Areas for improvement within data management and data protection
A quantitative research study was recently conducted with UK and Ireland IT decision makers (ITDMs) of Finance and Insurance organisations.
The study explored how Finance and Insurance organisations are approaching cloud adoption, where the key challenges and apprehensions exist, and how they can look to overcome these challenges through making improvements to their approaches to data management and data protection.
The full report can be downloaded here, however, a summary of some the findings is detailed below.
One crucial area with notable room for improvement is data backups. The majority of respondents highlight it as either very important or absolutely essential that their organisation is able to: backup all workload types equally effectively (88%), store backups across different locations (85%), automate backup creation (79%) and have a consolidated backup solution across on-premises and cloud (76%).
However, concerningly, only a small proportion of surveyed ITDMs believe that their organisation’s existing infrastructure – across any number of vendors and solutions that they may utilise in combination – already fully enables this. For example, only 21% say that their existing infrastructure enables all workload types to be backed up equally effectively. For the rest, at least some degree of improvement is required.
In addition, when looking at critical cloud-based workloads, approaches to backups are subpar in many organisations. Over a third (36%) state that their cloud provider manages these backups, without any intervention required. However, this quite possibly means that a big assumption is being made – do these organisations know for sure that these backups are being managed suitably? The reality is that in many cases, cloud providers may not be backing up workloads that run on their platform – this is something that organisations ought to be wary of.
It’s a gamble they could be taking, and if these assumptions are unfounded, it is certainly not the cloud service provider that would be held to account by regulatory bodies or frustrated customers should the worst happen and the company needs to restore lost data.
Data visibility is another critical element within effective data management, particularly in the context of such a highly regulated industry. Yet among surveyed ITDMs from finance and insurance organisations, only a minority (15%) claim that their existing tools and processes give them full visibility when thinking of unstructured data. For the rest, visibility is at least somewhat lacking, and this simply isn’t good enough. Whether there are gaping holes or relatively small gaps in visibility, organisations could be opening the door to further risk of falling short of regulatory compliance.
Elsewhere, and more concerningly in the context of growing cloud deployments, scalability of backups and disaster recovery is a clear issue for many. While the majority (96%) of respondents say that scaling cloud backups and disaster recovery is possible for their organisation, 87% highlight that the process could be easier. In an ideal world, organisations would be able to scale up and down freely in accordance with changing use of cloud deployments, without fear of this hindering their data protection, but seemingly that is not always the case at present.
Building on this, eight in ten (80%) surveyed ITDMs acknowledge that scaling data protection and data management is set to be a great challenge for them in the next five years. Considering the growth in organisations’ cloud deployments and the growth in the volume of data that organisations are managing in general, this is hardly a surprise. Meanwhile, the majority (70%) also agree that an inability to scale cloud deployments effectively is something that will hold organisations back. In the wake of COVID-19, where a competitive disadvantage could be catastrophic for any organisation, this should be avoided at all costs.
Using multiple vendors
Likely to be a key contributor to the struggles facing organisations is the fact that over four in five (83%) utilise multiple different vendors or solutions in unison within their data protection infrastructure. In reality, this approach can bring with it a whole host of additional challenges and complexities.
Comprehensive backing up of all data and workloads, complete data visibility, and fully scalable operations, both on-premises and in the cloud, are all inevitably going to be far more challenging for organisations which are trying to do this across a series of different vendors or solutions. Those that have a standardised approach in place for this will no doubt find it much more straightforward to find success in each of these areas individually and when considered in combination.
This blog is an extract from the research paper, “Data Management in a Multi-Cloud World: Finance and Insurance Edition”. To read the full paper, you can download it here.