Data Protection in the Data Era

What we can all learn from the latest 2021 Global Data Protection Index

Cambridge Dictionary defines readiness as “willingness or a state of being prepared for something.” If we have learned anything from the events of 2020, it’s the absolute necessity to be ready for anything. And yet despite the advances organizations continue to make in digital transformation, the vast majority of IT respondents to the 2021 GDPI Snapshot survey did not report a high level of confidence in their data protection readiness.

It is something of a cruel irony. While data is universally regarded as the essential ingredient for driving innovation, it is also one of the most vulnerable assets within the IT estate. The proliferation of cyberthreats, the growth of multi-cloud computing, distribution of traditional and cloud-native workloads across edge, core and cloud environments and the emergence of newer technologies such as AI/ML – all have converged to create a perfect storm of IT complexity.

Consider just the following three data points from the GDPI research:

    • 74% find they have increased risk of data loss via cyberthreats with the growth of employees working from home
    • 67% struggle to protect cloud-native applications
    • 82% agreed that their organizations data protection solutions won’t meet all future business challenges

Clearly, data protection complexity is on the increase. Ensuring cyber-resiliency, for example, requires multiple layers of protection so that critical data can be quickly recovered following a ransomware attack.

Protecting cloud-native applications, Kubernetes containers and SaaS workloads further contributes to data protection complexity. And protecting data reliably and efficiently across multiple public cloud environments makes data protection harder still.

What’s more, most IT planners are not confident that their current data protection solutions will meet all future challenges. Emerging technologies like AI/ML and IoT, combined with the projected explosion of data volumes on the edge, could present significant data protection challenges for organizations of all sizes.

And for many organizations, this complexity is further compounded when they are working with multiple data protection vendors to gain the cyber-resiliency and data protection they need across hybrid, multi-cloud and edge environments. And this complexity often comes at a staggering cost: organizations that rely on multiple data protection vendors lost 66% more data in the last 12 months compared to those organizations working with a single vendor.

One way organizations are planning to reduce IT complexity is through the increased consumption of “as-a-service” solutions. The survey found 74% of organizations cite flexibility and optimized IT operations as one of their top three reasons for adopting as-a-service offerings, with storage, backup and disaster recovery the most likely as-a-Service offerings to be included in organizations’ top three priorities. And tellingly, 82% state they prefer to work with a vendor who offers multiple as-a-service offerings.

Dell Technologies helps organizations address the evolving IT landscape with end-to-end cloud data protection and cyber-resiliency solutions that protect traditional and modern workloads across hybrid, multi-cloud and edge environments.

We are deeply committed to delivering the key data protection innovations organizations need as they transform their IT operations and become more data driven.

For example, with ransomware on the rise, our Dell EMC PowerProtect cyber recovery solutions make it easier for organizations to protect, secure and recover their data from attacks.

Moreover, our new managed services for Cyber Recovery helps organizations maintain business continuity and reduce risk by providing Dell experts to manage day-to-day cyber recovery vault operations and support recovery activities.

Likewise, to simplify the protection of cloud-native apps, SaaS workloads and Kubernetes container environments, our Data Protection Suite protects diverse workloads across multiple clouds like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, with up to 80% more efficiency than competitive offerings.¹

And we continue to release new enhancements to our data protection portfolio to help organizations lay the groundwork for future business challenges. For example, recently we announced the availability of Transparent Snapshots with our PowerProtect Data Manager offering, enabling organizations to eliminate traditional disruption and latency issues during VM data backups, increase backup efficiencies and ensure data availability with near zero recovery point and recovery time objectives.

In addition, our new dynamic NAS data protection capabilities make it much easier for organizations to protect and recover their file data, enabling them to retire cumbersome and time consuming NDMP based data protection processes.

And with the technology preview of new Smart Scale capabilities for PowerProtect appliances, we are providing a glimpse into the future on how we will help customers expand data protection environments to exabyte scale while increasing efficiency and simplifying management.

The 2021 GDPI paints a cautionary picture but also points to ways to get out in front of those issues that can lower confidence and slow your transformation. We are staying ahead of the data protection challenges revealed in the GDPI Index with innovations that outpace ever-changing cyberthreats such as ransomware and solutions that leverage emerging technology to accelerate digital transformation. It’s an ultimate stare-down contest but we won’t blink. We are confident that by delivering holistic modern data protection solutions with rich, innovative feature sets, we can all win together.

1 Based on economic validation by ESG commissioned by Dell Technologies “Understanding the Economics of In-cloud Data Protection: A Dell EMC Data Protection Solution Designed with Cost Optimization in Mind”, September 2021. Results were derived from comparing Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager with PowerProtect DDVE against four competitors.

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