January 24, 2020

HPE CEO: Mining the “data landfill” is key to solving the digital divide

By Lucy Ingham

Antonio Neri, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has today made the case for turning the world’s unused data into a vital tool to tackle health issues and the so-called digital divide.

The digital divide is a growing concern, referring to how differences in the availabilities of technology, such as between rural and urban areas or developed and developing nations, is creating growing inequalities as advances continue.

However, while many fear that new technologies such as 5G as well as advances in existing technology spaces such as big data will worsen the issue, Neri argues that they can be directed to helping to resolve the issue.

“Today we only use 6% of the data we generate. The other 94% goes to what I call the data landfill,” he said, speaking at a talk today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“We see, as a company, an opportunity to take that data and turn it into something for good. And turn it into insight to improve cures, to solve diseases, to improve transportation, to actually solve this digital divide that we deal with today.”

HPE CEO highlights data centre sustainability concerns

However, while the HPE CEO argued that unused data has significant potential to benefit society, he also argued that more needed to be done to combat the extreme levels of energy consumption by data centres.

“We cannot forget the fact that today 10% of the energy that’s being consumed worldwide is actually used to power these massive data centres,” said Neri.

He argued that this too could be an issue resolved with data.

“As we see a world that becomes way more intelligent through connectivity, and the ability to compute data everywhere, how do we turn the data insights right to the point where the data is created, to help solve this energy problem and then turn that insight into outcomes?”


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