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Company data faces huge challenge

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The vast majority of organisations in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) report that their current data protection solutions will not meet  their future business needs. A massive 81% of respondents reported this view in the Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index 2020 Snapshot.

These organisations, on average, are managing almost 73% more data than they were a year ago and, with this surge in data comes inherent challenges.

The Snapshot, a follow-on to the biennial Global Data Protection Index, surveyed 1,000 IT decision makers across 15 countries at public and private organisations with 250+ employees about the impact these challenges and advanced technologies have on data protection readiness. The findings also show positive progress as an increasing number of organisations – 79% in 2019, up from 70% in 2018 – see their data as valuable and are currently extracting value or plan to in the future.

“The data era is changing how organisations think about, monetize and protect data as the speed of innovation has opened the world to new opportunities but has also increased risks,” said Michel Nader, Sr. Director, Data Protection Solutions – MERAT at Dell Technologies, “Defining the right strategies is therefore critical to protect an organisation’s most critical assets and it’s therefore important to remember that whatever threat trends proliferate, business leaders cannot overlook the role security and risk management play in their overall strategy.”

Costly disruptions rise at alarming rates

According to the study, organisations are now managing 16.40 petabytes (PB) of data, a 73% increase since the average 9.47PB in 2018, and a 975% increase since organisations were managing 1.53PB in 2016. The largest threat to all this data seems to be the growing number of disruptive events, from cyber-attacks to data loss to systems downtime. The majority of organisations (80% in 2019 compared to 77% in 2018) suffered a disruptive event in the last 12 months. And, an additional 60% fear their organisation will experience a disruptive event in the next 12 months.

Even more concerning is the finding that organisations using more than one data protection vendor are approximately two times more vulnerable to a cyber incident that prevents access to their data (35% of those using two or more vendors versus 20% of those using only one vendor). But the use of multiple data protection vendors is on the rise with 78% of organisations choosing to deploy data protection solutions from two or more providers, up 20 percentage points since 2016.

The cost of disruption is also increasing at an alarming rate. The average cost of downtime surged by 93% from 2018 to 2019, resulting in an estimated total cost of $1,000,390 in 2019, up from $517,872 in 2018. The estimated cost of data loss however decreased from $999,338 in 2018 to $915, 994 in 2019. The costs of disruption are significantly higher for those organisations using more than one data protection vendor – nearly two times higher downtime-related costs and almost five times higher data loss costs, on average.

Emerging technologies challenge data protection solutions

As emerging technologies continue to advance and shape the digital landscape, organisations are learning how to use these technologies for better business outcomes. The study reports that almost all regional organisations are making some level of investment in newer or emerging technologies. Yet, nearly three-quarters (69%) of respondents believe these emerging technologies create more data protection complexity while (56%) state that emerging technologies pose a risk to data protection. More than half of those using newer or emerging technologies are struggling to find adequate data protection solutions for these technologies, including:

  • 5G and cloud edge infrastructure (61%)
  • AI and ML platforms (51%)
  • Cloud-native applications (52%)
  • IoT and end point (56%)
  • Robotic process automation (47%)

The study also found that 81% of respondents believe their organisations’ existing data protection solutions will not be able to meet all future business challenges. Respondents shared a lack of confidence in the following areas:

  • Recovering data from cyber-attacks (73%)
  • Recovering data from a data loss incident (69%)
  • Meeting compliance with regional data governance regulations (66%)
  • Meeting backup and recovery service level objectives (67%)

Data protection joins forces with cloud

Businesses are taking a combination of cloud approaches when deploying new business applications and protecting workloads such as containers and cloud-native and SaaS applications. The findings show that organisations prefer public cloud/SaaS (36%), hybrid cloud (39%) and private cloud (39%) as deployment environments for newer applications such as these. Also, 86% of organisations surveyed say it is mandatory or extremely important for data protection providers to protect cloud-native applications.

“These findings prove that data protection needs to be central to a company’s business strategy,” said Nader. “As the data landscape grows more complex, organisations need nimble, sustainable data protection strategies that can scale in a multi-platform, multi-cloud world.”

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