Enterprises across verticals are undergoing a digital transformation. They must now operate in the “always on” economy and execute instant service delivery to meet modern consumer demands. This shift requires an infrastructure that supports 24/7 application availability in both data center and cloud, while also ensuring data is protected and compliant.

As data management becomes increasingly crucial to meet business goals, companies are exploring new solutions to streamline and automate their processes. Here are the top trends you can expect to see in 2018:

1. AI-Powered Data Management

Leveraging machine learning for data protection and analysis provides valuable business opportunities, but enterprises have barely scratched the surface. According to Gartner, AI will be a major digital driver for reinventing both business models and the customer experience through 2025.

One application of ML that many companies are expected to explore relates to event-driven IT. This model involves constantly sensing and responding to business events, which could be anything from a completed transaction to threat detection. As companies prepare for intelligent applications and analysis, they will seek solutions that can centralize data management across all their environments.

2. Accelerated Cloud Adoption

While cloud computing isn’t new to the enterprise lexicon, it is still a relatively young technology. Companies have been cautious about migrating their data, especially critical data, to public or hybrid cloud. However, this mentality is quickly changing, and CIOs are prioritizing spending on cloud technologies in 2018.

Organizations are after cloud-first solutions for a variety of reasons. A study by Spiceworks revealed that top motives for moving to the cloud include data accessibility, disaster recovery, and improved flexibility. Tools that can exploit cloud in news ways, such as for testing/development and DR purposes, without sacrificing user control will be hugely beneficial to businesses as they formulate their cloud strategies.

3. GDPR Compliance

Companies around the world must restructure their entire data management strategy to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These strict regulations, which go into effect in May 2018, are designed to protect identifiable data of EU residents. While many companies are still unsure of how they’ll budget for GDPR resources, enterprises are taking compliance seriously – as they should. Those who fail to comply may be fined up to €20 million or 4% of their annual global revenue.

Businesses will be looking for solutions that support compliance with features such as globally indexed search, automation, and customizable reporting. Security solutions are another expected focus due to both GDPR and the increase in ransomware attacks. Technologies that offer protections like end-to-end encryption and user access management are top of mind for many organizations.

These trends showcase how companies are valuing data management as a strategic business initiative. This year represents a time in which nescient technologies are entering the mainstream and becoming accessible for a wide variety of use cases. We at Rubrik are excited to see how users will leverage cloud data management innovations to thrive in the always-on economy.

Curious how the enterprise IT landscape is changing? Watch our video: Demise of Infrastructure, Rise of Services.