Partner content: How the channel can address the hidden storage challenges of digital transformation

Josh Budd
clock • 3 min read
Olga Kozlova, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing, EMEA, Western Digital
Image:

Olga Kozlova, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing, EMEA, Western Digital

The drive for digital transformation continues at pace, as organisations in every industry look to adopt new connected technologies and the cloud to improve efficiency, accuracy, and speed of operations. The pandemic has also accelerated digital transformation and the sudden uptake in online activities has significantly increased data growth and demands. As organisations continue on their digital transformation journeys, awareness of the challenges and increased storage demands will enable channel businesses to become critical partners for providing the right solutions for the right applications to customers. 

Storage at home

During the transition to remote working, IT teams deployed virtual work platforms, videoconferencing and collaboration tools on a large scale. As a result, companies had to increase their data capacity and invest in higher performance storage solutions and servers. To comply with data regulations, organisations adopting virtual technologies for their members or workforces at scale often rely on smaller in-region channel partners to safely and compliantly store data. The acceleration of digital transformation over the past year has led to these regional channel businesses becoming even more critical in supporting increased demand for capacity.

Increased demands for storage can also be found in the entertainment sphere, notably on video streaming platforms, which require both high-capacity HDDs and high-performance SSDs. As consumers access and watch more content online, the pressure on cloud service providers to provide a seamless user experience is growing. To prevent bottlenecks, providers must balance storage at the edge for home networks with that in the cloud for its wider networks.

Education also saw itself having to move to a completely online model. Schools had to invest in virtual learning management systems and videoconferencing. Some educational organisations will likely maintain a degree of remote studying, making both high-capacity and high-performance storage solutions, either in the classroom or in the cloud, a long-term priority.  

The Internet of Things

As the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape continues to experience rapid growth, there are multiple points during the IoT data journey in which robust storage and network architecture is key to enable an optimal end user experience. With a predicted 41.6 billion connected devices generating 73.1 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2025, the need for this storage and supporting infrastructure will be a long-term opportunity for channel businesses.

As connected technologies are increasingly adopted for various types of infrastructure with different goals in mind, channel partners will need to shift from general-purpose to purpose-built storage solutions.

Purpose-built architecture is necessary to fully maximise the value of data for each IoT use case, rather than general-purpose solutions, which don't meet specific needs of IoT applications. For example, connected search and rescue drones require industrial-grade, durable storage solutions that can endure harsh environments and temperature extremes.

Preparation is key

As businesses continue to invest in digital transformation, it is critical that the channel helps customers anticipate the data capacity and performance needs that they might run into, and provide the most appropriate purpose-built solutions for their specific applications and workloads.

More content and guidance is available through the myWD partner program which offers 2,000 welcome points for signing up.

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