Data-Driven Future

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