Why Should Executives Care About Data Storage?

How often does data storage make it to executives’ top priority list? Not as often as it should. Storage is more than an IT commodity these days, and as data increasingly becomes your most valuable asset, taking storage for granted can hold you back. This article from data storage experts Pure Storage explains why.

Ask any executive to list the top ten things he or she cares about most and you’ll likely get a few repeats. Growing revenue, expanding into new markets, evolving and optimising value chains, mitigating risk, and keeping customers happy are initiatives that get executives up in the morning (or, keep them up at night). They can’t afford not to care about these things.

Take mitigating risk with data protection, for example. In 2020, what are the chances a leader shrugged when you asked how she or he was protecting an organisation from a security breach or ransomware? Probably zero. They know the risk and cost of taking data security for granted— millions of dollars and tremendous reputational damage—so it’s rarely an afterthought.

But ask the same group how data storage ranks alongside the above and you might not get the same response. Storage? That’s just infrastructure — the business of IT teams and database admins, right? Wrong. Storage is much more than an IT commodity these days. Taking it for granted can hold companies back from evolving business models, deploying innovative new applications, and monetising data — which should be enough to keep any leader up at night.

Your Data Is Ready for a Promotion

It’s been said many times that data is even replacing physical assets as a business’s most valuable line item. That’s because it can be such a veritable goldmine for innovation, monetisation, and competitive edge. I’m not only talking about static, structured data, like spreadsheets and tables. This includes video, audio, behavioural, and streaming data. When harnessed, it can predict the next revenue opportunity, mitigate an impending risk, and empower customer loyalty.

Just look at Uber, a transportation app that owns no vehicles. Or Airbnb, which brokers lodging but owns no properties. These companies are overtaking industry leaders with major pools of physical assets by leveraging their data as a strategic asset.

If you’re reading between the lines, it’s probably clear: today’s data isn’t the store-it, protect-it, and forget-it liability of yesterday. And for this modern data to take care of the business, the business needs to care of its data.

Why Domino’s Pizza Needs Dough and Data

Today, data is the real measure of value and potential.

Take Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, for example. A team of mechanics had the opportunity to revolutionise racecar design and performance by leveraging an ever-increasing dataset. To do this, teams trackside and in the factory needed instant access to real-time data. Legacy storage would stall out in this scenario, but modern data storage helped them expand their data-driven initiatives while reducing time spent managing data by 90%.

It’s the same with Waymo, the self-driving car company spun off by Google. Waymo’s value isn’t derived from cars; the value comes from the data it gathers from millions of miles driven on public roads, and billions of miles driven in testing simulations.

But what about food service, a traditionally “low-tech industry”? Domino’s Pizza sells 3 million pizzas every day from more than 17,000 locations. That takes a lot of dough, tomato sauce, and cheese, but Dominos also realised that there is a substantial amount of data behind every pizza box. Every transaction contains a gold mine of data about what customers like and don’t like—from toppings to how they like to place orders.

And for Domino’s, storage matters. Their customer database runs on Pure Storage® FlashArray™ and FlashBlade® technology, helping the company to constantly learn and adapt to customer preferences. If you need just one example of why executive teams should care deeply about data storage, this may be it: Domino’s data analytics program supports its Piece of the Pie Rewards program, which increases customer engagement with the brand and generates even more data.

It’s precisely the type of data pipeline you want in a business that thrives on the customer relationship.

Taking [data] for granted can hold companies back from evolving business models, deploying innovative new applications, and monetising data — which should be enough to keep any leader up at night.

The Power (and Peace of Mind) of Stable, Secure Storage

If CTOs and CIOs really want to get more from their data, they’ll need a powerful “engine” running behind the numbers. Using data the way that companies like Domino’s, Waymo, and Mercedes do requires agility. Speed matters. Stability matters. Opportunities need to be seized in “real-time.”

The problem: legacy infrastructures weren’t built for this purpose. They weren’t built to extend to the cloud, or to support data that delivers against today’s reality.

What’s the solution? You might invest in tools and talent to harvest and store all this data. Overnight “batch processing” helps, but it won’t deliver results fast enough. And raw speed alone won’t get it done. Without a modern storage platform that embraces real-time performance, flexibility, and the public cloud, you’ll struggle to get ambitious projects off the ground.

At Pure, we led the flash revolution, building purpose-built solutions and removing all of the complexity. Our innovations have had ripple effects throughout the enterprise infrastructure, most including our recent acquisition of Portworx.

Your modern data storage platform should be:

  • Flexible: allowing for simple, 100% non-disruptive upgrades and no data migration risk
  • Consumed as-a-service: enabling business leaders to build and migrate workloads where it serves them best, with no technical debt to worry about
  • Secure and accessible: ensuring that services are available when you need them, and always guarded from external threats
  • Easily shareable: accelerating value creation across departments and platforms
  • Use common architectures to promote better “data hygiene”: eliminating the data silos that typically get in the way of insights
  • Software-defined and multicloud-enabled: allowing for a common set of data services, and a built for modern applications across any hardware and any cloud

Data Storage Should Be Like Security: Intrinsic From the Start!

Think back to the connection between data security and data storage. If data storage’s journey to “respectability” is akin to cybersecurity — which used to be a somewhat misunderstood cost center — storage should matter in the same way. But rather than reputation-damaging and revenue-crushing attacks, the risks of inadequate storage include siloes, bottlenecks, overspend, and barriers that wreak havoc on your best intentions.

Data security is a board-level concern discussed at C-level meetings. Data storage should be, too — and potentially even more so with its potential to accelerate innovation and launch new revenue streams.

If data is the catalyst to innovation, customer experience, digital transformation then a modern storage platform will be a critical priority for you to consider. Simply put, your choice of storage platform matters.



Pure Storage® gives technologists their time back. Pure delivers a modern data experience that empowers organisations to run their operations as a true, automated, storage as-a-service model seamlessly across multiple clouds. Pure helps customers put data to use while reducing the complexity and expense of managing the infrastructure behind it.