Today, every company is a digital data company
We live in the age of big data, in which the data generation process takes place continuously every second. Each one of us creates 1.7 megabytes of data every second, and 90% of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years alone.
In 2021 alone, 74 zettabytes of data were created. One zettabyte equals 1 billion terabytes, so it is easy to imagine the amount of data that must be stored in a secure yet easily accessible manner. Experts predict that 181 zettabytes will be created in 2025, and 49% of this colossal amount will be stored in the cloud. As a result, storage is a major challenge for companies. If we consider emerging technological developments (analytics, artificial intelligence/machine learning, IoT, edge computing, etc.), forecasters may well be understating the truth.
Consequently, IT environments continue to evolve and take advantage of the latest advances in technology to increase the power, flexibility and capabilities of the data center and remote offices. This is done to maximize the access and usability of the company data, which is the life blood of any enterprise, large or small.
The way data is handled and stored has long moved on from a straightforward data center centric model to a decentralized model. Now data lives not just on physical infrastructure but now also uses virtual storage, and increasingly is moving more and more into the cloud, both public and private.
These new and diverse locations for data, together with the explosion in data volume, create a growing problem about how to protect critical company data and, more importantly, how to restore it when needed. Read also "How Capable is Your Backup Solution?".
IT modernization, or not really?
According to a recent survey, 86% of companies use IT products that are more than 10 years old. These legacy systems often cannot keep up with data storage capacity requirements, or cannot be migrated to new environments, leading to poor application performance, increased downtime, and increased risk.
Additionally, the often-inadequate data protection of legacy systems makes complying with the relevant regulatory frameworks near impossible.
Finally, business daily operations relay on enterprise and business critical applications and for many organizations, “business-critical” means Data Bases, and a business-critical application outage hinders productivity or user experience.
Enterprises must modernize their IT environment in order to optimize their performance, but also need to keep an eye about how to protect those legacy applications that cannot keep up with the pace and trends of IT modernization.
Organizations need to determine which applications need to be protected and what data needs to be preserved (and recovered) to put in place a holistic disaster recovery plan that address current and future needs. This broader approach, rather than a niche or point-in-time definition, will allow customers to save costs on administration, infrastructure, and license fees.
Regulatory frameworks are one of the most important considerations when dealing with digital data. However, this must be done in the context of a tightening and confusing regulatory landscape; 10% of US companies are actively working to comply with 50 or more privacy laws. Read also "How to comply with the CPRA".
However, 75% of organizations believe that GDPR has a beneficial impact on consumer trust, and 97% recognized that they were realizing benefits such as competitive advantage and investor appeal from their privacy investments.
With so many regulations to consider, enterprises are challenged with understanding which frameworks apply to them and implementing the correct data protection policies. The financial penalties of becoming non-compliance are strict, and the associated reputational damage can deter new and existing customers and clients.
Organizations must design a unified data protection and recovery framework to address and manage the required mechanisms throughout their entire digital data landscape. The right strategy will allow to protect and recover critical data across a diverse IT ecosystem, with a single solution.
The world is a risky place
On 23 January 2020, the world witnessed its first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. That winter and spring, life as we knew it changed.
Forget business as usual. Essential goods ran out. Supply chains broke. Airlines cancelled flights. But— online sales surged, remote working burgeoned, and reliance on IT skyrocketed. While the pandemic raged on, a massive cybersecurity attack on email accounts and networks unfolded. The U.S. government issued an emergency directive calling for federal agencies to disconnect or power down affected servers.
Natural and human-induced events can bring your business to a halt:
Additionally, storms, floods, earthquakes, and power outages continued to strike with unrelenting force.
As almost every company is now a digital company, and no business is immune to the threat of IT downtime, organizations need to look at cost of downtime (41%) and fiduciary responsibility (40%) when planning their disaster recovery strategy.
When a disaster happens – and it´s a matter of when, not if – the lost trust of employees, partners, and customers is hard to regain. That’s why having a resilient plan for business continuity and disaster recovery is critical—and priceless.
Prepare now for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
As we have seen before, organizations across the globe are finding disaster recovery increasingly important for several reasons, but 2020 was a turning point for all of them.
It’s no surprise, then, that according to a recent Forrester/DR survey, 58% of disaster recovery professionals feel business continuity and operational risks are increasing due to cyberattack threats; 39% cited natural disasters, extreme weather, and climate change impacts; and 33% chose frequency and risk of epidemics and pandemics.1
Many organizations are not prepared to recover rapidly from disruptive IT events. According to Forrester report, only 38% of companies are very prepared in the event of a site failure or disruptive event. That means 62% are not wholly prepared.2
Why aren’t organizations better prepared? (See also: "Six Warning Signs Your IT Environment Needs Help Now"). One key reason is that many disaster recovery plans are built around niche solutions that are not targeting the complete IT environment. Given the resource-intensive nature of recovery procedures, companies can only run tests sporadically and it´s even more complicated when they are managing different data protection solutions for the different environments. A lack of formal central disaster recovery programs—without which central IT has limited or zero visibility of siloed systems—also curbs recovery robustness.
Proactive planning is the key to successful disaster readiness. The goal is to standardize, automate, and test for fast, error-free recovery while targeting the complete IT environment with a 360º data protection solution.
This solution in place need to address, at least, some of the aforementioned scenarios:
- Velocity, Volume and Variety is an axiom of digital data, customers need to protect and recover the massive amount of digital data stored in diverse and even remote sites.
- Need to protect legacy environments as well as modern applications.
- Regulatory pressures that enforce to implement the correct data protection policies.
- More than ever the world, and especially the IT world, is a very risky place and the right strategy must be implemented to ensure data recovery whenever the disaster (natural or man-made) strikes.
Disasters can strike at any time, without any warning. That’s part of what makes them disasters. But living with the uncertainty—When will it happen? How bad will it be? —is easier if you have a disaster recovery plan in place.
What to know more? Access Data Backup & Resiliency landing page for more information on how to SECURE DATA PROTECTION at the ENTERPRISE level.
1 “The State of Business Continuity 2021,” DR Journal, Spring 2021.
2 “The State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness in 2020”, Naveen Chhabra, Forrester, August 24, 2020
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The Micro Focus IM&G team
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