The key data storage challenges businesses are facing during the increase of home working

12th June 2020BlogTom Richards

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Data storage challenges pre-pandemic

Traditionally, businesses are used to planning three or five years in advance for storage growth, with the surge in data changing how companies look at future storage demands. Often businesses don’t realise that their data is growing exponentially and, with it, their storage.

However, pre-pandemic, many businesses were slow to migrate to the cloud, mainly through confusion as to what it was. Whilst many lines of business storage consumers are comfortable with the cloud, pay-as-you-go consumption model, turning legacy on-premise infrastructure into a flexible private cloud can be difficult to achieve without expensive over-provisioning or operational overhaul the way the infrastructure is deployed.

There was also an element of uncertainty around cloud solutions, taking sensitive data and placing it into a third-party server and ‘losing control’ over its security. This has probably increased even further with implementation of new data-driven regulations such as GDPR. This meant that many cloud migration projects were put on the back burner.

Even though businesses wanted and needed to drive efficiencies and cost-effectiveness, the complexity of cloud solutions was a key issue for many, with businesses sweating assets to make sure that migration was a worthwhile exploit.

Digital transformation has also proved to be a blocker to cloud migration for many businesses. Generally, digital transformation projects are slow, extremely high-risk and have lots of stakeholders. This, coupled with legacy systems holding data in disparate servers and cyber security concerns, meant that migration to something which is considered unknown pre-pandemic fell by the wayside.

Data storage challenges during and post-pandemic

Decision-making has been accelerated during the current pandemic, with businesses needing to have a handle on what data they have, where it is and whether they need the ability to access it immediately or not. The next step was to understand where their storage is, the kind of storage they need in terms of private, public or hybrid cloud solutions and the associated costs. These were all considerations to take into account when looking to quickly secure data with staff working remotely off the corporate network.

Our world is changing fast, and in these unprecedented times, it’s difficult for businesses to predict their future needs. However, the one thing businesses can anticipate is how prepared they are for such a change.

Cost-effectiveness of Cloud Storage

Most on-premise solutions involve essentially buying boxes in the anticipation of increased storage needs in the future. Companies can be investing huge funds into technology that will not be used for some time or not at all. Such a CAPEX cost is increasingly difficult to justify, especially in the face of reducing budgets.

Cloud allows a flexible approach, meaning that companies can ramp up or down storage depending on need and only paying for what is used. This OPEX approach allows budgets to be used more effectively with no justification of a huge up-front cost in a just-in-case scenario. To facilitate this in a private cloud scenario, IBM’s Storage Utility Offering enables businesses to benefit from all of the cost-flexibility advantages of the cloud for on-premises hardware – only paying for storage when it is needed. For businesses that want to build a private cloud, to deploy hybrid infrastructure spanning both on-prem and cloud, or for businesses that know it will take time to migrate to the public cloud, IBM Storage Utility Offering is the ideal solution.

Staying cyber secure

One of the biggest issues for businesses regarding data storage is how to keep it secure. Remote working has, unfortunately, resulted in an increase of cyber attacks. Any stored data is subjected to an element of risk, with cybercriminals keen to obtain and exploit sensitive information. Securing infrastructure is vital in terms of helping organisations function, monitor and act fast to respond to cyber threats.

Moreover, predictive security in the cloud has innovated security with the technology collecting and analysing unfiltered endpoint data, using the power of the cloud to make predictions about, and protect against, unknown future attacks.

Lee McEvoy, Storage Sales at IBM UK, commented:

“We have seen our customers face various challenges over the past few months. Working in partnership with Northdoor plc, we strive to meet our customers’ pain points, helping them to transition to new and secure ways of working.

Cloud adoption has obviously been in high demand, and it is a cost-effective solution that can help your business to thrive whilst keeping data secure, providing the ideal solution for creating full accessibility- turning a difficult situation into something that benefits everybody. With IBM Storage Utility Offering, businesses can swap fixed CAPEX for variable OPEX and migrate to the cloud at their own pace.

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