“As organisations accelerated their cloud strategies to respond to the challenges of the global COVID pandemic, many put the priority on ‘just making things work’. Employees were given mobility solutions and remote access to data and applications to minimise work disruptions.”
He noted that one of the shortcomings of the cloud movement was treating the creation, storage and sharing of data with a lower priority. He opined that the lockdown has revealed this weakness pointing to enterprise data being “spread across a variety of end-user devices and cloud applications as opposed to the secure locations it really should have been.”
He cited the Veritas’ 2020 Ransomware Resiliency Report which revealed that 45% of organisations use between 5 to 20 cloud services.
“This rising multi-cloud complexity will also see organisations increase their reliance on both channel partners and vendors to navigate this route smoothly,” he commented.
He predicts the emergence of a data strategy that will force organisations to go data hunting to regain control of information that is likely everywhere, other than one secure location.
He predicts that in 2021, organisations will be looking to take back control of this data to ensure that it’s both protected and compliant. “They won’t be able to turn the clock back to the time of the centralised office network, but they will need to leverage data protection and management tools that deliver visibility and security no matter where the data is located,” he added.
He opined that the global pandemic has made organisations take a completely new look at how they ensure business resiliency. “Many – if not most – enterprises had plans in place to deal with the loss of a data centre, a major office location, or even all facilities within a given city. But few – if any – had plans to deal with a situation where all business premises became inaccessible at the same time,” he commented.
He also noted that spike in cyberattacks in 2020 with ransomware alone increasing by a factor of seven in the first half of 2020.
He predicts that 2021 will see organisations reassess their business resiliency models to assure that they can continue to serve their customers and employees, and that they can rapidly recover their critical services in the event of a major outage, without the requirements for physical access while staying secure.
Recovery in 2021
He believes that 5G will further drive the proliferation of edge computing, enabling businesses to gain access to data, services and insights that were previously impossible. He says this move to the edge, coupled with the ongoing debate on the push and pull of remote working, will create additional data management challenges as well as new demands, with the need to manage more data with more endpoint devices residing in different locations.
Data will continue being “the name of the game” in our digital economy, he cited. “Organisations that are ahead of the curve will be able to reap the full advantage of opportunities that lie ahead in the Asia Pacific region for 2021,’ concluded Ng.