Back to the Future vs. reality – why 2015 could be the year of data dystopia, not hoverboards

It’s official, the future has finally caught up with us. Today is Back to the Future Day, 21st October 2015, and what better way to celebrate than to sit down and watch this true classic. Back to the Future Part II, has to be up there amongst the best.

Not least because it offers a refreshingly positive take on the future, without the dystopic themes and imagery of other futuristic classics such as Robocop, Terminator, or Mad Max.

That’s not to say that dystopia is without merit, it is a major motif in both literature and film, indeed, what self-respecting sci-fi fan doesn’t love a good alien-controlled, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic storyline?But sometimes it’s good to get away from doom and gloom!

> See also: The future of the data economy: how to measure the true value of your data assets

So after gleefully living in a world of flying cars, hoverboards, and self-lacing shoes for 108 minutes, you could be forgiven to arriving back into the reality of 2015 with a bump.

With cyber attacks and data breaches making the headline for much of the year, 2015 feels at times bit too dystopic for comfort. The reality of 2015 begs the questions: Could our data be headed towards a dystopian future?

Over the last two years alone, it’s become increasingly evident that the world runs on data. Indeed the publicity of Sony and Ashley Madison hacks alongside Government data breaches and snooping smartphone apps have had such a wide reaching effect that data privacy and security has become a genuine concern. Not only are consumers becoming more aware of the value of their data, but they are also becoming more demanding of security.

> See also: Technology and the workplace of the future

The same is true of business, with concerns over export controls, new EU data regulations and the recent news that the Safe Harbour agreement between the EU and US isn’t actually valid. All this is set against the broad acceptance that data is an asset that needs to be be leveraged to drive new business or gain competitive advantage.

Increasingly, enterprise IT teams and business leaders are asking serious questions about very real data challenges of 2015, such as: Is it possible to leverage datasets I already have? How can my organisation safely transition to the cloud? Does ‘mobile data’ always mean ‘insecure data’? Can I really enable collaboration with cloud technology yet still maintain security? And With data fragmented over multiple clouds, how do I keep control of governance?

Clearly Marty and the Doc had none of this on their mind, it would have taken some very clever film making to keep the attention of the audience. However, how business and public bodies deal with these challenges has the potential to affect everyone.

The good news is that there are answers to these questions today; it is possible to activate your data and gain a business advantage. The second piece of good news is that none of it involves a DeLorean or a Flux Capacitor.

Sourced from Nigel Tozer, Product Marketing Director EMEA and Brian Mitchell, Senior Manager Product Marketing, Commvault

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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