Author: Henry Baltazar, Research Director, 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence
Data protection has been a top concern for organizations for decades and remains a key area requiring modernization. With the rising importance of critical workloads residing on public cloud and SaaS environments, organizations need to evolve their data protection and data management. As multicloud environments become more common, it not only becomes more difficult for customers to enhance the resiliency of their production workloads, but even the process of identifying and locating their data across cloud environments becomes a greater challenge.
Three key areas that organizations should seek to improve are:
- Backup of SaaS data is an important area that has been neglected for far too long. Many organizations still have the misperception that they do not need to protect data that resides in a SaaS provider’s cloud the same way they protect on-premises resources. Unfortunately, this perception is incorrect and dangerous, since the data recovery capabilities of SaaS platforms do not always protect against accidental or intentional data deletion, data corruption and other issues that are not directly linked to a SaaS provider’s infrastructure. In recent years, customers of key SaaS platforms such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce and Google Workspace have looked to add third-party data protection to back up the valuable data residing on these platforms.
- IaaS workload protection is another area where many organizations do not realize they need to enhance their data protection coverage. Even though cloud providers are responsible for maintenance of the hardware and data centers that run their cloud services, customers still need to improve their data protection and resiliency in the event that the provider suffers a large-scale outage such as an availability zone failure. With the growing threat of ransomware, cloud customers should also consider adding immutable storage to ensure that hackers or other security threats do not delete, corrupt or encrypt valuable production data residing in a cloud environment.
- Compliance visibility and reporting are additional requirements that will only become more difficult as workloads and data repositories become more distributed across multicloud environments. Many key stakeholders such as data scientists and developers complain about spending too much time either trying to locate data or creating copies of data to run their projects. On the infrastructure side, professionals are having difficulty keeping track of workloads and data – especially when there is shadow IT spending taking place outside their view and control. Proactive monitoring can provide assurance of ongoing protection while offloading operational burdens of compliance from staff members. With a better understanding of their data and its usage pattens, teams can make intelligent decisions that enable organizations to retain data longer to meet compliance requirements, while keeping storage spending under control by moving inactive data to lower-cost archival storage.
While some may view data protection products and services merely as insurance to prevent asset and revenue loss, investing in these tools can also help organizations accelerate access to data to gain insights more rapidly, while providing cost savings and reducing compliance burdens.