Digital initiatives come in many flavors and vary widely, but they do have one thing in common and that’s data. That’s why the need to easily manage, analyze, and find key insights—and those “a-ha” moments—from data is critical to achieving and maintaining a market-leading position. One quick look at leading companies today and it’s easy to see they aren’t just technology-centric companies, but data-centric ones. The challenge for most companies is how to make data management simple and efficient.
Problems with data management today stem from the fact that data is being generated from so many places. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced additional complexities of managing, backing up, and recovering data as businesses rushed to adopt new cloud applications and accommodate a workforce that shifted from the office to the home. Working from home has not only become the norm but the preferred work mode, which means millions of devices and data sources continue to connect to corporate networks across the globe.
In these uncertain times, organizations with tight budgets and limited resources struggle to control costs related to maintenance renewals and upgrade fees. Overseeing legacy infrastructure with limited access to data centers due to COVID-19 protocols, adds another level of difficulty for businesses as they deal with the operational overhead of hardware and software.
Many organizations address these problems by deploying point solutions for different on-premises and cloud environments and workloads, which is not an efficient or effective modern data management strategy. This just creates an ever-growing web of complicated data silos. In data science, there’s an axiom that states “good data leads to good insight.” If this is true, then it stands to reason that silos of data leads to partial insights. As data volumes continue to skyrocket, CIOs should look to data management as a service (DMaaS) as a viable solution to address many of these complexities and put organizations back in the drivers’ seat with their data.
DMaaS consolidates data efficiently and removes complexities of infrastructure management from overburdened IT and frees up resources to focus on getting more from their data. Also, it helps shift capital expense (capex) to operational expense (opex) and uses a capacity-based pricing model that doesn’t require organizations to purchase additional infrastructure to manage data. Most importantly, this model removes the necessity of using multiple point solutions for data management. Instead, with DMaaS, organizations can get rid of layers and layers of data infrastructure and support multiple use cases—like backup, disaster recovery, files, dev/test, analytics or security or others as the need arises.
Another advantage of DMaaS is cost efficiency. Midsize organizations that previously couldn’t afford to deploy expensive data management solutions, can get many of the benefits from DMaaS in a model that is focused on cost predictability. Such solutions typically reduce capex costs as well as total cost of ownership by avoiding overprovisioning. Arguably the biggest benefits of a comprehensive DMaaS solution are simplicity and complete visibility—the IT team can manage the data, while the infrastructure is managed by a proven solution provider.
Eighty-nine percent of 500 IT US-based leaders surveyed by Vanson Bourne on behalf of DMaaS provider Cohesity say they are likely to consider deploying a DMaaS solution, with strong interest from both midsize and enterprise respondents. However, most respondents (94 percent) say they want the option to manage some data directly and believe today’s SaaS alternatives don’t offer enough choice. IT leaders are also concerned about working with different vendors—one for disaster recovery, another for archiving—to manage their data—hence another reason DMaaS is so appealing to them.
What to look for in a DMaaS provider
DMaaS solutions are evolving to include a comprehensive set of services like backup and archiving, disaster recovery, analytics, and security, all on a single platform. These solutions, for example, use machine learning to identify anomalies and catch cyberattacks in progress.
When it comes to choosing a comprehensive DMaaS solution, organizations should look for several key attributes in a provider, such as:
- A SaaS-based platform that provides a searchable view of all data, wherever it resides, from a unified dashboard with a simple user interface. The platform should support data from various cloud services.
- The ability to subscribe to a variety of data management services such as backup, disaster recovery, archiving, files, and dev/test from one provider, instead of using different providers for every service. Users should be up and running quickly by instantly connecting to the services.
- The platform should provide consistent and seamless experience over hybrid environments (on-premises, cloud, and edge) with single GUI to manage all their data. They would be able to move and recover data to any location in those environments.
- The platform should be able to tap into advanced cloud services such as machine learning capabilities to detect cyberattacks such as ransomware, or data classification services to address compliance and privacy concerns.
In addition to the core benefit of simplicity, allowing the IT team to manage the data, while the infrastructure is managed by a proven solution provider, a comprehensive DMaaS solution also provides the flexibility to move data across hybrid environments, while managing data in a centralized place. This significantly simplifies operations and makes it far easier for organizations to extract business intelligence and insights to compete more effectively in their respective industry.