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5 Macrotrends Amplifying Data Gravity

Tony Bishop, Senior Vice President, Platform & Solutions

In the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0, we make the assertion that we have evolved from a digital economy to what is now a data-powered economy. For as long as it's existed, the global economy depended on the physical flow of people, goods, and services. In recent years, increased digitization has shifted the physical economy to a digital economy.

The data economy stems from the abundance of data created from these digital interactions. As a result, the physical locations at the centers of trade are also now the centers of enterprise data creation, processing, and exchange. This data creation and digitization generates a significant revenue opportunity.

In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates $100 trillion of incremental Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could be secured through digital transformation.1 And in 2021, IDC identified that in the United States alone, this represents more than 17.2 trillion in GDP growth within data-intensive industries.2

But with the advent of this data growth, Data Gravity also increases. Data Gravity is the attractive force caused by data creation and exchange, drawing applications, servers, and other data.

As data creation and exchange grows, it accelerates exponentially due to this attractive force. In centers of data creation and exchange, this explosion of data can be onerous for legacy servers and applications, and Data Gravity can cause challenges that impede efficiency, security, customer experiences, and innovation on a global scale.

There are five macro trends that influence the data economy and therefore Data Gravity. They are:

  1. Digitally-enabled interactions
  2. Data localization
  3. Mergers & Acquisitions
  4. Cyber-physical technologies
  5. Enterprise data stewardship

In this blog, you’ll learn how these macrotrends affect Data Gravity and how IT leaders can evade the effects of Data Gravity within their own data strategies.

Macrotrend 1: Digital-enabled interactions increase digitization

According to the World Economic Forum,3 70% of new value created over the next ten years will be based on digitally-enabled platform models.

The advance of high-performance computing applications like artificial intelligence (AI) and the high volume of data being stored and processed augment enterprise workflows. As enterprises evolve AI-led services and products, this will also increase the volume of data exchange globally.

Macrotrend 2: Data localization increases the number of enterprise data locations

In 2022, Digital Realty’s Global Data Insights Survey found that 78% of IT leaders will maintain local copies of customer and transaction data for compliance. The increase in regional regulations means enterprises need to formalize their data localization strategies. Gaining insight from localized data in a compliant and time-effective manner will be an ongoing challenge to innovation.

Additionally, Data Gravity emerges as an ever-growing number of locations, users, and devices create more data. The design of an enterprise strategy that drives successful outcomes will inherently address Data Gravity.

Macrotrend 3: Globalization drives enterprise mergers & acquisitions (M&A) to achieve scale

Mergers and acquisitions are increasing the number of data sources participating in data exchanges. As Data Gravity creates barriers to accessing data intelligence, fully processing, aggregating, and analyzing data becomes a critical challenge.

To proactively counteract these barriers, enterprises must build a flexible, data-centric architecture. Special consideration must be given to how data sets are deployed and connected.

Macrotrend 4: Cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things (IoT) increase data creation

The integration of physical and cyber security systems (CPS) to prevent intrusion into Internet of Things (IoT) technology is increasingly becoming commonplace in the enterprise. According to McKinsey, IoT could enable up to 12.6 trillion in value globally by 2030.4

As bad actors become more sophisticated, companies must incorporate CPS to support the real-time safety of critical infrastructure. As this integration increases, so does the type and volume of data created and exchanged, leading to the increase in Data Gravity.

Macrotrend 5: The enterprise becomes the world’s data steward

The enterprise is fast becoming the world’s data steward. According to IDC, by 2025, 80% of data worldwide will reside in enterprises. The increase in data is driven by “the increasingly always-on and ‘sensorized’ world that is capturing and analyzing our environments and creating data 24x7.”5

This also increases the volume of data that needs to be aggregated and stored, leading to the increase of Data Gravity.

In the data economy — data-first architecture wins

As data creation evolves and exponentially increases, enterprises must adopt plans that use data as the strategic lever for innovation. By implementing a data-centric architecture in multi-tenant data centers, enterprises address Data Gravity barriers.

Data Gravity requires a connected data community approach between enterprises, connectivity, cloud, and content providers. This approach integrates core, cloud, and edge at centers of data exchange. Additionally, this implements a secure, data-centric Hybrid IT architecture at global points of business presence, deployed by multitenant data centers.

To dive deeper into Data Gravity insights and forecasts, download the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0 today.

1. World Economic Forum. $100 Trillion by 2025: the Digital Dividend for Society and Business, January 2016
2. IDC, US Valuation by Industry Vertical, December 2022
3. World Economic Forum, Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and New Value Creation, June 2022.
4. McKinsey, The Internet of Things: Catching up to an accelerating opportunity, November 2021.
5. IDC #US44413318, Data Age 2025, The Digitization of the World From Edge to Core, November 2018