By Sekete Patrick Maphopha, SE Manager for Africa and Technology Evangelist at NetApp
David Ata starts his day as most people do; checking his phone. David is the CIO of the South African office of a large global financial services company, and spends the majority of his day in the cloud, whether he knows it or not.
Before he has even had his first cup of coffee David will have messaged his family to say good morning, checked his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, and read the current breaking news stories from his favourite news app. As he begins to get ready for the day he uses his phone to check Gautrain schedules from the city back home for the weekend. By the time he has made his breakfast, David settles down to check his emails and the market to make a note of any changes overnight, pondering the mayhem that might ensue if the transaction records data ever got lost in storage. He needs NetApp’s affordable and integrated storage solutions. NetApp would enable him to innovate as well as deploy solutions faster to bring resolutions to his employers data management needs without much impact to his productivity.
He quickly discovers that in the early hours of the morning a large American bank has acquired another smaller South African bank, causing a potential shift in the market and a stream of emails to come flooding into David’s inbox. There had been some rumours of an acquisition, however, the news had come very suddenly, meaning David and his team were not entirely prepared to react. Various colleagues begin emailing him for data to present to their clients to show how this news will affect their business. Details of the acquisition will be needed quickly, so David saves it to their on premise system.
He checks his calendar to see a new meeting has been added first thing in the morning, on the opposite end of town from his office. Living in Johannesburg means he has curated a large collection of travel apps on his phone, so he quickly opens one up to plan out the best route to get to his meeting. He is swiftly bombarded with numerous alerts regarding severe tube delays, so fixes on a bus route and gets ready to head out.
On the way to his first meeting he starts contacting his colleagues in offices around the world in order to start collating as much data as he can. He settles on creating a conference call to brief everyone on the situation in one go, and sends around a Skype invitation.
While he is travelling to the office he goes to play some music, using a popular streaming service. As he logs on he is told there has been a problem with the company’s cloud storage and his account information has been lost – typical, he thinks. He starts listening to his ‘recommended’ music, and finds that he is presented with a selection of songs he has never, and would never listen to. Without his history, the service became near-useless. ‘I may as well just listen to the radio,’ he thought to himself. He makes a mental note to check with the IT team that they take advantage of the NetApp Data Fabric Strategy, which encapsulates all data and management requirements across disk, tape, flash and cloud. His data could be on-premises, off-premises, in or near a hyperscaler, but the management would be the same. Essentially, through the NetApp Data Fabric, any good data governance and management plan will follow the data regardless of location, application, server platform, network or storage to cater for smartphone-focused users.
When David eventually gets into the office there is a flurry of activity both on and off line surrounding the news. Emails and video calls fly about as people hurry around the office floor trying to pull together as much information as possible. Some of the records are buried in backups somewhere in storage, and the team have to search through the entire data landscape to find it, while some are closer to home. David settles into his Skype call with 15 different countries and quickly begins to realise that he has a huge wealth of information at his fingertips.
He settles into work and is amazed that throughout the course of the day his colleagues have been able to share information gathered from all over the globe. He creates a document on the company’s document management application hosted on an enterprise cloud server so his colleagues can begin inputting their findings instantly. Soon, a clear picture begins to form and David is able to pull all of the information into a succinct document to share with his clients.
At 5:45 David requests an Uber to come and pick him up and take him to the Gautrain station – why even bother with Johannesburg’s public transport at this point? As he makes his way to the Gautrain station he shares his journey information with his family, noting with huge relief that his train is running on time.
This makes him reflect upon his day and he is struck with just how much information he has available to him. From re-planning his route to work to coping with an international acquisition, he realises that everything he needed was accessible to him at just the touch of a button. He never took time to truly appreciate how connected he was, but today had made him realise just how valuable this web of information could be. The day had made him aware of the importance of data to his life and the true impact that data management companies such as NetApp have by managing the world’s data. And with that, he sat back in his seat plugged in some music and let his mind drift into the clouds.