Work from Home (WFH) might be the ‘new normal’, but the technology surrounding it is still evolving. Aspects such as security, data loss prevention and data protection are key areas of concern.

By Kate Mollett, regional director of Commvault Africa

This has become especially critical in light of the growing body of data privacy legislation, including the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA). As the data burden grows in an increasingly digital world, so too does the importance of effective data management solutions, including data backup.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and particularly Data Management-as-a-Service (DMaaS) can assist businesses with next-generation solutions to help organisations leverage value from their data, while ensuring it is effectively protected.

Data management at the heart of the business

When digital is the way of the world and data is a critical business asset, the data management function takes centre stage in ensuring that organisations are able to backup and restore data in case of an incident.

In addition, it becomes essential to account for whom has access to what data, and therefore what data potentially resides outside the organisation. Both of these factors are critical, not only from an IT perspective, but also from a legal and compliance point of view. However, data management is also a specific skill, and one that many organisations simply do not have in-house.

When businesses cannot afford to get data management wrong, yet access to the skills required is a challenge, SaaS and DMaaS are the ideal solution. These next-generation solutions deliver the capability to protect and manage data across both in legacy workloads such as traditional on premise applications, as well as evolutionary workloads including virtual, cloud and containers.

Services benefits

Not only does the ‘as-a-Service’ model enable organisations to access skills and next generation solutions to help them ease the data burden, it offers a number of other benefits. In the current economic climate, the ability to migrate from capex to opex is invaluable, especially given the rapid pace of change within the technology space.

Additionally, with this model, businesses can pay only for what they need, when they need it, without the requirement for a large upfront investment.

The adoption of SaaS platforms offers benefits including zero hardware, network or infrastructure expenses; little to no capital investment with no acquisition cost; and simplified management. There is also no maintenance required, as this is taken care of by the SaaS provider.

For businesses grappling with changing backup and recovery needs resulting from the need to support a remote workforce, SaaS offers an ‘instant backup’ solution with simple deployment and the ability to protect and manage data fast. Business continuity is also improved with enhanced data availability, and risk is therefore reduced.

Not one size fits all

While SaaS offers many benefits, it is always important to note that it is not necessarily possible to migrate 100% of workloads to the cloud. A hybrid strategy is often essential, which means that working with a data management partner is crucial to success and cost effectiveness. Engaging with industry experts and peers and learning from their experiences can also be hugely beneficial.

Although SaaS provides an organisation with access to third party skills; it is still important for a business to develop and retain their own IT skills so that they are able to make informed decisions that takes the entire IT estate into consideration.

Software can be outsourced with many tangible benefits, but an organisation still needs to be able to develop a cloud strategy that suits their unique requirements and makes financial sense to their stakeholders.

Finally, a long-term data strategy is crucial, including an understanding of data sovereignty, locality and security. Data is a business’ most critical asset and the lifeblood of any organisation. It needs to be understood, managed, protected and maintained, especially in light of today’s increasingly digital world.