The smart folks over at Wikibon recently published the results of a survey they conducted covering a wide range of topics, including Cloud, Big Data and IT transformation. It is interesting reading and worth a visit.
I’m going to cherry-pick one point from the survey that relates to my particular sandbox of data protection. Wikibon asked about “Biggest IT Challenges” for 2012. The Top Three:
#1 – Data Growth
#2 – Budget constraints
#3 – Data protection / disaster recovery
As I read that, I was thinking of making a point about how those all intersect, but analyst Dave Vellante is a sharp observer and he beat me to it. Vellante writes:
Data growth, data protection issues and budget constraints go hand-in-hand. Organizations have been struggling to keep pace with data growth and turning to storage optimization technologies, especially in backup and recovery use cases. Technologies such as data de-duplication, have possibly allowed customers to keep pace but have clearly not solved the data growth problem.
That’s a lot of keen observations in a small amount of space. Data growth clearly is the dog wagging the two tails of budgets and data protection. It impacts everything! I video blogged recently about my thoughts on backup and big data as well as some thoughts on disaster recovery, but I didn’t connect the dots the way Vellante does here or link them to budgets. But they all intersect like a Venn diagram. Speaking of which, I thought it might look like this:
Data protection is overwhelmed by data growth, which leads to missed backup windows. Data protection is impacted by budget constraints which keep IT departments stuck with old technology that can’t meet the pressures of data growth. Budget constraints limit what IT departments can do about data growth, leading to missed opportunities because efforts go into bailing out the boat to keep it afloat rather than rowing toward the goal. And all three come together in the perfect storm of corporate exposure, which means data is left unprotected, growth opportunities are missed and budgets may get cut further as a result.
All in all, not a pretty picture! So how to break the circles open?
You can’t stop data growth (though you can be more selective about what you keep). And budgets are influenced by many factors outside of IT department control. But you can think about re-inventing your data protection. Does that cost money? It certainly means a swap out of old technology and that means you’re paying for something new, but that can often save money if it gets control of data growth, protects critical information, reduces management overhead and lets you capture opportunities currently being missed because you’ve got people on your staff doing nothing but baby-sitting backups and disaster recovery all day.
If you’re feeling trapped in your Venn Diagram, why not drop us a line. We’ll be happy to have one of our certified smart guys visit for a consultation on just how we can shatter those circles and make sure you successfully deal with the biggest IT challenges you’re currently facing.