Kathy Gibson reports – It’s fair to say that things have really changed over the last few years – and that not just because of Covid.

There was a time when IT was seperate department, says Kate Mollett, senior director: Africa at Commvault. Today, it is an integral part of the business, at every level.

This is borne out by the fact the IT spend around the world is growing: in 2022, global IT spend will grow 5,1% to R67-trillion; and in South Africa is should grow more than 5% to R192-billion.

“In the data driven economy, we believe data is an organisation’s most critical asset,” Mollett says. “It can give you a competitive edge: you can predict customer behaviour; you can inform corporate strategy; and drive efficiencies int eh business.”

The modern enterprise has seen multiple technology shifts, Mollett says, from the mainframe era, to client/server, to the virtual world and now to the era of services.

“While these moves have allowed organisations to be agile and transform, they have also brought significant challenges,” she points out.

Because each era comes with different ways of managing and protecting data, organisations end up with a fragmented and hard to manage environment, with pockets of data, all managed an protected differently.

“So as complexity increases so does the security risk,” Mollett days. “This means we need to be aware of the security challenges that come with technology evolution

To leverage data, it has to be available to lines of business – and the security posture needs to be robust enough to ensure there is no security breach that can impact from a financial and reputation perspective.

These challenges are not limited to the IT department; with digital transformation, the organisation depends on the integrity of the data – so it has to be flawless.

Data sprawl – those islands and siloes of data being managed in different ways – introduce five key areas of risk:

  • Data fragmentation and multiple failure points;
  • And increased surface for cyber attacks;
  • Regulation and privacy requirements;
  • The inability to scale and innovate with market demands; and
  • A lack of automation and process efficiency.

And the customer’s environment could be a mix of on-premise cloud and hybrid, with multiple databases and applications, Mollett says.

“To get from where you are to where you need to be is a gap, which we call the business integrity gap.”

Commvault has a suite of intelligent data services that address these five challenges, delivered on whichever platform makes sense for the customer.


Commvault’s intelligent data services platform

Multi-generation data sprawl within each organisation is a very real challenge, with increasing complexity in storing, managing and securing the data generated from different technology platforms.

Anil Titus, manager: sales engineering at Commvault, points out that technology progress is a good thing for business, but creates a headache for IT, with point solutions becoming the norm.

“This is why we believe in a platform approach rather than a product approach,” he says.

The Commvault platform delivers intelligent data management that offers data protection, data security, data compliance and governance, data transformation, and data insights.


Data protection

IDC said that, by te end of 2021, 80% of enterprise would have a mechanism to shift to a cloud-centric infrastructure.

Commvault offers a unified interface across on-premise, SaaS, containerised and virtualised workloads. With a single pane of glass, administrators have a unified experience and a flexible delivery model.

“We have the industry’s broadest workload coverage,” Titus says,

And with Commvault data protection solutions, customers can implement on-premise, in the cloud or via a hybrid model.


Data security

By 2025, it is expected the 75% of IT organisations will fall victim to one or more attacks, with double or even triple extortion now the rule in ransomware attacks.

Indeed, organisations now face the prospect of losing their production data and their backup data, plus the prospect of it being released into the wild.

Commvault offers a range of security ability to cover the five pillar of identify, protect, monitor, respond and recover.


Data governance and compliance

Commvault helps organisatiosn to drive compliance which helps to mitigate data privacy risks.

Importantly, eDiscovery and compliance are easy to use, and useful for end users at all levels, Titus says.


Data transformation

By 2023, more than 500-million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches.

Using Commvault, companies can seamlessly move data across environments for app modernisation and flexible data usage, Titus explains.

Indeed, tools can help organisations to migrate data from a wide number of sources to just about any cloud platform.


Data insights

By 2023, 60% of organisations will use automation to improve their ability to gain insights from applications.

Commvault allows organisations to optimise and automate IT processes through data analysis using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

This helps to optimise storage, safeguard sensitive data and rapidly respond to eDiscovery requests.


Intelligent data services move to the cloud

As customers move to the cloud, Commvault offers them the ability to get access to enterprise-level software as a service (SaaS) through its Metallic offering in partnership with Microsoft Azure.

Gerhard Fourie, channel lead: Africa & IOI at Commvault, points out that companies around the world have adopted a hybrid cloud model over the last couple of years.

But this brings new challenges in the form of data silos, increased risks and constrained resources.

In this environment, SaaS is transforming the workplace, but data loss threatens productivity, says Fourie. For instance, studies share that 21% of data loss is through data corruption, 25% are malicious attacks, and 20% are still accidental deletion, through user or admin errors.

“So why do you need dedicated backup?” Fourie asks. He says reasons include extended retention, beyond production and sandbox norms,

It also offer granular control that lets users define item-level or point-in-time recovery options

The third component deals with the ability to still safeguard data from deletion or corruption when it is isolated from the source environment.

Rapid recovery is also key to any data protection strategy.

SaaS data protection is on the rise for these reasons, Fourie says. Today, 87% of organisations recognise that cloud computing ais an important part of their data protection strategy. And this year, DPaaS is expected to surpass traditional disaster recovery programmes (DRP).

Metallic speaks to this environment with simplicity and a of use. It automates backups, offers flexible deployment, multi layered security, rapid recovery, SLA compliance and ransomware protection.

The system delivers has a new way of working, offering SaaS plus storage flexibility

Users see just the Metallic Control Plane that allows them to easily manage all of their data from any location. Metallic takes are of the data availability, backup infrastructure management, updates and support.

Metallic provides its own cloud storage, but customers can use this or their own cloud storage, public or private cloud, or on-premises infrastructure.

It also helps companies to improve their security posture.

Ransomware is on the rise – indeed, every 11 seconds, a ransomware attacks takes place, Fourie points out.

And cybercriminals are now hitting companies with double or even triple extortion. In 2021, more than 700-million ransomware attacks took place, with 83% of them involving some form of leakage, infiltration or data corruption.

“This is why we are telling companies they should consider strengthening their security with Metallic,” Fourie says.

Metallic offers data isolation; Active Directory backup; the Metallic Government Cloud  for government agencies; data protection and recovery through its Managed Security Service offering with a new partner; Security IQ to give administrators advanced insights and security tools; and market-leading cyber deception technology through the recent TrapX acquisition.

In addition, Metallic ThreatWise offers early-warning ransomware protection, delivered via SaaS either as part of the Metallic offering or as an add-on.

Channel partners can offer Metallic as a managed service, or as self-managed SaaS.