In today’s climate, top-line revenue and business growth remain the clear priority for most CEOs around the world. However, all businesses are under pressure to do more, improve customer intimacy, enable new products and services, and deal with the myriad of events out of their control!
What is the #1 activity that CEOs turn to in today’s challenging business environment to meet these goals? Digital Transformation. Digital Transformation is still the #1 driver for business growth in all organizations. In fact, 75% of all CEOs believe that Digital Transformation is the #1 activity to drive top-line revenue growth. There’s a lot of advantages when it comes to DX: from transforming customer service and delivering cost savings to modernizing business operations and processes. DX has many far-reaching benefits, and it’s why organizations continue on this journey even today.
What’s affecting the pace of Digital Transformation?
Benefits aside, there are serious barriers to DX that many customers are facing today. Staffing issues remain by far the #1 barrier to DX initiatives. Your smart resources are tied up; just keep the lights on and apps running. To add to that, the reason most of your resources are tied up is due to the business need to keep your legacy systems active. You have a business to run, and today these systems are driving that. It’s a hard truth — you need to continue to support your business while modernizing to take advantage of the new innovations DX can bring. And to bookend these two barriers of adoption, they are causing a major lack of time and budget. How can you do more with less while your resources are tied up in supporting older platforms?
I think this quote from the IDC whitepaper “Using Veeam to Ensure Data Availability and Retention in Multi-Cloud Environments. Aug 2019” sums up the challenge here.
“If organizations continue to struggle in the maintenance of legacy IT mechanisms, they will not have the budget or the manpower to achieve the transformation that they aspire to.”
It’s almost a catch-22 you are facing. You need to evolve from legacy systems and processes to free up the resources and budget you need to transform your business. This is done through transforming your IT — IT Transformation is the heartbeat of Digital Transformation and where you can make a serious impact on your goals.
Overcoming DX challenges
Let’s double click into those DX challenges we stated beforehand and how you can use practical approaches to significantly transform your IT starting now.
- Did you know most organizations spend countless hours and dollars just managing their legacy backup systems to support their modernizing environment? It’s like continually having to modernize an old car to keep up with new standards — it costs a lot of time and effort and sometimes for little return. IT organizations that modernize data protection are 30% more efficient, and have 82% less production time lost when dealing with backup and recovery. Returning time, money and resources to what’s important: transforming your IT
- Trapped data is lost data. Alton Brown, the celebrity chef, says “If a tool can’t multi-task, then it’s a waste of money.” That’s true for data protection. Why spend all this money on something that just backs up and restores data? Any modern data protection solution must be able to release data trapped in legacy solutions, make it flexible and fluid across clouds without barriers, and be able to re-use this data to drive innovation. For example, organizations that use modern data protection solutions that re-use data drive 11% higher developer productivity!
- Risk is a driving factor in any decision — especially how to reduce risk to your systems and drive down the cost of manual processes. Did you know that through automated recovery, organizations are 70% faster to resolve data loss instances? That is a massive reduction in risk and time through verified and tested automation.
- And the risk doesn’t stop there. What about the risk to yours and your customers’ data? Any data loss or threat can mean massive issues in brand, cost, and security. Modern data protection systems need to protect data automatically, no matter where or what the data is. You are subject to so many new compliance and governance requirements, how do you keep up? Let the systems do this for your protection of all new and existing data, giving you peace of mind.
So, how do you solve all these challenges, plus protect and manage your data while unleashing your Digital Transformation? It sounds exhausting even typing that statement!
However, the answer can be pretty simple. I like to think of this in three main areas: backup modernization, hybrid (and multi) cloud acceleration, and data security and compliance.
Backup modernization – advance from legacy systems
Backup modernization means to replace your current legacy data protection solutions with the latest in modernized backup and recovery systems. What do you get for that? Well, it’s like chalk and cheese, think about that old car example we used before. Now compare a Tesla to an early 2000’s model. They both drive and have tires and steering wheels, but fundamentally they are different experiences. Tesla provides a vastly new, modern solution based on traditional car principals.
Modern backup solutions do the same. They can take the fundamentals of backup and recovery — their primary deliverable, and extend this to support any cloud, any data, any platform — future-proofing your data protection environment no matter what systems you use now and in the future.
Backup and recovery used to be manual, relying on scripts and triggers. New systems are highly automated and intelligent. Sensing new workloads and applications and determining the best need for them to back up and have verified recovery. You now determine your recovery times for your applications, and the systems will intelligently devise and support that plan — meeting your RTO and RPO objectives.
Most of all, modern backup systems expand your ability to use that data for more. So much backup data is simply trapped. Only being used for recovery and archival. But then many organizations replicate the same data through manual cost-inefficient processes to perform data analytics, security monitoring, workload, patch testing, and even developer labs.
Doesn’t it feel inefficient to replicate this data over and over again and rely on manual updates, so most systems aren’t working with the latest or even the same set of data? Modern solutions can free backup data so you can use this to empower new and existing processes. For example, restore VMs in a sandbox environment for all dev or workload testing almost instantly — ensuring you are testing to your latest production copy with no cost on resources.
Hybrid and multi-cloud acceleration – reduce barriers for rapid cloud adoption
Cloud adoption is gaining at a rapid pace: 75% of all companies have already adopted or plan to adopt public cloud. Migration of data to the cloud remains the #1 barrier in slow cloud adoption. Mainly for two reasons: 1. Movement of data is challenging, and 2. Current processes to manage and protect data are highly integrated into legacy on-premises solutions. You need an approach that can accelerate solutions for both these challenges, freeing you to rapidly adopt cloud at the pace you need.
Multiple systems to manage data just cost time, effort, and money. Especially as you need to continually train and foster experts in all these disparate systems. A single solution that can manage, protect and provide data mobility into a single, unified experience means less time, less effort, and best of all, fewer barriers to cloud adoption.
That helps solve the movement of data challenges, but what about the increased effort in planning and management? With the cloud comes unlimited scalability and resources. That’s an amazing opportunity for any organization to grow fast and tackle larger opportunities. However, detailed planning needs to be undertaken. No longer are we limited by the size of our servers and data centers, with access to vast resources, we need to ensure careful planning of capacity. Too little and we can affect our customer and employee experience, too much and we are literally throwing money away. You need a solution that knows your data intimately and can intelligently suggest capacity needs now and plan for future growth.
Finally, let’s turn to solving for visibility and management. You know, have your data across multiple clouds and platforms, and literally tens of tools that you could use to manage all that individually. But why go to all that effort, isolating your data and missing what could be important indicators of data health and issues. Having a system that is fully integrated into a single data management tool across on-premises and the cloud, physical, virtual and storage means that there is a data sentinel always watching, ensuring the health and protection status for your data at all times, massively reducing the drain on your human resources.
Data security and compliance – Mitigate risk and security threats
In delivering services, maintaining customer trust is a core priority. Demonstrating to the public that you are good custodians of sensitive data is an important part of your job. Unfortunately, with the rise of cyberattacks, bad actors often seek to harvest credentials and target sensitive files. Any breach can cause significant damage, cost, and reduce customer satisfaction, having long-term effects. Add to this the immense pressure you are under to ensure governance and compliance; the task can feel overwhelming. Risk is a real challenge everyone needs to face, and modern systems can help reduce the risk to you, your company, and your data.
If you are subject to an advanced cyberattack, are you able to protect your environment? You need to ask yourself this. As the #1 threat today, protecting all your data no matter where it is from, ransomware should be a core scenario for any solution. You need to have 100% confidence you can thwart any Ransomware attack with no impact on your business.
We are all subject to compliance, especially when it comes to data. GDPR and CCPA are just two of the many hundreds of regulations you may face, and there can be serious consequences when things go wrong. A strong data protection solution must be able to provide your audit capability without extra cost on resources, included as part of its normal backup process. Not just protecting recent data through regulations, but also to replay those regulations on older archived data of any age — so nothing can slip through when restoring.
Finally, applications are the lifeblood of your organization and as with all software from time to time, updates are needed. How much money, time, and effort are you spending now replicating “near real-time” production sites to test your external applications and internal workload patches? Why not use the exact same backup data to instantly create testing environments that are as real-time as possible to ensure testing and product quality?
So, a lot to think about, and in reality, a lot to gain now and for the future of your organization. But the question you are likely to ask next is how can Veeam help? Great question! Let’s talk about this for a brief moment.
We want to give businesses the confidence they need that their data is always on, protected, and secure. That it meets all the compliance and regulatory pressures that face the enterprise and that it can be leveraged for positive business value and innovation. We solve these through our unique Cloud Data Management approach, which enables data protection to move to a higher state of intelligence and be able to anticipate needs and meet demand. This ensures reliable backup, instant recovery, and re-use of data by leveraging intelligence to enable data to back up autonomously, migrate to the right location based on business need and secure itself from anomalous activity.
Veeam’s Cloud Data Management Platform enables customers to achieve unparalleled data availability, mobility, visibility, automation, and governance across data centers, at the edge and in the cloud. Customers today want more from their platforms and with Cloud Data Management capabilities, they can surpass legacy approaches to data protection by providing the next steps beyond backup.
- Backup and Recovery: Simple to use and reliable software-defined solution with application awareness, ensuring granular and verified backup and recovery of all critical assets. Ensures that customers are always able to recover from system failures, outages, cyberattacks, or other IT crises.
- Cloud Mobility: Protect, restore, and migrate workloads across any cloud or platform, including intuitive guidance on how to best store and archive data using scale cloud storage options.
- Monitoring and Analytics: Monitor, diagnose, and remediate unexpected issues for your critical backup and DR processes using AI-driven monitoring and diagnostics. Pivot from reactive to proactive management for better business decisions.
- Automation: Leverage your well-managed data to unlock greater business value. Test and orchestrate your BCDR operations, ensuring you can recover from any event. Integrate migration and DevOps capabilities, enabling data re-use to accelerate development and deployment of apps across any platform.
- Governance and Compliance: Ensure your application security, compliance, and privacy requirements before deployment without an impact on the production system or increased cost.
But don’t take my word for it – learn more about how we can advance your Digital Transformation efforts, as well as helping you protect, manage, and unleash innovation. Also make sure you check out the CIO Guide to Cloud Data Management, hot off the press and packed full of great industry trends and analysis.
This post was originally written by Michael Leworthy for Veeam Blogs.