How to plug the app-data gap

Organisations of all sizes are transforming and modernising to help them expand their current capabilities and progress new projects.

With this digital transformation, these businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on hundreds – or in some cases thousands – of applications to power every imaginable business process, from sales and marketing to product development.

This switch has had a tremendous impact on business outcomes, with benefits ranging from inventory management, pricing decisions, customer acquisitions and greater call centre efficiency.

But success is reliant on quick, uninterrupted access to data. When the delivery of the data to applications is disrupted, a gap is created which can negatively impact these processes and the desired outcomes.

>See also: The traps of digital transformation: it’s a tool, not a target

Ultimately this hampers the organisation’s effectiveness, so overcoming this gap is essential for all businesses striving to maintain competitive edge.

The app-data gap

Nimble Storage recently conducted research examining the root cause of applications breakdowns in more than 7,500 companies and found that fewer than half (46%) of application performance problems stem directly from storage devices that provision those apps – for instance, capacity and performance challenges, hardware failures and software issues.

The majority of application breakdowns originate from issues relating to the rest of the infrastructure. This may be network and application misconfiguration, compatibility problems, server issues, not adhering to best practice, and host-side problems, among many more.

Indeed, over half of the application breakdowns examined stemmed from complex infrastructures – from this, an app-data gap is created which disrupts the data delivery. The gap prevents information from being instantly available and causes processes to slow down.

As organisations depend on data and applications, having rapid and undisrupted applications becomes critical for every process – improving customer interaction, enhancing product development, and running the back off.

Therefore, it is essential that businesses look at how they can close the app-data gap and bring down the barriers to data velocity in their organisation.

High-app performance

To achieve high-application availability and performance, organisations must consider how best to optimise storage.

Many are now leveraging flash storage, which has a speed of more than 100 times faster than traditional disc storage, to achieve greater data velocity without needing countless racks of equipment.

This is helping businesses run a range of applications more effectively and efficiently – including severs, databases, collaboration tools, and desktop and server virtualisation apps.

However, while it removes the performance restrictions, flash doesn’t resolve the problems originating in the rest of the infrastructure.

Instead, it must be deployed with a cloud-based predictive analytics solution, which can predict and stop issues from arising across the whole application-to-storage stack.

Predictive analytics are able to monitor the infrastructure in real-time, not only enabling organisations to anticipate and quickly remediate complex issues as they arise, but also to avert possible hot spots and simplify planning.

It is also able to predict long term where increased storage space will be needed to improve performance, and can plan for it to occur seamlessly and non-disruptively.

Plug the gap

Storage management is becoming increasingly complex as enterprises demand more from their systems in terms of availability, performance, agility and ease of use.

Incorporating features of new technologies, such as predictive analytics and flash-optimised architectures, can help address this evolving challenge.

>See also: The digital transformation jungle survival guide

Only with intuitive and complete visibility into its storage and surrounding infrastructure will an organisation be able to determine where the barriers lie to achieving greater performance.

By rapidly reducing the complexity of infrastructure operations and by freeing up IT resources, companies will find themselves with improved capacity and assure business continuity.

The app-data gap poses a significant challenge to organisations with little clarity into the origins of its application breakdowns or how to remediate it.

But with gains of improved business performance and greater worker productivity, it’s too profitable an opportunity to ignore.

Sourced from Paul Scarrott, director, Nimble Storage

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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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