Simplify data management to better protect, manage and monetise business data

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In the last five years data management has evolved from a closed environment, where each department would store and manage its own data, to data being managed in disparate silos across an entire organisation.

This is largely a result of modernisation through cloud, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure. Today organisations across all industries are generating more data than ever before, in various locations across the business as well as on ‘as-a-Service’ or XaaS platforms that require constant data availability. This complicates data management, along with the need to protect data in line with legislative requirements while still being able to restore it for Business Continuity (BC) purposes. The solution? It’s time to simplify data management.

Avert disaster with data management. Firstly, we need to understand the importance of data management. Organisations that don’t give data management the attention it needs, is a disaster zone waiting to happen purely because the business runs the risk of not having data accessible at the right time.  When users expect an ‘always-on’ experience, and something interrupts it, whether a technical fault or not, the risk of not having data accessible at the right time means missed sales and lost revenue. Furthermore, it impacts negatively on customer service and ultimately customer satisfaction. The biggest challenge for organisations is growing complexity, which is becoming harder for businesses to handle on their own. When it comes to efficiency of data storage and management, infrastructure modernisation is critical as one of the most demanding aspects of data management is dealing with how, where and when the data needs to be protected.

Business continuity depends on the organisation’s ability to bounce back by means of Disaster Recovery (DR). This recovery readiness is becoming tougher to maintain in an increasingly complex environment and there is a heightened need for a data management solution that can scale out (not up) while keeping administration simple with high performance and efficiency. Since organisations are now accustomed to purchasing and spending on services that they need to use at any moment (pay as you use), they should seek a data management solution that can be scaled and managed in exactly the same fashion. It takes a single data management solution to reduce complexity and administration whilst delivering the highest performance and efficiency required for a business to meet today’s data protection regulations.

Increased responsibility, increased complexity
Organisations now have an increased responsibility with regards to data privacy, which has also added layers of complexity to security and management. Because data is stored in multiple areas, data management carries more value in ensuring consolidation and to gain critical insights into the lifecycle of data. This is due to the fact that traditionally, IT departments would simply back everything up and keep this data for as long as possible. Now, with the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), personal information must be managed in a specific way and destroyed after a certain time period. Here, it is critical to use data management to drill down to all historical levels, in order to permanently delete personal information not just in the production area, but in the backup as well, to ensure regulatory compliance.

Complex problems require simpler solutions
The ability to make data immediately accessible from anywhere in the business in a format that makes sense to the user is a benefit that cannot be understated. Without such access to business data, the organisation cannot function properly, whether it’s accessing data to service a customer, or accessing data in a time of disaster to perform a recovery. Both are just as important to BC. Organisations will benefit from a simpler, more cost-effective way to handle, protect, and monetise their most valuable asset: data. This can be achieved by implementing a data management solution that allows for easier data administration through a single platform with flexibility of scale through a ‘pay-as-you-consume’ basis.

Hemant Harie

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