IT must create an intelligent data strategy that not only efficiently and securely stores data, but also pre-positions the data for real-time or future application use. Understanding application and location requirements – speed and continuity of access, proximity to the compute node etc. – really means understanding the business processes and applications the data strategy must support. Alongside... the data deluge the other great commonplace of IT commentary is that ‘IT must get closer to the business’. Nowhere is this truer than in data strategy. By understanding the applications – often built around analytics or AI – which drive competitive advantage, and the ways in which those applications may move towards the edge, IT can build a data strategy which directly impacts business success.