On the other end of the spectrum, things such as healthcare patient data, which have to be kept for the length of a patient's lifetime or more but are not regularly accessed, can be moved on the right-hand side of the spectrum - either in a private or public cloud as regulations dictate to reduce costs.
By taking the time to assess where their data sits on the above diagram, businesses can begin to form a structured and cost effective approach to data protection.
Fully leverage the cloud
The business case for using cloud to store backup data can be compelling and there is a lot of pressure on IT departments to adopt it. However, while cloud may be the fastest way to reduce cost, it can also be the fastest way to introduce risk with issues around security, flexibility and real costs all proving to be common concerns when it comes to using the cloud.
Security concerns can be allayed with encryption and ensuring companies ultimately 'hold the key' to their data. Understanding how much the cloud will cost based on expected usage patterns requires planning, but ensures businesses aren't surprised by additional charges or system limitations.
Being able to ensure flexibility is a slightly harder task. Cloud providers come and go rapidly, and IT is constantly under pressure to adopt new systems, but regularly migrating data can be a complex and often risky task. Companies need a 'concierge to the cloud'; a solution that can help move data between clouds as companies please to take advantage of the latest cloud innovations without any headaches is very critical.
Process transformation and consolidation
In the past, customers were forced to take a best of breed approach in order to better support new business requirements. However, this resulted in a lot of complexity and multiple solutions as well as spiraling maintenance and training costs. As solutions catch up on trends, it is becoming easier to take a single solution approach enabling businesses to support multiple applications in one place.
Do you build your own or buy purpose-built solutions?
Businesses today are expected to be agile enough to respond to ever-changing customer demands. As a result, IT is no longer seen as just a provider but more of a partner to the business, expected to consult on best-practice and oversee transformation.
It may be tempting for some to want to build a custom data protection solution to maintain complete control but this comes with a costly set of storage solutions and applications, as well as a team to run them.
By opting instead for purpose-built integrated solutions, IT can free up time that was previously used to maintain, upgrade and troubleshoot custom-built systems to focus more on high value tasks, such as exploring new value-added capabilities for the business while ensuring predictability in both cost and maintenance.
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