From make do and mend to steady state: do you know where your enterprise data is located?

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced office workers to suddenly become home-based overnight, tech teams worked long and hard to give them the best infrastructure possible. Day One might have been a nightmare of make do and mend strategies for many, but as time went on untold numbers of people came up with solutions to enable remote working.

Now, as organisations think about the future of work, some will want a return to the office, some will switch to full-time remote, and others will be somewhere in the middle with hybrid policies. As they work through this, organisations can also use the time to consolidate their cloud strategy.

Efficiency and security through good data management

The short term fixes that were put in place early in the pandemic may have resulted in some shadow IT being set up – and perhaps deliberately because it was the only way forward. But now, an organisation might have a myriad of shadow IT systems and mini data siloes across its people’s laptops. Now is the time to ask if you know where all of your data is, and whether you are sure there is only one copy of everything. Duplicate copies are bad enough. Slightly varying duplicate copies, stored on individuals’ laptops, is a potential disaster. Imagine a spreadsheet updated with price changes that only half of your sales team has access to, while the other half is unknowingly selling at old prices.

Of the three data storage options – on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid version of the two – cloud is best. This isn’t new news. The trend away from on premise and hybrid configurations is well underway and the pandemic has accelerated the speed of movement. Gartner has predicted that worldwide public cloud end-user spending will grow 23% in 2021.

Cloud storage providers take data security very seriously, and it is a key part of their job to protect clients’ data from all kinds of attack. Keeping ahead of the strategies used by bad actors is part of their skillset. Knowing where your data is – all in the cloud, and knowing that your cloud provider is on top of data security gives an organisation peace of mind.

A cloud storage provider will also help its clients meet their regularity obligations. It will ensure that data privacy regulations such as GDPR are complied with, as well as any industry specific regulations around data management or exchange, including across national borders.

With these crucial legal obligations taken care of, an organisation can point its IT specialist teams in new and exciting directions. When they don’t have to constantly be watching for incursion attempts or eyeballing the regulatory environment to ensure they are compliant, they can focus on areas which are more directly aligned to making the most of data and growing the organisation.

Secure cloud supports all ways of working

Once an organisation has a secure cloud setup with all duplicate datasets removed, with secure connections at endpoint devices like laptops and phones, with the purging of the use of the home computer for work functions, and instead the provision of dedicated devices that are for work and only for work, that organisation can offer its people a secure working environment and task its cloud provider with crucial regulatory and compliance functions.

Getting into a steady state where these crucial areas are taken care of as a matter of course frees an organisation up to focus on making more of its data, finding new ways to use it to grow and develop, and take clear and certain steps forward; and all with the assurance of knowing where their data is stored. Make do and mend is a thing of the past.

 

Ezat Dayeh is a Senior Systems Engineering Manager, Western Europe at Cohesity