Morne Bekker, South African country manager and district manager, SADC region, NetApp, will look at how organisations can and need to become data-centric and the importance of thinking about your data differently. He will be presenting at the ITWeb Digital Economy Summit at the Focus Rooms, Sunninghill, on Wednesday 8 November 2017.
ITWeb Events spoke to Bekker about the role of data in digitisation and much more.
ITWeb Events: What is a disruptor in your opinion?
Bekker: Disruption is so much more than just taking the first steps towards digitisation. Disruption should be about changing the world for the better by empowering today's customers with data.
Within today's digital economy, markets and customer purchasing behaviours are changing. Customers expect everything to be available online, anytime, anywhere. To satisfy these expectations, enterprise IT departments must be able to react quickly to changing business needs – while continuing to manage the mission-critical legacy workloads that "keep the lights on".
Enterprise IT faces a multitude of operational challenges daily which increase the pressure on the infrastructure they manage. To meet these challenges, enterprises must undergo a process of digital transformation made possible through disruption.
Of course within this transition, the management of customer data – no matter where it resides in your hybrid cloud environment – is pivotal.
ITWeb Events: What role does data play in disruption? Why is it important for organisations to become data-centric?
Bekker: It is no secret that data is increasingly important as a core component of business functionality and business performance. No longer is data locked away on devices hidden behind firewalls. Instead, it is becoming: distributed i.e. stored in multiple locations on-premises as well as in multiple cloud locations; dynamic i.e. an influx of constantly changing data that requires you to know where the data is and its source and lastly, diverse i.e structured, unstructured, machine learning, and streaming (generated in and outside the organisation). Essentially vendors that help customers manage and safeguard data will lead next era of IT.
ITWeb Events: How does NetApp support this transformation with/for their clients?
Bekker: Becoming a data-centric organisation is no small undertaking. The promise of the cloud can lead organisations to view digital transformation as a simple process and that it can be outsourced. The reality is that, to become a data-centric organisation, you need to think about your data differently and treat it differently.
In order to assist companies in managing their data, NetApp offers a number of next-generation architecture solutions such as: NetApp SolidFire All-Flash Array, NetApp HCI and FlexPod SF.
ITWeb Events: Why are disruptors considered to be a threat to incumbent business? What in your opinion should they be doing to stay in the game?
Bekker: As humans, we are naturally inclined to resist change, but the reality is that enterprise IT can't transform using traditional architectures. A next-generation data centre has a foundation that is built on new and different approaches to architecture that is inherently agile, scalable, and predictable.
NetApp offers this next-generation architecture to help satisfy business and technical requirements no matter where your business falls on the spectrum of transformation.
ITWeb Events: What do you see as the biggest drivers/motivators of change being in the next five years?
Bekker: The old data world of traditional enterprise applications that have predictable infrastructure requirements must make room for the inherently flexible cloud-native workloads of the new data world.
This transformation is coming to your data centre whether you are prepared to address it or not. The NetApp next-generation storage architecture delivers the best of both the old and the new worlds. It replaces the traditional infrastructure of the old data world with a more predictable, scalable, and agile infrastructure that is designed to support both traditional enterprise workloads and cloud-native apps.
Both the old and the new benefit from guaranteed performance that protects the user experience and from a scale-out architecture that rationalises infrastructure growth.
They also benefit from automation that frees your IT team to focus on the things that will drive business success in the digital economy.
ITWeb Events: Why did you say yes to presenting at the upcoming Digital Economy Summit? What is it that you bring to the table and what do you want attendees to take away with them after your presentation?
Bekker: Ultimately, I want audiences to walk away with the realisation that data is driving business processes and that viable data management could mean the difference between adapting and being left behind.
To successfully transform, data must become the lifeblood of an organisation, seamlessly flowing through it in order to optimise operations, create innovative business opportunities, and enable new customer touchpoints through technology.