Companies today can face many challenges when it comes to their most important asset – data. Data continues to grow at exponential rates, but not all data is created equal and this is where proper data management can be critical to a company.
Many companies are left scratching their heads when it comes time to decide what information is useful, what can be discarded, what is required to be kept, where the data should reside, and how it should be secured.
Without knowing what information is held and where it resides, such questions can be nearly impossible to answer effectively. Lack of answers can increase a company’s risk, adversely impacting IT spending, potentially subject the company to regulatory fines, lawsuits and, bad publicity.
1. Protecting Your Data
I think we can all agree that protecting information is important. Not only is protecting data important in the traditional security sense, but also protecting it from being deleted or lost, by not having a strong backup and recovery system in place. Backing up data is like having an insurance policy that provides recovery in the event of an accident. When data is involved, the concern becomes not a matter of if, something will happen, but when – from malicious intent, human error, or otherwise. In such instances, the ability to restore and recover your data can make or break a company. A strong backup and recovery solution can scale, protect legacy and modern workloads, and be flexible no matter where the data resides whether it’s on-premises, or in the cloud.
2. Confidence in the Cloud
Many companies today have adopted some aspect of cloud use. Moving email to Office 365 or Google G-Suite? Guess what? Those cloud providers are under no obligation to back up your data. The responsibility is still on the customer. Utilizing cloud storage? How does a company know what data is held in the cloud? Looking to migrate workloads to the cloud? A well-thought-out plan that incorporates automation to remove human error, and the ability to test and re-test to ensure a smooth migration can be keys to success. What happens when the cloud you are in isn’t working as expected, or costs begin to get too high? What’s the exit strategy? Questions such as these should be taken into consideration and planned for in advance.
3. Reducing Storage Growth and Cost
As stated earlier, companies are accumulating more and more data, but does that mean a company needs to hold on to everything, indefinitely? The more data a company holds, the more it spends on storage and manpower; longer backup processing and the potential for delays. Most companies have ‘dark data’. Dark data is data intro which a company lacks visibility. Sure, they can see that a file share is taking up 2TB of storage, but do they know what that 2TB of data consists of? Is it important to the business? Is it old useless data? What’s been duplicated? Is it data that is mandated by government regulation? Data creep can be a serious problem. By knowing what it is and where it resides allows a company to delete data no longer needed or important. Moving old data to less costly, long-term storage frees up expensive storage, reduces backup time and protects critical data. Data visibility leads to lower risk, giving companies the insight and confidence to make the right decisions.
4. Governance and Regulation
As stated above, a company’s lack of visibility into their information increases their risk. Today, many companies are subject to data laws, most notably: Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Companies need ways to help identify/discover, track, protect, show audit trails, and prove data deletion (per GDPR). In other instances, data may be required to be maintained for a specified time period. In such instances, a company will need a plan to identify and properly maintain this data. Failing to do so could expose a company to financial penalties and potential bad publicity.
There are many solutions available today for solving these challenges. The ability to effectively integrate these pillars can be a significant challenge. Tech Data has the resources and capabilities to help companies build strong data management frameworks; extending an array of benefits to the business through reduced costs, simplified access and increased awareness of what exists and where. For more information, please contact the Tech Data Veritas team at 800-237-8931, ext. 87798 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Brett Johnson is a systems engineer on the Security team at Tech Data supporting Veritas. He has also supported other security vendors in his 12 year career at Tech Data.