With Great Data There Comes Great Responsibility

Ian Moyse, Board Member, Cloud Industry Forum &Member TechUK Cloud Leadership Committee

As I wrote about earlier in the year, Metallic’s offering from Commvault has bought innovation to the ever essential data protection landscape and simplified, consolidated and refreshed the data storage sector.

At never a more relevant time, this powerhouse of new backup offering is now a year after initial launch made available across EMEA in 10 countries  (being United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden) which is an increasingly challenging landscape in light of the continuing impact of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and heightened concerns and needs of customers due to Covid’s induced most dispersed data workforce we have ever experienced. Following growing excitement in other regions customers and partners across EMEA have had pent up need for this offering due to issues I shall discuss below.

The Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) market is exploding which should prove as no surprise when you look at the growth and importance of data as the gold asset to today’s business economy. Data is driving business insight, competitive edge and is more most businesses the oil of the business today. The market for cloud backup is expected to grow from USD 1.3 billion in 2017 to 4-4.5 billion by 2022 according to a range from a number of leading analyst firms representing a CAGR 26 to 27%.

No surprise when you consider the reports of the growth of data itself with IDC expecting that the amount of data created in 2023 will reach 100ZB (one trillion gigabytes) growing to 175ZB by 2025, a compound annual growth of 61%. When you note that the 2023 prediction is 10 times the data created in 2014 you can relate to the expansive data creation we are experiencing from the explosion of mobile computing, smart devices, IOT, cloud and remote working.

Alongside this is a change in the use of compute power to a world where the norm is to now have incredible processing power, large storage and mobility all intrinsically linked. We have moved to a perfect storm where data is easily moved, stored, copied in large volumes, where in a recent past this was limited to data being held centrally in a physically secure store with limited access from dumb devices.

Companies are utilising a breadth of platforms, devices and form factors from on premise to SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) through Hybrid cloud and dispersed remote data stores accelerated by the demands of a COVID workforce.

The data protection and storage sector has rapidly evolved to a DPaaS model consisting of  three subsector ingredient terms;

  • Backup as a service (BaaS)
  • Archive as a service (AaaS)
  • Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

all of which are booming in demand and growth driven by a number of factors including 3 key areas;

DATA COMPLIANCE – Organisations need to adhere to greater compliancy of data compliance and governance and in EMEA this has been driven home from the enforcement of GDPR from 2018 which has already resulted in far too many public fines for organisations such as British Airways and Marriot Hotels Group.

RANSOMWARE – The threat of ransomware is also not to be understated. In the 2nd calendar quarter of 2020 such attacks doubled due to attacks targeting the growth of remote worker devices due to the lack of security measures in place by firms moving rapidly to a new working regime. The danger here is twofold; firstly, that the data is compromised, but the big target impact of this approach is to hold to ‘ransom’ a businesses need to recover that data into a working state. A business’s inability to attain a fast recovery point of a recent enough nature, can be devastating. I myself had personal experience of this through a firm I knew who was hit by such in 2018 and could not recover for weeks at which point (working in a low margin distribution model) revenues had been lost, customers confidence waned and who had to over the following year reduce and reduce until such point that the business closed after over 20 years in business.  An inability to recover quickly can quickly impact staff, customers, revenue, and reputation. My good friend Bill Mew expands on how Metallic addresses this specific challenge in this great article here.

WFH – 2020 bought upon us all an experience that foresight had not prepared us for. An instant world where remote working became the norm. Where data became distributed to a never seen level and cloud technologies came into their own. We witnessed the power of innovation and ‘now tech’ allowing us to adapt quickly and work remotely, to jump on video calls to those around  the world and to access, use, create and share data from anywhere on any device. However, with this came an inherent security challenge of how to protect this data at all times, across platforms, devices and locations and to do so in a simple, fast and consistent manner.

Data is exploding across sectors with industries such as Healthcare, Banking, Media, Retail and Utilities followed by Construction and Transportation. Digital transformation has long been the panacea buzzword, but due to COVID we are seeing companies having to change driven by a need to remove pain, a far greater driver to faster innovation than potential gain. We are in a time when we have change forced upon us, businesses and industries needing to pivot and find new operating models, yet underpinning this consistently is a need for data; good insightful data that drives business success; secured and protected data that protects from attack and large fines; accessible data when needed to empower workers and customers to operate.

In October, Commvault has moved fast to take the USA launched Metallic to a pan European delivery model, to a market that is known to adapt and adopt quickly. The other greatly opportune timing for both Commvault and customers is the record growth just reported by Microsoft for Azure in Europe, aligning critically with Metallic’s tight Azure integrations at a platform level and enhanced by Commvault’s close and ingrained partnership with Microsoft, which also promotes the Office 365 backup and endpoint solutions through the Azure Marketplace.. Metallic is giving customers single pane of glass data management across on premise, SaaS, public cloud and hybrid workloads.

It shall be interesting to see how fast customers are driven from the pain and challenges of 2020 to utilise this new offering to protect not only their business, but also their reputation with customers. With the impact of COVID it can take one ransomware attack or data breach to be the final tipping point in a firm already distressed by market conditions.

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