Data: Challenges with the most precious asset created by digital transformation

Businesses need holistic data management practices that can link data across applications and business functions. Growing legislation has heightened the need for effective and secure data management policies.

Ramesh Mamgain Jun 29th 2018 A-A+

Enterprises far and wide are creating and collecting more data than ever before, which is a direct result of digital transformation and operating in today’s digital economy. Very quickly, data has become a critical and strategic asset – speeding up decision making, improving customer experience and delivering improved operations to businesses. At the same time, data management and data protection have become key to managing this new asset – providing the means for organizations to secure, understand and protect their data in order to drive competitive advantage.
Arguably, managing data has become increasingly complex and tedious over the years. For over 20 years, data management has relied on traditional architectures and methodologies to deliver value and protection. These approaches are no longer representative or even appropriate for modern enterprises that are facing a number of key challenges, including:

1.    Unprecedented growth in data has truly changed the nature of the data storage and management game. According to IDC, worldwide data will grow to 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025 – which is more than 10 times the amount of data we have today. Dealing with huge volumes of data, whilst also deriving business value from it, has quickly become a top priority for enterprises. As a direct result, organizations need data management tools that scale and grow as their data does.

2.    At the same time, evolving infrastructure strategies are changing the way organizations operate. It is estimated that 95 percent of businesses today rely on cloud in some form or another. This marks a distinct turn in the market whereby businesses have consciously moved away from legacy systems and CAPEX models of operations. Traditional modes of data management do not take into account the varied data storage practices taking place across an organization and the need to be able to garner value from data irrespective of where it is located.

3.    In addition, organizations are experiencing the increased fragmentation of their data across business functions and applications. As an example, it’s thought that the proportion of cloud native, enterprise apps will more than double by 2020. Applications are coming into market fast, resulting in increased fragmentation of data across a given network, which makes old approaches to data management unsuccessful. Businesses are increasingly turning to holistic data management practices that can link data across applications and business functions.

4.    Last but not least, increased and ever-changing legislation has heightened the need for effective and secure data management policies. Today, companies must save their data in accordance to several layers of compliance and legislation depending on several factors, such as where they are based or where their customers are located. What’s more, businesses must be able to access their data quickly should they be required to present it during an audit or inspection. Legislation is a complicated business, full of nuances and requirements that traditional data management practices cannot fulfill.  
What does all this mean? Businesses today have more data than we could have ever imagined; they also live in several environments (i.e. on-premise, multi-cloud); fragmented data; sprawling application assets; and are operating in a complex, heavily regulated environment. In reality, this means that traditional approaches to data management and protection are inadequate for the kinds of agility and efficiency that modern organizations, of all sizes, are demanding.

As a result, there is a distinct move away from these old approaches towards solutions that provide a holistic approach to data management. By their very nature, holistic data management platforms are designed to serve today’s enterprise and bring with them several distinct advantages that drive competitive edge. For example, a single view of enterprise data allows users to manage their rapidly growing data storage demands and reduce operational complexity whilst cutting costs associated with a layered data management approach. Furthermore, this new approach puts data at the heart of the organization, streamlining backup and recovery and enabling businesses to understand their data better – which are critical factors that will make or break businesses in 2018 and beyond.
The enterprises that will succeed in today’s digital economy will be those that place data at the core of their business, their operations and most importantly, their technologies. To do this, it is critical that they know everything about their data—where it is, what it is, and why it is important. Then businesses must demand simple and resilient systems that will support the seamless integration of data. What’s more, these systems must address the call to support the changing infrastructure needs of the enterprise, not to mention their growing volumes of data. This is all whilst ensuring overall governance strategy, compliance, and control across any given organization.  

Ramesh Mamgain is Area Vice President, India & SAARC Region, Commvault

Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing authors and not of IDG Media and its editor(s).