While economies slowed and nations locked down in the first half of 2020, there was one thing accelerating – the cloud. Cloud technology played a key role in business continuity and recovery, making it possible for organisations to become more agile, flexible, and responsive to changes.
According to recent market analysis, the global impact of COVID-19 on the cloud market is expected to grow from US$233 billion in 2019 to US$295 billion by 2021, with the APAC region set to witness the highest growth rate.
Countries across the world are also leveraging cloud to accelerate the development of digital economies.
In Singapore, the Government has migrated more than 150 of its information technology (IT) systems to commercial cloud platforms since 2018. It has also confirmed SGD870 million (US$634 million) of contracts to move more systems to the cloud.
With the rising proliferation of cloud, data is now increasingly being stored in disparate environments, such as public and private cloud and also on-premise systems. This is driving a growing impetus for companies to manage it efficiently. Anyone can collect data. It is what is done with that data that matters.
The easiest way to approach this is to consolidate all data into one comprehensive, yet flexible cloud data management solution. Ideally, businesses need to adopt a platform that allows them to best manage risks, identify business opportunities, and automate IT administration so that tech human resource can focus on priority projects.
However, finding such a solution can be easier said than done. Businesses need to identify the best cloud data management solution that addresses their unique needs, instead of just ticking boxes on a list of features and capabilities that scratch the surface of their data management strategy.
Here are three tips for businesses that are looking for a suitable data management platform for the cloud.
Begin with a comprehensive value assessment
Any large IT investment carries risks, and cloud data management especially is not just any purchase. Data is a business’ most critical asset and needs to be treated as such. Stop comparing features and start uncovering value by speaking to data experts.
Data experts can help identify gaps in data management strategies and advise on the best solutions to address these shortfalls.
Some key areas that businesses should look into during their assessments include a total cost of ownership (TCO) comparison for keeping data on-premise versus moving to the cloud.
Understand the return on investment (ROI) for consolidating existing data management solutions into one cloud data management platform. Additionally, it is worth understanding the cost-benefit of automating processes so IT teams can focus on priority projects.
Besides technology experts, bringing employees on this journey can help businesses understand where their opportunities lie, while encouraging employees to embrace change and new ways of doing things.
Taking this approach can also help leaders re-examine business models and differentiate themselves from competitors.
Keys to survival
Today’s enterprises are amassing an increasing volume of data that not only resides in data centres but also in strategic workloads across different cloud architectures. However, IT priorities are constantly evolving, and data management may be deprioritised on business agendas.
Therefore, businesses should look out for cloud data management platforms that incorporate automation, flexibility and scalability – the three keys to survival in today’s data-driven world.
Start by investing in data management products that offer automation, orchestration as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning options to help save time that can be put into more strategic projects.
Automation can speed day-to-day operations and save organisations critical time during emergencies.
Another capability to look out for in cloud data management platforms is auto-scaling. This capability can help to boost cloud storage needs during a disaster or test, then spin down cloud resources when it is done, providing the flexibility and scalability that is required in a volatile business landscape.
Businesses should also choose products that have native integration with clouds. This enables them to work from one interface for common backup and recovery tasks instead of moving back and forth between interfaces.
Finally, automation in data protection can be especially useful. With the rapidly evolving threat landscape, security and IT teams have enough to manage as it is. Automatic ransomware and anomaly detection capabilities work even when these teams are not in the office, offloading some of the stresses they face today.
Bird’s eye view of data
An effective platform is one that provides a single pane of glass, that is, a single management layer that sits across the entire organization.
It streamlines all the data management and protection work as businesses move, manage and use data across multiple environments, as opposed to using multiple products in managing varying data needs.
Agility is also ensured as different teams will be able to access the same environment regardless of where they are physically and where the data is stored. This will enhance a business’ ability to scale and reallocate resources.
More crucially, a unified platform provides business leaders with a bird’s eye view of data as well as the ability to work with data proactively and reactively from anywhere in the world.
The need for remote management with backup and recovery abilities is especially important in these unprecedented times, not only in keeping our employees safe but to support our partners and customers in minimising risks of physical contact.
Reassess your data strategies today
The future belongs to the data ready. In 2020 and beyond, cloud data management will be key in driving revenue and business continuity, even in volatile times.
In this new world, data management goes beyond risk mitigation. It is also about enhancing the value of data insights. The ability to harness solutions that support innovation while offering freedom and choice in how data is controlled, managed, protected and used will set market leaders apart from competitors.