As cloud migrations accelerate, the need for effective backup and recovery becomes increasingly clear. This is also driven by compliance, with legislation such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) regulating the governance of data. With the PoPIA deadline, 1st of July 2021, becoming a reality, many businesses are trying to make sure they comply with all sections of the regulations. However, merely ticking a box for compliance can lead to challenges down the line. Data management impacts vary from company to company, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. With data regarded as a valuable asset, organisations need to understand what data they have, where it resides and of what importance it is. The process of migrating to the cloud is the ideal opportunity to address this need.
Understanding is key
A typical approach to data management is working from a perspective of compliance and meeting audit requirements, and this is what underscores most data management systems. The problem here is that it is pointless for data management to be based on compliance requirements if it is not meeting business objectives for backup, protection, recovery and more. It is also impossible to meet business objectives without ensuring compliance, so both of these aspects need to be weighed up to find the right balance and solution.
A data management service provider can help to ensure data management takes both compliance and business objectives into account. If businesses do not understand their data, implementing an effective solution, without the expert support of a data management service provider, can prove to be a task riddled with challenges.
Effective data management hinges off knowing what data is available, where it resides and what business value it offers, which in turn is a key criteria to consider when selecting both a partner and a solution. Ultimately, if a business does not know what they are looking for, they are highly unlikely to find it.
Data in transition
As businesses migrate to the cloud, data discovery is taking on a new role. The traditional on-premises data centre has businesses in charge of the resources and capacity at their disposal, resulting in an approach of keeping everything in case it may be useful. Moving data storage to a service model changes this.
According to a study done by IDC, there will be a rise in IT spending. The research house predicts that spending on software will reach R123.7 billion and is set to continue to increase. In a model where businesses pay for what they consume such as Software as a Service (SaaS), optimising storage capacity becomes critical to controlling costs and preventing them from spiralling out of control. Without knowing what data is generated and what business value it holds, it is impossible to prioritise data management effectively. This transition process represents the ideal opportunity for businesses to better understand data, and therefore improve their data management.
More than expected
While on demand capacity has the potential for cost savings, this can only be realised if data storage is optimised – which needs data management. Many businesses have actually found their costs escalating following a cloud migration, because they lack the requisite understanding of their data to ensure it can be managed properly. Interestingly, and further to this, according to Gartner, cost optimisation will drive cloud adoption. However, by 2024, nearly all legacy applications migrated to public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will require optimisation to become more cost-effective. Cloud providers will continue to strengthen their native optimisation capabilities to help organisations select the most cost-effective architecture that can deliver the required performance.
There are insights that can be gained about data and infrastructure, but they require exploration and underlying understanding, along with a data management strategy that meets business objectives. Using the cloud journey as an opportunity to conduct discovery and achieve this understanding, can help businesses find the right data management solution and the best service provider partner to ensure optimal return on investment.
Hemant Harie, MD at Gabsten Technologies