Data is critical part of every digital transformation project. As Gartner noted in a recent report: \u201cInformation as an asset is still in the \u201cearly adoption\u201d phase, which makes it a competitive differentiator for leading organisations as they focus on digital transformation. In turn, data and analytics become strategic priorities.\n\u201cYet today, fewer than 50 per cent of documented corporate strategies mention data and analytics as fundamental components for delivering enterprise value.\u201d\nWhile the Veeam Data Protection Trends report found that over half of organisations believe digital transformation can help their organisation transform customer service (51 per cent), and close to half said that it could transform business operations (48 per cent) and deliver cost savings (47 per cent), those organisations are also struggling to adopt solutions around their data that will be core to the success of the transformation initiative. The Veeam report found that 40 per cent of organisations still rely on legacy systems to protect their data, and of those almost all (95 per cent) experience outages that on average last 117 minutes, for a cost of over $100,000.\nHow CIOs need to think about transformation\nThe current environment has thrown a spanner in the works, with organisations scrambling to adjust the way they operate, and to mitigate against the impact of disruption to their customers and employees alike. As noted in a recent Forbes article, CIOs still need to be focused on those transformation projects.\n\u201cThis crisis will eventually pass and the move to the digital world will continue. In fact, it may even accelerate during the crisis as we use technology to work from home, collaborate with our peers and move more of our lives online. The companies that fall behind on the digital curve because they have cut back IT spending too deeply will be in trouble.\u201d\nIn other words, CIOs need to be focused both on business continuity and survival, and then articulating a path to scale and growth. IDC notes that while there are going to be declines in spending across all industries, IT spending in software will actually increase by two per cent as organisations invest in collaboration, content workflow and management applications.\nWhat this means is that organisations are going to become more data-driven. Veeam\u2019s research shows that around 10 per cent of on-premises infrastructures will shift to the cloud over the next two years and this will likely accelerate even faster as CIOs look to shift workloads to more dynamic environments that don\u2019t rely on staff being in a physical location.\nThese shifts to the cloud do require a different approach to data security, and open the organisation up to more threats \u2013 as the Veeam report notes \u201cfor far too many organisations, ransomware is no longer a question of IF but WHEN.\u201d CIOs will need to find technologies, to deliver actionable strategies on educating employees on the threat landscape, enforcing strong backup policies across multiple and remote locations, and then find cloud-based options for those backups that are completely secure.\nFinding opportunities in cloud migration \nCurrently, 52 per cent of organisations cite migrating applications or data to the cloud as being a key challenge that hinders their IT initiatives. This not only potentially impacts on the ability for an organisation to strategically use data, but it can also hinder the ability for the CIO to modernise the data protection environment, and, through that, maintain the best business continuity practices available to the organisation.\nAs Veeam notes, modern data protection should be three things. Firstly, it should be simple, with no delay between implementation and seeing an immediate ROI \u2013 in the current environment this holds especially true as organisations are closely focused on what they can do in the immediate term. Secondly, and again to adjust to the new way of working, flexibility is important and the data needs to be accessible at any point in time. People are no longer working the 9-5 work day, and the data protection environment should take that into account. Finally, data protection strategies need to be reliable and organisations need to be confident that the entire environment is continually protected.\nVeeam offers solutions that address these three key priorities in data protection strategy, allowing organisations to rapidly shift to a modern, transformed approach to work, while maintaining the reliability and stability of their environment, and the confidence and brand reputation among both their customers and their own internal staff.\nClick here to read the full Veeam Data Protection Trends report, and gain insight on what robust data protection means for your organisation.