Digital information volumes have skyrocketed in recent years, driven up by the increasing level of global interconnectivity and broadband penetration rates that have shone such a bright light on some of the most underserved nations in the world. Although this is certainly a positive trend that presents organizations with a wealth of opportunities to become more intelligent, efficient and profitable, the systems used to manage these massive volumes of information must be optimized for maximum returns.
For example, if a small business is still using a highly traditional approach to IT management and information governance, big data and other advanced analytics tools will simply not be viable options. The size, diversity and velocity of big data projects necessitate more modernized IT and communications frameworks and, luckily for entrepreneurs and mid-sized corporate decision-makers, the cloud is making the transition a bit easier and more viable for the average organization.
Cloud services can quickly transform a company from a traditional, legacy-oriented environment to one that is far less restrictive, which is especially important given the rise in mobility programs and telecommuting. With all of the information that is readily available on the Internet for analysis and general research, small business owners should be highly interested in technologies that will drive down expenditures while simultaneously bolstering the power of their IT frameworks.
In the past several years, researchers have already started to see how quickly the average organization is throwing out its old methods of IT provisioning and management and supplanting them with more modern cloud services. This has had a profound impact on the small business sector, with companies that were once too small to reach the cutting edge of technological deployments now taking a seat in the driver's position when it comes to investments and overhauls.
Integration of IT in the front
The International Data Corporation recently released the results of its latest Worldwide Quarterly Integrated Infrastructure and Platforms Tracker, which is a global analysis of purchases directed toward these types of technologies. According to analysts, integrated infrastructure and platform purchases increased by 33.8 percent last quarter when compared to the same period in 2013, now representing a $2.4 billion industry.
It should not take all that much effort to understand why integrated infrastructure and platform equipment is taking up so much of the average corporate budget when looking at the challenges presented by modern information governance.
"It's notable that sales of integrated systems have driven considerable and continued growth at a time when many portions of the enterprise infrastructure market have experienced lackluster results," Eric Sheppard, research director of storage for IDC, affirmed. "Integrated systems have clearly become a critical go-to market approach and an important source of growth for infrastructure suppliers looking to capitalize on a market need to reduce datacenter infrastructure inefficiencies."
The direct impact of these purchases was most clearly seen in the 833 petabytes of new storage the world created within integrated infrastructure and platform purchases, and this represented a 63.4 percent increase year-over-year. In a word, take note that these solutions are becoming more affordable, since far more storage capacity was created without an overwhelming rise in purchases.
"IDC continues to find enterprise customers bullish in their adoption of integrated systems; a greater number of customers are considering these solutions in their IT procurement decisions," added Jed Scaramella, research director for IDC's enterprise servers wing. "As a result, the integrated systems market is shaping up to be a competitive battleground for IT vendors. A critical win in the market translates into increased footprint within the customer base, usually at the expense of a competitor."
Certain vendors were more successful than others, with Cisco seeing a dramatic increase in revenues between the second quarter of 2013 and that of this year, to the tune of 38.3 percent.
What this means to small business
Entrepreneurs might not see the ways in which these types of trends will begin to impact their own operations all that quickly, but should recognize that this is clear evidence that markets are evolving in a highly intelligent fashion as the years progress. Small business owners who have not yet considered making the switch to cloud-based integrated infrastructure and platforms should certainly do so soon, as the financial and operational advantages of these initiatives can make all the difference in the long run.
Information volumes are going to continue to increase exponentially throughout the next few years, and having the storage environments necessary to scale up retained data will be critical to maintaining continuous operational performance improvements in the future. Furthermore, embracing these types of technologies will also open the door for other strategic initiative deployments including mobility and the Internet of Things, as modernized IT makes these trends a bit more palatable than traditional frameworks would allow.