Data Backup

Digital Transformation Initiatives

Why Data Backup Must be a Priority

Why Data Backup Must be a Priority in Digital Transformation Initiatives

Carrying out data migration is rarely simple, and more often than not a project of this nature ends up requiring far more resources than previously anticipated. However, even when things go better than expected – that is, a data migration project comes in under budget and on time – there is still great risk involved.

The risk? Data loss.

Unstructured data is usually the primary culprit of a difficult data migration process. Many organizations have data going back decades, which has stayed with them through several previous transformations, migrating from one to another internal legacy app system.

It is also typical for companies to have semi-structured data, such as when they have been working with Excel files and Access databases. That may not have presented a problem in the past, when only a limited number of people needed to access that data. But the truth of the matter is, semi-structured data doesn’t scale well at all.

Data that isn’t able to easily scale often leaves the sort of problem that snowballs. Unstructured content, metadata loss, and a host of other issues with data and documents get carried down as technical debt, making each subsequent migration project a nightmare of even larger degree.

Staying Safe on the Digital Transformation Autobahn

Organizations fall into one of two camps when faced with today’s business-critical transformation projects. These camps include:

  1. Organizations who simply accept metadata loss as inevitable
  2. Organizations who aren’t even aware they’re losing data

But neither way of thinking is acceptable, especially in a world where data is the lifeblood of an organization. There are ways to protect your data during your Digital Transformation initiatives.

Mobility, speed, and “anywhere, anytime” access to data are the ingredients for 21st century business success. Companies are under enormous pressure to transform – and to transform as fast as possible – or lose their footing in a global marketplace that never stops evolving. It’s one reason why digital transformation is often seen as the key to maintaining competitiveness in the modern business world. In their haste to transform, however, business leaders must take the necessary steps to ensure they’re not putting their digital assets at risk.

In other words, if you want to drive fast on the Autobahn, you better be prepared. So, your organization must make sure that data backup is part of the plan for every transformation agenda.

Any Business Change is an Opportunity for Data Lata

Cloud migration is a prime time for data risk, but it isn’t the only time. “Data can be lost during any change,” says Mathew Showers, SoftwareONE’s Cloud Services Management Lead. Data loss can occur any time you are moving data.

Consider this: every time the IT department upgrades its storage technology, there is a risk that data will suffer during the move. This means that when an office moves from their old on-premises version of Microsoft Office 2010 to Office 365, they are suffering that same risk to their data. It is actually an old problem with new dressing on it – heightened by the rush to move to the cloud and the increasing role that data plays in an ever-widening scope within most organizations today.

Take MySpace, for example. The social media platform’s “huge maintenance project” turned out to be a botched server migration. After rebranding as a space where unsigned recording artists could share their music, leaders failed their growing community when they lost twelve years’ worth of MP3 uploads. ‘Data loss’ can mean little to those outside of the IT department, but in this case it had a tangible quality: something to the tune of 50 million tracks recorded by 14 million different artists.

If MySpace had the foresight to craft a data backup plan, many artists would not have lost unique pieces of their music forever. And with a recovery plan in place, they could have used that backup to restore access to their users – many of whom had come to rely upon MySpace to serve as an archive for their work.

Playing it Safe with a Strategic Approach to Managing Data Backup

The risks abound, but there is a framework for mitigating those threats. Data backup is part of an overall strategy for protecting data when it’s on the move, or any time. Copying or archiving your files is an essential component of an organization’s disaster recovery plan.

Yet, in 2019, only 28 percent of organizations worldwide protected their research and development data by using data backups. That figure was even lower for SaaS data, a growing asset in today’s digital, cloud-enabled business environment. Only databases seemed to be sufficiently backed up, with other types of data left unprotected because it’s not being backed up. That includes email, proprietary application data, and multimedia.

How to Stay ‘Recovery Ready’

Reliable backups are the bread and butter of your disaster recovery program. Without them, any breach, any attack, any data migration mishap becomes a disaster. It’s protection against data loss during migration but it’s also an essential part of your cyber-security strategy. What’s more, your backup plan is also a compliance issue. Did you know that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that businesses who collect data from EU citizens must be able to recall that data instantly? If a business can’t recall that data, they will face hefty fines.

Data loss protection, cyber-security protection, and compliance coverage – they all provide peace of mind to an organization. It’s comforting to know that if something goes wrong, you have the backups you need to restore functionality and access so business functions can move forward again with as little disruption as possible.

Starting Your Journey With BackupSimple

If you’d like help, our  BackupSimple Service is an affordable, secure, comprehensive solution that scales with you. Find out more by watching our video or by visiting our page.

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Author

Mathew Showers

Global Best Practice Manager - Technology Services

Data Backup, BackupSimple

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