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NetApp Releases 2023 Data Complexity Report

Ahead of its annual NetApp INSIGHT event, NetApp released its 2023 Data Complexity Report results showing the impact of cloud migration, cybersecurity, and even sustainability on enterprise data infrastructure.

Growing Data Complexity

NetApp’s 2023 Data Complexity Report focuses on the rising need for unified data storage, particularly as AI adoption accelerates and concerns over security and sustainability increase.

Difficult Cloud Transitions

In findings aligned with similar surveys, the report revealed that 98% of businesses are currently navigating a cloud transition, with 75% still housing their workloads on-premises. This emphasizes the importance of a harmonized approach to hybrid multi-cloud systems.

The NetApp report suggests that cloud migration isn’t as straightforward as it could be. While 74% of respondents utilize public cloud services for AI and analytics, the majority still manage on-prem workloads.

AI adoption propels cloud migration, with 39% of tech leaders identifying Flash innovation as pivotal for optimizing AI’s performance, cost, and efficiency. As a primary driver, AI presents its challenges with data security, integration, and talent shortages being significant obstacles. Funding is also a concern, as 63% of AI budgets are derived from new funding sources.

Cybersecurity a Top Concern

Security also remains a top concern in the AI era. NetApp found that 87% of C-suite and board members consider ransomware a major concern, while 55% see ransomware attack mitigation as a primary company goal. Additionally, 40% believe that security threats and data privacy are leading causes of complexity in storage infrastructure.

Alarmingly, 48% of respondents predict that recovery from cyberattacks could take their companies days or weeks, posing a significant business risk. This highlights the pressing need for protection against ransomware attacks and efficient recovery solutions.

Sustainability a Growing Concern

Sustainability is increasingly influencing tech decisions. The report found 83% of respondents view sustainability as crucial when selecting storage vendors. Over half believe minimizing energy and carbon footprint is central to responsible AI deployment. Furthermore, 84% concur that reducing their firm’s carbon emissions is vital for sustainability efforts.

High Expectations for Flash

As businesses look towards the future of Flash storage, they expect innovations tailored for AI, with 61% prioritizing security and data privacy. They also anticipate energy-efficient hardware and software advancements, with automated suggestions for energy and CO2 reduction.


The NetApp 2023 Data Complexity Report highlights the urgent need for unified data storage solutions, especially in light of the rapid acceleration of AI adoption, alongside growing security and sustainability concerns.

As businesses undergo their cloud transition, they strongly emphasize integrating innovative cloud-supported Flash storage solutions to cater to AI’s increasing demands, enhance efficiency, and strengthen defenses against emerging cyber threats.

NetApp has been in the storage business longer than any company not named IBM. It has one of the widest-ranging storage portfolios in the industry, spanning entry-level to high-performance, and the company has one of the most well-received integrated cloud storage solutions on the market.

The company has continuously demonstrated that it understands the rapidly evolving needs of the enterprise storage market, with this report only highlighting some of its methodology in gaining that knowledge.

Disclosure: The author is an industry analyst, and NAND Research an industry analyst firm, that engages in, or has engaged in, research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, which may include those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.