Making data nimble, allowing it to move freely among users, platforms, locations and protocols is the real meaning of data mobility. Companies that are able to achieve data mobility can achieve significant competitive advantage through technology, and set themselves up to make the most of data driven opportunities as they arise.
For the most part, data outlives the storage platforms it resides on. Data gets created, used and shared, and eventually it might be archived, but it’s rarely deleted- the potential for value creation down the road precludes most organizations from deleting anything. This means that when storage platforms reach the end of their usable lifespan, the data contained on it must be moved to a new system.
When companies evaluate their options for storage system refresh or expansion, they calculate the risks and rewards of staying on the same platform from the same vendor, versus switching to a new solution. The cost of moving to a new vendor or platform is high in many cases, leading to the significant lock-in associated with data center technology in general, and storage especially. Learning the new system, getting it properly configured and tuned, and moving the data from the old to the new stand out as particularly high barriers to switching.
Companies that use automated data migration solutions significantly reduce lock-in and open themselves up to the ability to select the best technology for the job, with less worry about the mechanics of moving data to the new system. These companies have achieved data mobility and reap significant benefits in terms of greater IT efficiency, better data availability, smoother operations and fewer outages. They also open themselves up to innovative new projects and approaches to using data, because their staff has freed up their time from the mundane tasks of manually managing and migrating data.
As more options to effectively use data have emerged, including the advanced analytics power of Hadoop, NOSQL databases and the power of sharing information with customers, partners and employees across the web, data mobility is the key to unlocking value from data. If data is inaccessible, locked away in aging storage platforms that struggle to expand and perform, it can’t be used in these new ways, and can’t deliver value. Proactively building data mobility into an enterprise storage environment is the best way to be able to take advantage of these technology trends and business opportunities. Companies that don’t do so will find themselves at significant disadvantage, which will only grow deeper as technology advances and competitors unlock the value of the data available to them.