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BW Businessworld

"More Data Will Be Generated Over The Next 2-3 Yrs; Challenge For Cos Is How To Make Better Use Of It"

B.S. Teh, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Sales Operations, Seagate Technology, spoke to BW Businessworld about the challenges and important facets of the data storage market today.

B.S. Teh is the senior vice president of global sales and sales operations. He is responsible for Seagate Technology's worldwide sales organization, sales and business operations and planning. Mr. Teh joined Seagate Technology in 1992 as the company's sales manager responsible for ASEAN and the Indian sub-continent and has had several leadership in sales and marketing management positions in both Asia Pacific and global organizations. Most recently, he was senior vice president of Asia-Pacific sales and marketing, based in Singapore.

Recently, Daya Prakash of BW Businessworld sat down with B.S. Teh to discuss a wide range of topics, concerning data growth, data utilisation and the emergence of the DataOps field based on the survey findings from Rethink Data: Put More of Your Data to Work - From Edge to Cloud. 

This Seagate Technology report draws on a global survey sponsored by Seagate and conducted by the independent research firm IDC on 1,500 respondents globally, including 500 in APJ. The survey zeroed in on a solution to today's data management dilemmas: DataOps-a discipline of connecting data creators with data consumers. Business leaders who implement DataOps can count on better business outcomes.

DP: With spiralling data growth, businesses need to develop a robust data storage, management and capitalization strategy to be successful, especially in an unprecedented time like COVID. What's your take on this?
Teh: In today's world, data is the most important commodity that any business should have. What we're seeing is really, a situation where a lot of companies are not fully harnessing the data that they generate. In fact, studies have shown that they're only using about 32% of the data out there. This is truly a missed opportunity.
DP: Reports have indicated that only a very small amount of the data available to organization is put to work, the remaining goes unleveraged. What's your take on companies trying to gain better insights from the data in today's economy?
Teh: I think that is the challenge that most enterprises are facing. You also have to consider that enterprises are growing their data, about an average of 42% every year. In India, the rate of growth is even higher than that (around 45%). The challenge for the industry is "What to do?" I think there's about 4 different challenges they face;
1.    How do they capture all of the data they are generating?
2.    How do they store that data?
3.    How do they efficiently use the harnessed data and translate it into useful information?
4.    How do they secure the data?
These are very critical challenges that all enterprises are facing.

DP: How do you see the emergence of DataOps? Would you like to share some global trends and particularly how is it shaping up in India?
Teh: DataOps is a very important new area of discipline in our field. In the recent Rethink Data survey, more than 80% of businesses believe that it is critical, but less than 10% of businesses are actually employing that discipline.  DataOps is a convergence of data creation and consumption process. The management of transition between creation and consumption is what DataOps is all about.

DP: What are the typical challenges you have come across while talking to customers/potential customers with regards to data in motion?
Teh: What we have right now is a situation where data is spread across what we call multi-cloud, meaning different locations. Because of that, there is a requirement for data to actually move across clouds. 57% of the data will be in motion, according to the Rethink Data survey. This creates the issue of security. As I mentioned earlier there is a concern regarding security of the data at rest, and in motion. There are different ways in which we address these concerns.

DP: There has been a growing concern around data security. What is your take on challenges faced by organizations with respect to Data Security?
Teh: Data security is critical. Indian respondents, in the survey for Rethink Data, ranked security as one of the most critical challenges. There are different areas to look at it when it comes to security. First is data at rest, and how secure is the data in the device used for storage or the location it is being stored in. Second is when the data is in motion, being transferred from one location to another, being streamed over fibre or WiFi. That is a challenge that the industry faces. As far as security at Seagate Technology is concerned, we have very secure drives equipped with the latest security features. We ensure that when data is at rest in our devices, it is actually very secure. As far as ensuring the security of the data in motion, that is really a question of how you look at the software that is really managing the movement of the data. That is an area of critical interest for Seagate Technology, and all others in the storage industry as well.

DP: There is no denying the fact that data empowers organizations. How do you see the market evolving in the next 2-3 years? What is your key message to the CXO for driving tangible action items by unlocking the power of data?
Teh: More and more data will be generated over the next two to three years. The challenge the companies are facing is how they make greater use of the data being generated. The first hurdle is the capturing of the data and its subsequent storage. Then comes the challenge of analysing and translating that data into beneficial outcomes. Studies have shown that companies that leverage and utilise more of the data they generate have better business outcomes. Whether it be revenue, profits, customer satisfaction or customer loyalty, it has proven to be an important aspect of the business.

DP: With your experience, how many companies have a robust data management system in India. How is their situation compared to their global counterparts?
Teh: India is similar to the global scenario in terms of how they view the importance of data. In fact, Indian companies view data as more critical. More than 76% of Indian companies generally feel that the progress of enterprises in managing the data is satisfactory. However, there is a large proportion of respondents that feel more needs to be done. More than 70% are of the view that improvements are really needed. More than 50% of Indian respondents also feel that data analytics is the most critical discipline. That includes translating and analysing all the data available and channelling it into information that is really useful and allows them to make the right decisions.

DP: Has there been any impact on effective data management on efficiency of companies in India? How can companies drive further improvement in this area?

Teh: There has been improvement in India without a doubt. We see that progress is continually being made. There is a higher proportion of Indian companies that are really deploying the DataOps discipline. Globally, there's only 10% of companies that have incorporated the DataOps discipline. In India, that percentage is higher, at over 20%. This is encouraging, because it shows the awareness of Indian companies over managing, consuming and utilising the data, and we believe that with this improvement, we will see companies becoming stronger and experiencing stronger business outcomes.

DP: How does the Indian Market fair in overall strategy for Seagate Technology?
Teh: The Indian market is extremely important and strategic to Seagate Technology. In the past, the Indian market has been largely very consumer based (as it pertains to the data storage market). While we sell a lot of our storage to consumer market, the last few years, we've seen the importance of a very important strategic enterprise storage business, whether it is private cloud or public cloud. We believe that India is going to be leading the way in terms of growth in storage, and that's what makes India a very attractive and strategic market.

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