Data Management in 2021

By Kati Lehmuskoski

Imagine you needed to restore a set of business-critical information, only to find out the surprise costs and three weeks it will take to perform the needed steps. Manually recreating the data does not look so bad after all. Backups are the first use case of many data management investments, but they are not the whole story. 

Enterprise data management is not a trivial thing. According to a study by Flexera in 2020, enterprises use on average over 4 clouds, of which 2.2 are public clouds and 2.2 are private clouds. When put in more practical terms, this means companies are utilizing multiple private and public clouds, such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Salesforce, and S4Hana while operating their on-premises solutions, too. 

The shift in the IT landscape towards the cloud has happened only recently. At the same time, the amount of data keeps on growing, notably because of the Internet of Things, analytics, and marketing automation. This is creating new requirements for enterprises when it comes to their data management in this constantly shifting enterprise IT environment. 

Data management has become an essential topic in the enterprise environment now and even increasingly so when moving forward. So, what can you do in 2021 regarding data management? Concrete actions can be summarized for the following two action points:

  • Understand the enterprise data as it is stored across the public and private clouds and on-premises systems.
  • Plan and implement the whole data management and data protection practices, not just the backup and recovery.

Many companies are considering data protection, and how they can protect against data-related threats is one of the key topics for IT. This was also raised in the report by Gartner where ransomware, especially, was identified as the key driver for many clients when considering replacing existing backup and recovery platforms. 

From the business point of view, the key in data management is protecting the data throughout its lifecycle, allowing fast restoration of data when needed, reducing system downtimes, and fast access to the data in problem situations. These requirements are self-evident but achieving them requires good data management.

Many companies are starting to see their data in new ways. Data is not just a part of the IT systems, but it’s also flowing between systems on a separate data layer. Managing and protecting the data as it flows across the systems is the key to handling the data throughout its lifecycle.

Data management is not only about backups and recovery. Of course, businesses need partial recoveries, and the data needs to stay immutable on backups for ensuring business continuity. However, data management is also about migration and identity management. Understanding these different aspects of data management is key.

Buying a data management solution as a SaaS solution is a cost-efficient way to go forward. This approach is scalable, so the start-up is fast and can be built based on the business’ requirements. Also, SaaS data management costs can be significantly lower than those for point data management solutions, which are built case-by-case for each system and may require separate overhead in terms of administration costs.

I recently participated in a Commvault webinar where we discussed these topics and more. It’s titled “Is Your Data Management Future Ready?” and you can watch it here.