Demystifying data management in the cloud

The cloud has allowed organisations to operate with more efficiency and flexibility, and it has also brought about much cost efficiency. In a way, these benefits have also made it possible for organisations to stay competitive in today’s business landscape. However, the dynamic cloud environment also comes with increased exposure to cyber and data risks.

A brutal irony is that the same transformed infrastructure that helps organisations scale, pivot, and innovate also makes it harder for them to protect their data. Organisations cannot assume their current cybersecurity infrastructure and data management approaches will continue to work well once their data is off-premises. Instead, they need a cloud-first strategy that can adapt to and capture the full potential benefits of their cloud deployments.

Protecting data with a complete cloud strategy

Data security remains one of the biggest challenges faced by organisations even as they adopt cloud technology. A common mistake for many organisations when they migrate to the cloud is to replicate wholesale the issues they face on-premises straight onto the cloud environment. Many assume that their old ways of maintaining cybersecurity will work as well.

Resident IT teams must take the time and effort to understand and classify the data being migrated to optimise its storage in the cloud safely and securely. It is important to establish proper classification processes. Obviously, confidential and sensitive data, such as those that are controlled by compliance regulations, demand a higher level of security and less sensitive data requires a lower level.

Migrating legacy backups to the cloud

While vintage trends may have made a comeback in recent years in some circles, the same cannot be said for outdated data backups. Old data backup systems are a challenge to manage, and many IT teams consider them a burden as they hinder productivity. The complexity and lack of integration from these legacy backups restrict scalability, limits data visibility, and increases overall data risks.

Instead of holding onto these costly legacy backup systems, organisations can now migrate data backup to the cloud as well. This not only simplifies the entire IT environment, but also helps organisations reduce maintenance and upkeep requirements. Moving backups to the cloud also allows organisations to streamline data recovery, as the cloud allows for easy search, discovery, and recovery through a single platform.

Indirectly, having cloud data backups makes it easier for organisations to adhere to data protection and regulatory requirements. If organisations are able to properly manage data across their multi-cloud environment, they will be able to benefit from reduced cloud storage and egress costs as well.

Getting the right data protection 

Data protection and privacy need to be key considerations as organisations move their data into the cloud environment. For a successful cloud data strategy, organisations can consider the following factors:

  • Broad workload coverage: A wide range of workloads has emerged across all organisations thanks to the evolving data environment. All these workloads — from legacy to next generation — require data protection and management.
  • Flexible delivery model: Having a flexible delivery model lets organisations consume, deploy, and grow with their changing needs.
  • Multi-cloud support: From public, private, multi, to hybrid, the variety in cloud adoption means working with a vendor with native integrations and deep relationships is key to getting early and fast access to innovations within the chosen cloud environment and protecting you from a cloud/storage lock in.
  • Smart automation: Smart automation means moving data between the cloud and on-premises will be fast and easy. Automating the process enables organisations to prioritise on delivering innovation and lowering the risk of failing to meet service-level agreements.
  • Enterprise-level security: Organisations need a more proactive posture against impending cyberthreats. End-to-end visibility via a single platform ensures they are ready for any issues or attacks that may arise.

Organisations have to embrace data protection as part of their cloud strategy to be successful in the cloud-first era. Cloud security is a shared responsibility; while service providers offer security for the infrastructure layer and handles the back end of the cloud, organisations are ultimately responsible for ensuring privacy, security, and compliance to protect their own assets.