What’s the 2014 Version of 'Plastics?'

Posted 12/13/2013 by kklavon

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Guest Blog by Mike Opal, Senior Evangelist for Cloud Alliances, Microsoft

CommVault has been fortunate to work with several excellent "BizDev" folks from Microsoft during our 15-plus years partnership. Microsoft's Mike Opal is the classic example of a brilliant individual who helps both of our businesses grow by listening to our customers. This listening to customers has helped CommVault and Microsoft partner on the latest technologies (Enhance and Embrace) that allow businesses to better manage their data. Here's a Special Guest Blog from Mike, who is Microsoft's Senior Evangelist for Cloud Alliances.

People love to give advice; one of the best examples comes from one of my favorite movies, “The Graduate.” It’s the movie that made Dustin Hoffman famous and made “Mrs. Robinson” a timeless piece of our pop culture.

In “The Graduate,” Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock, returns to his parents’ dysfunctional southern California home after college. Now he’s a little lost (as we all were just after college), and to try and cheer him up his parents throw a welcome home party, which turns out to be really just for his parents. But during this party, one of his parents’ friends pulls Benjamin out into a quiet spot to give him some important, secret and extremely valuable advice. That advice consisted of one word: 'Plastics.'

If "The Graduate" were rewritten for 2014, that one word would be 'Data.'

The explosion in devices and rich Web experiences have created a tidal wave of data. In 2009, we as a human species had produced a grand total of 0.8 Zettabytes of data; this is the cumulative amount from the beginning of recorded time up until well into the Internet and mobile revolution. By 2015, we will we be at 7.8 Zettabytes, and by 2020 it is estimated that we’ll have a total of 35 Zettabytes of data. In just over 10 years, we will have produced 44 times the amount of data as we had in the thousands of years before.

My first thought upon learning this was, 'What the heck is a Zettabyte?' It turns out a Zettabyte equals 1 BILLION Terabytes.

My second thought was figuring out what to do with all this data will be the challenge of our time. This tidal wave will swallow many companies whole, but those who can put tools and methodologies in place to organize and then leverage this data will surf away from their competitors at speeds that were unimaginable when “The Graduate” came to theaters in 1967.

In 2014, we need to take the one word advice of Data seriously. At Microsoft, we do and it’s why we partner so closely with CommVault — because they not only understand Data but they can help people act on Data.

Those who can act on Data will be like Benjamin Braddock - riding away from his problems with a smile and the girl of his dreams. But those who ignore the sage advice of Data, and simply hope for the best, may as well roll into their parents’ pool and sink slowly to the bottom.