Data Age 2025 Panel June 2017 Luczo and panel on screen

As the venerable tech writer Walt Mossberg said in his last-ever column The Disappearing Computer, “Tech was once always in your way. Soon, it will be almost invisible.” His point was simple – people are becoming more aware of the fact that our devices are valuable only because of the data they enable us to create and access.

On June 5, Seagate convened a panel of data experts in San Francisco to discuss the implications this shift in awareness holds for companies, their customers and society at large, and how we are now at the beginning of a new Data Age defined by new possibilities and discoveries not previously attainable.

Moderated by ZDNet writer Stephanie Condon, the panel included Seagate’s CEO Steve Luczo; Dave Reinsel, senior vice president of Research at IDC; Miguel Alvarado, VP of Data and Analytics at Vevo; Kushagra Vaid, General Manager and Distinguished Engineer, Azure Hardware Infrastructure, Microsoft; Akhil Gupta, VP of Infrastructure at Dropbox; Bob Pishu, senior economist at INRIX; and Brooks Moore, producer at the Emmy award-winning production company Bonnemaison.

Here are three key takeaways from the discussion, which covered both data in the cloud, and data created by devices on the edge of the network, such as PCs, phones, camera, connected cars, and wearables.

Key Takeaway #1: We’ll see a dramatic shift to real-time (and life critical) data.

Data is ever more essential to critical elements of our society and economy — from infrastructure to education, banking, medical devices, autonomous cars and more. Huge improvements in connectivity require parallel leaps in real-time and mobile data access and the ability to leverage that data.

Key Takeaway #2: Data security will be even more critical – more challenging to deliver.

Data Age 2025 June 2017 Panelist Akhil Gupta speaking

More data means more vulnerability. What does this mean for organizations as the gap increases between the amount of data that should be secured and the amount that actually is?

Key Takeaway #3: We must prioritize what data to save because we can’t afford to save it all.

This explosion in the amount, variety, and importance of data created will pose new challenges for business and individuals. How must organizations prepare and act to excel during this period of huge data growth?

The panelists agreed the Data Age 2025 will create more opportunities, more efficiencies, and more advances in life-critical applications than we can imagine today. In the meantime, companies and technology providers must continue to drive advances in storage and prioritize the data that’s more important to their business and customers.

“What we really want to do is be predictive,” says Luczo. “If we can take all this unstructured data and apply it to artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as amazing human input, you can begin to solve some of the real challenges around safety, around healthcare, around environmental damage, such as habitat loss, things that really matter.”

To hear more of the panelists’ perspectives and how businesses can prepare for and adapt to the Data Age 2025, view the video:

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