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A data cleanse: Marie Kondo style

By W. Curtis Preston, Chief Technical Evangelist at Druva.

It is human nature to collect and hold onto possessions, old and new. In fact, just recently, I stumbled upon a tweet that read, “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you can throw that old iPhone box away”. This tweet went viral because it’s so relatable to those of us that hold onto belongings that no longer serve a purpose. From old boxes, to bills, receipts and miscellaneous items, we’ve all felt like we need to keep things ‘just in case’.

According to organisational expert, Marie Kondo,“To put your things in order, means to put your past in order too”. In her popular Netflix show, Marie Kondo teaches us the art of simplifying so that we never have to do it again. While it’s not a perfect science, her logic can certainly be applied to the world of data management. If we can get old, current and new data in order - storing what’s critically important and letting the rest go - organisations will certainly get a lot closer to achieving ‘zero touch data protection’ in 2021.

The data balancing act

One of the biggest challenges facing CIOs and CISOs is the sheer scale of data. After all, humans are somehow managing to generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and more than half of all organisations have doubled their online data over the last two years.

On top of this, cloud migrations and the adoption of virtual collaboration solutions have rapidly sped up to ensure the newly digital workforce has access to the tools and information they need to stay productive and secure. This means that data is being produced, shared and stored in more ways than ever before. However, with this, comes new security and compliance challenges.

Without proper visibility, IT teams are unable to optimise storage costs, enforce data retention policies, or respond quickly to data discovery requests. This situation is only going to get more challenging if organisations don’t start to mitigate risks now.

In addition to these challenges, ineffective approaches for storing data are exacerbating the situation. Data sources are increasingly spread across a variety of systems and services. Protecting this data has traditionally required multi-vendor solutions, resulting in backup data silos, administrative complexity, and increased costs. As organisations begin to transition workloads and services to the cloud, IT teams are left with a mix of on-premises and cloud data silos, which creates data protection gaps for already burdened resources.

A ‘tidy’ approach to data management

In the same way Marie Kondo preaches the advantages of simply ‘letting go’, businesses too can reap the benefits of cleaning up their data in the cloud. According to more than 700 IT leaders Druva surveyed across the US and UK, the benefits of a modern data management approach include increased usability of and accessibility to data, greater cost savings, and the ability to drive economies of scale.

Specifically, 79 percent of IT decision makers now see data management and protection as a key competitive advantage. 73 percent rely more heavily on data for business decisions and 33 percent believe the value of data has permanently increased since the pandemic began.

To ensure that data sits at the heart of business operations and is rapidly available for analysis will be vital. This improved visibility will not only reduce administrative complexities, but it will enable more detailed data-driven insights. Simplified data protection with

centralised policy management will also improve data governance, addressing legal and compliance demands.

All of which has a material impact on the bottom line. This kind of advanced cloud storage infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) adoption in the enterprise reduces both CAPEX and OPEX, while increasing scalability and flexibility[1]. Our findings show it’s possible to achieve up to 50 percent lower total cost of ownership (TCO) without the cost and complexity of onsite hardware, software, and dedicated resources.

Unlock the competitive advantage

2021 will be the year that businesses take better advantage of the cloud for cleaning up data storage. We can expect to see an increased use of the private and public cloud, which in turn means an increase in data usability and accessibility. Organisations will need to lead by example and ensure that all employees take on a sense of shared responsibility for data protection and security. This can be supported through more training initiatives and following clear data protection policies. Cloud service providers must also ensure the availability of their infrastructure.

Organisations should look for ways they can embrace as-a-service models, including data protection as a service (DPaaS). One of the ways to do this is by partnering up with a team who can support you in protecting your data, the most valuable business asset. Working with a trusted partner can save the stress of trying to develop internal expertise around a range of data compliance requirements. Ultimately, any business willing to embrace change can soon Marie Kondo their data and achieve zero touch data protection.

[1] IDC, Infrastructure for Storage Survey Results, 3Q20 Workload Placement and Prioritization and Public Cloud Usage

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