Is 2015 the Year of a Data Dystopia?

Posted 01/22/2015 by ngotthold

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“Two thousand fifteen! You mean we're in the future?” – Marty McFly 

During the holidays, we had the chance again to watch “Back to the Future Part II,' the 1989 film about time travel starting Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson and Lea Thompson. It's rather refreshing to watch science fiction without the dystopic themes and imagery of “Robocop”, “Terminator” or “Mad Max”. Don’t get me wrong: dystopia is a major motif in both literature and film. And what self-respecting sci-fi geek doesn’t love a good alien-controlled, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic storyline? 

So after gleefully living in a world of flying cars, hoverboards, or self-lacing shoes for 108 minutes, recent news headlines about cyberattacks and data breaches suddenly brought me back to reality. In fact, it prompted a question:

Could our data be headed toward a dystopian future?

Over the last two years alone, it’s become clear to nearly everyone that the world runs on data. Consumers are not the only ones asking questions about privacy. We regularly speak with enterprise IT teams and business leaders whom also ask the tough questions:

  •          What’s the best way to encrypt in-flight or at-rest data?
  •          Will policy-based automation help match storage costs to service levels?
  •          Can I free up existing data center space by migrating legacy data to the cloud?
  •          What can I do to store, classify, and search data for audits or legal holds?
  •          Do disaster recovery plans align with recovery objectives of applications?

In 2015, the conversation is so much more than just backup and recovery: it’s about data. Your data. Regardless of whether that data resides on premise, in the cloud, or on mobile devices, no organization today should concerned with a “data dystopia”.