Making IT future ready – a roadmap for CIOs

As organizations are amidst their transformational journey, turning hurdles into opportunity demands adapting quickly and accelerating innovation by leveraging exponential data to unlock actionable insights.
Commvault for businessCOVID-19 and lockdowns for months have unleashed work from home for millions, disrupted industries, and redefined the way we work, live, and play. Accelerating digital transformation, the pandemic has laid bare new opportunities and risks. It also showed us the path to transformational journeys in innovative ways.

While, disruptive structures and fast-changing business models are changing and improving the go-to-market approaches, like never before. CIOs want to leverage and secure their data to boost productivity, growth, resilience and thrive in the next normal. They want to accelerate innovation and reimagine, delivering secure, efficient and the right services. The thrust is on prioritising vital projects and optimising cost and mitigating risk during these times.

Striking the iron while it’s hot

Organizations are rethinking how they engage with customers, manage costs, foster productivity and build efficient IT infrastructure. Smart backup databases offer complete visibility of a business’s status, the rate of growth, the rate of change, the location and types of data. This could lead to 25% reduction in the operational cost of running backup when consolidated, besides ensuring intelligent automation.

Redundant, obsolete servers or orphaned applications must be retired. Implementing a suite that interfaces with backup solution ensure GDPR and PII compliance, and end-to-end file optimisation.

Removing over 40 percent of primary storage estate yields a knock-on effect of driving further server, software and operational savings. It also takes a chunk out of potential future cloud utilisation, too.

After optimising storage, its’ time tune into the right platform. A checklist will help your storage strategy:

# If the data does hard or specialised work, place it on discrete flash arrays

# If data is accessed and used a lot, put it on hyper converged or cloud

# If data needs to be stored safely and/or has secondary use, object store is most efficient

# If none of the above apply, say good-bye!

While the discrete platform is a relatively easy, migrating data to either the cloud, hyper-converged infrastructure or object store is a management nightmare and can be quite tough to manage. However, a platform that removes barriers between on-premises and cloud can ensure true data mobility, abstract the hardware layer and take over 60% out of a business’s existing storage cost base.

Keeping risk at bay

The pandemic has changed corporate threat profiles and cyberattack surface increasing the exposure to all kinds of attacks. Transitioning to a remote workforce demands defensive protections, with the change in working practices, acceleration to cloud and emergence of new set of threats, ransomware risks, compliance, data sovereignty and information management challenges.

With more mobile devices in use by people not used to having critical business information, there is an urgent need to backing devices, and making them secure. Modern backup solutions driven by AI-driven pattern analysis on file behaviour help early alert to stifle ransomware attack. Extended to endpoints, this stops attack in its tracks at the edge, thwarting access to the data centre.

Honeytrap files are scattered around the estate to lure a ransomware programme to break cover before being able to attack any real, valuable files. Having a backup solution with an immutable database is absolutely key, as well as a tested recovery plan that covers all of the business’s recovery. Air-gapped data-vaults allow data to pass only one-way, in a prescribed route at a prescribed time, mean recovery is through a clean-room test environment before being released to the organisation.

Without testing the recovery plan, businesses might be unknowingly running a Schrödinger’s backup experiment, as the backup can be thought of as both being a good backup and being bad backup. Advanced tools can make this achievable driving cost out of the infrastructure and service, unlocking value of data and making it compliant. Synergizing infrastructure modernisation and compliance regulations can help businesses stay resilient while reducing expenditure.

Thriving in the new world

There is a lot for the IT leaders to think about as we emerge from this crisis, but at the same time, there is some real opportunity to drive a faster digital transformation agenda bidding adieu to legacy cost and complexity, and embracing innovation and efficiency, while seizing new opportunities.

For starters, it’s imperative to ask if your data protection strategy has thrived during and beyond the pandemic. Having the right backup and recovery solutions is critical and vital. Certainly, CIOs play a central role in grabbing the opportunities and mitigating crisis as technology is the new front-line to drive rapid digital transformation.

While we have no idea what the next three, six or twelve months will look like for society or organisations, those who will attain agility and flexibility to tap into digital opportunities at hand, will ultimately reap exponential rewards and emerge a winner in the end.
Commvault India Ramesh Mamgain
Ramesh Mamgain, area vice president – India and SAARC, Commvault