Intelligent data management is opening up more and more use cases for copies of backup data. But using data for more than just backup and recovery purposes may run into an ossified company culture that resists change.

Johnny Yu filed this report for TechTarget:

The ability to aggregate, categorize and automate data for optimal backup and disaster recovery also led to the proliferation of nonbackup use cases like application development, teaching machine learning algorithms and compliance. This changed creating and maintaining copies of data from being a cost center and insurance policy to a strategic asset for generating revenue and business insight.’

The main use case of copies of data will still always be backup, said George Crump, founder of storage industry analyst firm Storage Switzerland. Backup is the foundation. However, he said there’s been shift from vendor’s simply making better and faster backup products to making products that can cover more use cases.


In consolidating the data and improving access to it for backup and recovery purposes, Delta found other business uses for that data. Lopez described a marketing initiative to share relevant flight data to travelers informing them about flight delay times and the reasons behind them. The processes for determining what data is relevant to which passengers, automating the dissemination of info and doing it all in a compliant manner is possible when everything is intelligently connected.

Interestingly, the barrier to adopting something to contain the infrastructure sprawl was not cost or lack of knowledge. Instead, it was a company culture that was overly hesitant about making changes.

Lopez said Delta’s IT attrition rate is less than 1%, and the average IT staff member’s tenure is 20 years. He said this led to a culture of people who were unwilling to rock the boat with any major IT overhauls or projects. It took a catastrophic event to effect change, which Lopez said is not how IT should be run.