Redefining Intelligent Data Management in the Multi-Cloud Era: How Business Resilience is More Than Just Backup

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The last 10 months have perhaps provided more lessons to an organization than the previous 2 years. The starkest reminder of these lessons has been the phrase “accelerated digital transformation,” used commonly across many organizations to highlight technology investments that either plug, address or resolve issues the pandemic has exposed.

By the fourth quarter of 2020, IDC witnessed positivity return to the Asia/Pacific region as vaccine roll-outs began, and respective country governments started providing cautiously-optimistic economic forecasts.

IDC’s COVID-19 Survey Wave 15, conducted in December, suggested that 35% of Asia/Pacific organizations expect IT spending to be higher than estimated in 2021. In addition to the projected increase of IT expenditure, there was a transitioning theme across enterprises as the focus began to shift toward retaining existing customers, expanding market share and the creation of new business models.

All these themes were underpinned by one critical component: data.

Data, Data, Everywhere…

At present, businesses have their data spread across the organization where it is consumed by different business units and lines-of-business, in varying formats. In many instances, it is owned and stored in silos – with differing policies, governance and guidelines in managing it.

This data sprawl or mass data fragmentation, in most instances, represents one of the largest missed opportunities (or headaches) for organizations. It is curious as to how many of these organizations have touted “data as the new oil” but have failed to process and tease out intelligence from the vast array of structured and unstructured data that has been stored.

  • Some of the issues faced by organizations that operate in data silos include:
  • Inefficient and redundant deployment of human resources across the organization
  • Inconsistent data management policies; especially around areas of data protection, data retention and data governance
  • Under-utilization of data as a critical business resource
  • Dealing with diverse expensive and complex legacy requirements for product backups, target storage and long-term data retention

Such organizations have lost their ability interact and utilize data for market expansion, customer segmentation or introduction of new business models – all hallmarks of business resilience.

Taking Advantage of Intelligent Data Management Tools

As an organization transitions toward becoming a resilient enterprise, it is critical to articulate the role data plays in helping achieve this goal; does it stem from the need for “intelligence anywhere” and having data to drive actions, or does it resonate more toward functioning in the “next normal” and redefining how the business operates over the next few years? A clear business case usually leads to a clear data strategy that will help an organization home in on the required technology investment.

IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Digital Infrastructure 2021 Predictions suggested that by 2023, a mandate for uncompromising data integrity, security, governance and trust will lead 80% of enterprises to create a single, company-wide data management strategy to break down all data silos. From our vantage point, this is where multi-cloud data management platforms will be at the heart of accomplishing this task. The benefits of this are clear:

  • A reduction in the number of backup/recovery products utilized across the organization; discovery, classification, replication, protection, recovery, security and access in an easy-to-manage and “always-on” platform.
  • Data availability is heightened, and with that, better service-level agreement (SLA) attainment.
  • Data is also better utilized and benefits business leaders across the entire organization.

Starting Your Data Management Journey

In Southeast Asia, IDC continues to witness the rise of interest in data ingestion and the growing understanding of cloud as a modernized platform to help achieve this goal. However, the stumbling block in many instances has been the failure to extract the needed data, with multiple failures amounting to huge data losses. On top of that, it has been daunting to identify the multiple sources of data from various enterprise applications residing within the organization, including bare-metal servers, hypervisors and containers, traditional and modern distributed databases, primary storage systems and network-attached storage (NAS) devices.

In ensuring success of your data management journey, an organization should:

  • Take stock of the multiple sources of data; catalog all enterprise applications and repositories; understand the various data types, and assess the scope of the mass data fragmentation.
  • Track use cases, business cases and applicability of intelligent data to the organization; then articulate the value the data can bring.
  • Understand that legacy infrastructure and systems will struggle to adapt as part of hybrid deployments.
  • Consider scale-out expansion methodology that offers protection against cyberthreats like ransomware and compliance with prevailing legislation while supporting their budding business resilience goals.
  • Evaluate a single policy-based automation framework that eliminates organizational complexity at the datacenter, public cloud or enterprise edge, and machine learning capability that enables operations to be performed quickly and accurately.

Data can be harnessed toward gaining a market or industry advantage in a multi-cloud world – beginning with going beyond backup and recovery to implementing intelligent data management as your first step.

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