Data storage has come a long way from the punch cards of 1725. But while we have certainly improved the technology on all counts – performance, availability, security and reliability – the scale at which we create data continue to surpass how efficient we can be at managing data growth.
Businesses expect double-digit growth in the next two years for many storage technologies. By 2022, an additional 20% of companies plan to use cloud storage infrastructure, and there will be significant gains for high-capacity hard disk drives (17%), all-flash storage (14%), and cloud file-sharing services (10%).
Where data management strategies fail us today
However, in recent years security has become the central concern for all, more specifically, data.
“As storage providers transition themselves in the data stack, they realise there's still a lot more to be done when it comes to security,” Chow quipped.
He clarified that security is not just a technology challenge but a people and process challenges as well.
Spurred by the pandemic, he observed that many enterprises are busy moving their data into the cloud.
“But while technology and improvements in data migration are more advanced than it was years ago, I still see countless enterprises falling into the trap of not properly classifying data before moving to the cloud, or not setting up proper processes in the migration and dangerously assuming that the cloud is just a business model change,” he continued.
As a result, issues that persisted on-prem were simply moved to the cloud without being addressed before the migration.
The future of data management
Chow stressed the importance of protecting and securing critical data. He opined that CIOs must be particularly mindful of organisational data risks as most enterprises accelerate cloud and SaaS-based adoptions. They need to continuously strengthen their approach towards data management protection.
He warned that as data is generated and move from on-premises to the cloud and back again, multi-generational data sprawls are created across enterprises which introduce risks to business operations and functionality.
“Cyberattacks are very real threats, putting enterprise across every sector at risk. All of us have data that is valuable to us in some form or shape. The recent ransomware epidemic has brought light to the damage that can be done – data could be encrypted and rendered useless at any time,” he cautioned.
Making data management resilient to change
Chow stressed the importance of good data management practice from the get-go. It can no longer be an afterthought.
“Thinking ahead on data protection is essential to also secure and recover data rapidly in any potentially usable format, no matter what happens. With the rise of multi-cloud infrastructure, where data sets live across SaaS platforms to on-premises, how do you manage all these data silos?” he continued.
He recommended considering managing data holistically.
“This means deploying capabilities that manage data across all platforms and workloads, regardless of where it lives. This includes confidential, sensitive data, where handling and processes must comply to data protection and sovereignty policies as well,” he explained.
Chow believed that CIOs need to realise that data management involves not just technology, but people and processes.
Aside from putting in place all necessary processes and technology, the onus is on CIOs to establish the right protocols to protect critical data – from taking stock of data quality and accuracy to inculcating a culture of risk awareness through all enterprises layers.
“This requires CIOs to start focusing on their people. Education around data risk, training on data handling will go a long way in keeping frontline defences strong,” Chow concluded.
Click on the podchat player and listen to Chow highlight the challenges and opportunities facing IT teams in managing data post-COVID.
- Can you give us a brief update on data storage in the last couple of years and where do we stand today?
- What are some of the biggest pitfalls of data management strategies that have emerged in the last few years?
- We are optimistic that the pandemic will eventually recede to become endemic. What is the future of data management, and why is this important for CIOs?
- Recognizing that technology is evolving, as is how data is created, used, and regulated, can you have a data management strategy that will be resilient to change?
- There are many options for managing data. How do I ensure