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Six Cloud Data Management Success Strategies for Digital Transformation

CLOUD DATA MANAGEMENT PRACTICES THAT OPTIMIZE DATA USE FOR BUSINESS VALUE

CEOs, CIOs, boards and shareholders are demanding digital transformation. They want their organizations to be more customer-focused, competitive and strategic. Data drives all of those aspects. For many organizations, moving data to the cloud supports digital transformation strategies for more accessible, efficient and flexible data access. Here are six aspects of a cloud data management strategy that can help your organization more fully move, manage and use valuable data to successfully support digital transformation.

Six Cloud Data Management Success Strategies that Drive Digital Transformation

Data is vital to a successful digital transformation strategy. But, without the ability to move data to the cloud, then manage and use this data with efficiency, organizations may be unable to realize their digital transformation goals.

Merging digital transformation goals with a sound cloud data management strategy is imperative. By 2020, 92 percent of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers; 8 percent will be processed by traditional data centers.1

It's essential to understand how to effectively manage cloud data in order to use that data to drive business value. Without a comprehensive view of data, your organization may be unable to meet evolving business needs, resulting in a lack of responsiveness, reduced customer satisfaction, and a more limited ability to remain competitive in fast-moving markets.

One example: all the buzz around big data still hasn’t fully paid off. Only 23 percent of CIOs report that their employees are using at least 3/4 of their big data to make business decisions. In addition, 37 percent of CIOs say it takes at least a day to access big data resources for analysts.3 This means that much of an organization’s’ critical business data may not be adequately accessible, even while digital transformation is already underway.

"By 2020, anything other than a cloud-only strategy for new IT initiatives will require justification at more than 30 percent of large enterprise organizations."

"Predicts 2017: Cloud Computing Enters its Second Decade." GARTNER, DECEMBER 2, 2016

SIX STEPS TO ADVANCE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION THROUGH CLOUD DATA MANAGEMENT

A cloud data management strategy can help you overcome the barriers that may be impeding the success of your digital transformation initiatives. Think of the IT team as a strategic partner in adding business value to the organization. Work with them to secure alignment on the data management strategy. Then examine these six aspects and plan for solutions that will both accelerate digital transformation and improve your cloud data management for the long term.

  1. Simplify Data Access. Companies say the cloud has greatly enhanced agility. That means accessing data in the cloud in minutes, rather than hours. Automated self-service access can accelerate delivery of data – whether stored on-premises or in the cloud - to line of business users. Workers can access their important data via search that can be run once across multiple managed locations, saving time and effort. This also helps IT be more efficient. With self-service, workers get the information they need and IT becomes less of a help center and more of a strategic business partner. Faster data access enables more efficient business outcomes, a direct tie-in to the goals of digital transformation and more responsive customer service.
  2. Move Quickly Away from Expensive Legacy Storage Solutions. Many digital business projects are synonymous with IT refresh initiatives. Companies choose to retire old hardware at the same time that they are adopting fast and flexible new technologies involved in the digital transformation project. A prime target is complicated and expensive tape operations. Replacing tape storage with cloud-based data backup is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start a data driven, digital transformation. Organizations replacing tape can rapidly realize the speed and flexibility of cloud data management, seamlessly extending the data center while reducing security risks, service outages and cost.
  3. Ease into Cloud with a 'Hybrid IT' Approach. Not every organization will be cloud- first. Many are transitioning to cloud in stages. Hybrid IT approaches that manage both on-premises and cloud storage will continue for some time. For hybrid IT, you need a cloud data management strategy that includes business policy control, management, and operational oversight for data across on-premises, private and public cloud locations. It’s important to be able to deliver the same - or better - service level agreements (SLA) for data in a new hybrid environment. Accomplishing this requires a single-pane-of- glass view, one that manages data protection and data management needs across the infrastructure and application stack, whether it is on-premises, in the cloud or a hybrid model. Also, look for ways to apply consistent management policies across the hybrid environment. Consider how to automatically apply data management policies when new data enters the environment, such as SaaS applications creating data in disparate clouds, or new applications entering the business. Your IT teams also need to consider providing efficient replication and source side deduplication that covers both on-premises and cloud storage – further saving costs, bandwidth and effort. Another objective should be streamlining eDiscovery across hybrid locations with dynamic data indexing across on-premises and cloud storage.
  4. Efficient management in this hybrid IT environment is necessary to manage growing workloads. Overall data center workloads will more than double (2.6-fold) from 2015 to 2020; however, cloud workloads will more than triple (3.2-fold) over the same period.4

  5. Realize On-Demand Disaster Recovery. Even with the advancements of digital transformation, disruptive events occur. You will need cloud data recovery that enables you to continue to keep the organization running. Data downtime may cripple the business, damage reputation, and upset customers. A data availability solution must be employed to meet recovery time objectives. That means you and your IT staff should be thinking about a cloud data recovery solution that can deliver on-demand data access. The solution should support disaster recovery in place, out of place, on-premises and in the cloud. It is important to be able to manage recovery across locations from a single interface to clearly understand what data is affected and what data is restored. Teams must be able to consistently apply the right policies, backup locations and restore points for different levels of data in multiple storage locations.
  6. Maintain Consistent SLA Delivery for Diverse Workloads. High speed recovery, instant accessibility, portability to different infrastructures and a platform to provide governance and insight – all of these are required to meet today’s business SLA demands. You’ll need to explore a data management platform solution that can integrate the functionality necessary to maintain consistent SLAs, regardless of where data is retained. Today data lives in multiple locations: SaaS applications, virtual machines, endpoints and databases. Data backup to the cloud can include all of those sources, but can you recover workloads within your stated SLAs? You need the flexibility to define different recovery point and recovery time objectives for diverse workloads across these diverse locations. With every line of business being unique, you need a standardized approach to making sure each area of the business and data type has the required approach to recovery objectives.
  7. Look for a solution that provides comprehensive backup and recovery, with consistent SLA delivery, across all infrastructure resources, private or public cloud, hybrid, or on-premises.

  8. Support Compliance with Business Policy Control. Regardless of data location – on-premises, private or public cloud – IT needs to execute consistent policies to better manage access and address compliance requirements. The most efficient approach is one centralized solution that is capable of driving consistency across all locations. IT staff wants to avoid managing several different point solutions, each with their own policies and administrative procedures. Security concerns are a key driver here. Some 56 percent of CIOs are concerned about cloud security, which is slowing down cloud adoption.2 Being able to provide effective enforcement of security measures across diverse data types is essential to moving to the cloud, and managing data growth across more repositories over time.
  9. A solution that can securely move data from on-premises to cloud, across clouds, and cloud to on-premises with encryption above and beyond native tools is a wise choice. This should include encrypting data at rest, before it moves through any pipe, and encrypting inflight, thereby avoiding data theft as data moves to the cloud.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND CLOUD DATA MANAGEMENT: ALIGNED FOR SUCCESS

Moving to the cloud adds business value through agility, cost savings, improved data access and better customer service. To get the most out of your move to the cloud, develop a cloud management strategy that will deliver on your organization’s digital transformation objectives. Develop this strategy using collaborative teamwork between business leaders and IT. As part of this teamwork, execute these six steps to help move your organization forward through your digital transformation.

5 Steps to Develop Your Cloud Data Management Strategy

Learn key insights to prevent costly failures in your cloud execution plan and the questions you should be asking your IT team and the business.

  1. Cisco, "Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020." 2016
  2. Frenkel, Karen. “Concerns About Data Security Slow Cloud Adoption.” CIO Insight, February 13, 2017
  3. CIO Insight, “Big Data’s Biggest Challenges.” May 2016
  4. Cisco, "Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020." 2016
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