EXCLUSIVE: African Tech Voices: Future proofing IT environments with intelligent data management solutions
In today’s data-driven economy, technology is front and centre, with data being an organisation’s most critical asset, giving it a competitive edge if used, harnessed, and leveraged properly. Data enables organisations to predict customer behaviour, informs and guides corporate strategy and can also help drive efficiencies within the business.
Over the years, modern enterprises have witnessed multiple technology shifts in their daily environments, having evolved from the mainframe era to the cloud-based server era, to the virtual era and then to integrated appliances. Now we are in an era of microservices, containers and software-as-a-service (SaaS), with the latter squarely outpacing traditional applications.
While these new ways of innovation have brought great benefits to organisations – enabling them to adapt, become more agile and transform – it has also brought a significant set of challenges. Many of these environments have particular solutions that manage and protect them, resulting in pockets of data being protected in very different ways. Ultimately, this creates silos of data within the environment, which are fragmented and very hard to manage.
Managing a legacy environment with new evolutionary workloads coming into the ecosystem is complex and as complexity increases, so does the security risk. As the security surface continues to evolve, so does the possibility of a significant data breach. So, while organisations get the benefits of this technology evolution, it is very important that they are aware of the security challenges that could come with it.
For modern businesses to really leverage their data as an asset, they need to make sure their data is available to all their lines of business and to other stakeholders so that they can use it in a meaningful way to have the competitive advantage. However, they must also ensure that their security posture is rigid and robust enough to safeguard against data leakage and data breaches, which could adversely impact an organisation financially and from a reputational perspective.
These challenges are not limited to the IT department though, as digital transformation is pushing organisations to depend on the integrity of their data. Hence, for organisations to make decisions and deliver microservices and respond to market changes based on what the data tells them, they need to ensure their data is flawless.
Key areas of risk
Unfortunately, data sprawl – the various islands and siloes of data that are being managed in different ways – introduces five key areas of risk:
• Data fragmentation and multiple failure points – data sits everywhere and is being managed to varying degrees and with varying degrees of success,
• Increasing surface for cyberattack – data siloes increase the attack surface, increasing the risk of cyberattacks,
• Regulation and privacy requirements – organisations must be careful about sensitive and personal information being accessible, as a data leak could have significant consequences,
• The inability to scale and innovate – organisations are not harnessing their data in any meaningful way when it’s sitting in these different environments,
• Inability to introduce automation or operational efficiencies – this cannot be done without having a good handle on what data an organisation has and where it sits.
So, when we look at where many businesses are today and where they need to go, we see a gap which we call the business integrity gap. To close this gap, organisations should look to a data management specialist that can deliver intelligent data management solutions.
The right data management technology is all about future proofing an environment. Not only will it help organisations manage the legacy data that sits in the data plane but will also allow them to manage new data sets that come into the environment.
This is especially important in the modern era, where every single line of business is driven by and dependent on technology.