“Enterprises are starting to realise that it’s not if or even when they will suffer from a ransomware or cyberattack, but how many times,” says Dave Russell, senior vice-president of strategy at Veeam, following the release of the latest Veeam 2024 Cloud Protection Trends report.

The report is a comprehensive research project that explores the use of cloud-powered protection mechanisms for production data and examines various cloud-based data protection strategies including cloud storage, Backup as a Service (BaaS), Managed BaaS, and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

The findings are based on 1 600 unbiased responses from IT decision-makers responsible for data protection of their on-premises servers or workloads and who use cloud services as part of their data protection strategy.

“As the leader in data protection and ransomware recovery, Veeam’s latest Data Protection Trends Report finds that two of the top drivers affecting changes in data protection strategy are the desire to integrate cyber technologies with data protection and backup; and secondly, the improved, consistent protection of cloud-hosted workloads,” Russell says. “As our recurring market research watched the evolutions within the BaaS market, customer preference that ‘the first-party software vendor should deliver BaaS’ has risen to become the most important aspect for new buyers.”

The Veeam 2024 Cloud Protection Trends Report highlights several key trends and insights:

* Drivers for cloud-based backup: The top drivers for organisations to consider cloud-based backup are the desire to integrate cyber technologies with data protection and backup – and the improved/consistent protection of cloud-hosted workloads.

* BaaS means cloud-powered, managed, and trusted: BaaS solutions are expected to be run in the cloud, managed via a Web-based UI, and have data stored in a cloud repository outside of the production environment. Organisations prefer BaaS solutions offered by the same vendor who produces the backup software.

* Reasons for using BaaS and DRaaS: Organisations choose BaaS to improve operational efficiency by reducing hardware upgrades, internal resources, and manageability. DRaaS appeal is driven by organisations looking to leverage the expertise of third-party subject matter experts for implementation and planning, thereby allowing internal IT teams to focus on strategic tasks.

* The journey to cloud-powered protection: Organisations often begin by simply adding cloud storage to their existing on-premises data protection tools. Only 22% are still using the same mode that they originally began using for their cloud-powered data protection, while 78% switched from one mode to the other. Fifty-one percent now use managed BaaS, while 49% rely on self-managed cloud storage. When making the switch, organisations prefer managed BaaS to fully benefit from expertise and operational support.

* Multiple roles responsible for protection and recovery: The report highlights that multiple roles are involved in data protection such as IT operations, managed BaaS or DRaaS teams, backup teams, workload administrators, and trusted resellers/integrators. On average, organisations have 2,3 roles dedicated to ensuring backups and 1,8 roles responsible for restoration. This indicates the importance of having expertise and judgment in data recovery processes.

* IT wants to run BaaS rather than outsource: IT teams have varied expectations for MSP involvement in managing backup services. The majority prefer to handle daily operations themselves, with only a quarter expecting equal responsibility sharing. This indicates organisations’ desire for choice in how they leverage MSP expertise and support while aligning to their unique operating processes.

* Organisations look for outcomes when choosing an MSP: Organisations prioritise outcome-driven capabilities and expertise when choosing MSPs. This includes disaster recovery, hybrid cloud operations, and cyber resiliency. Providers offering improved disaster recovery and regulatory compliance are driving organisations to switch from “simply” BaaS to strategic DRaaS solutions.