The start of a new year is a time for reflection, planning, and looking ahead. With the amount of data generated every second continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate and the global cloud computing market expected to follow suit, it will undoubtedly be a year for the technology industry.
As the first month of 2022 comes to an end, we hear from Commvault about what the rest of the year has in store.
The risks of remote working
Over the past two years, organisations across the world have been forced to adapt to remote working due to the ever-fluctuating nature of the COVID pandemic. Although 2022 should be the year of the return to the office, it is likely that most organisations will never return to a Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm routine. With employees working both remotely and within the corporate network, there are additional risks that businesses should be aware of.
“The mass acceleration of people working remotely that we’ve seen over the past two years has drastically increased the threat landscape,” explains Stuart Abbott, Area Vice President & General Manager of UK & Ireland. “Because of this, in 2022 we will unsurprisingly see cybercrime – and ransomware specifically – continue to be a major challenge for organisations. Protecting their ever-growing IT environments will be a major priority.”
“Data protection solutions will play an even greater role in IT teams’ never-ending war with cybercriminals,” adds Manoj Nair, Metallic General Manager. “Specifically, IT teams can use AI and other technologies integrated into these solutions to monitor both their organisation’s backup data and their primary data (while this primary data is being backed up). If this monitoring reveals anomalous or suspicious behaviour indicating a cyberattack is in progress, these solutions can then alert the IT team, allowing them to stop these attacks, or at least contain them before they do much damage.”
Remote working doesn’t only present security concerns, but also issues with data storage – employees must be able to access any files they require whilst working remotely, which they can’t do if all data is stored on-premises. Moving storage to the cloud where it can be accessed from anywhere will be a priority for businesses in 2022 as Isabelle Guis, Chief Marketing Officer, explains: “In just about every conversation I’ve had with customers, we talk about the importance of keeping options open by supporting on-premises and cloud environments; multiple cloud vendors; and new workloads with the same budget.”
In the cloud
Remote working is not the only reason that businesses will be continuing to migrate to the cloud in 2022. As Abbott explains, “We’re continuing to see the after-effects of the pandemic on the technology industry, such as the chip shortage that is still causing major disruption across the country. People are looking for new hardware but stock is being delayed because of the shortages, and so any new software that they are considering implementing in the coming months is also having to be delayed.
“A by-product of this is that we could see more workloads heading to the public cloud as the quickest solution to accelerate IT projects. In the longer term, businesses moving towards hyperscale-first rather than multi-cloud could increase costs overall. Ensuring companies put the right workload in the right location at the right cost point should still be considered best practice and will enable companies to manage costs and deliver a better overall experience in the long term.”
However, with more and more organisations moving their data to the cloud, they must ensure that it is secure and protected. “IT professionals are waking up to the fact that, under the SaaS and cloud service providers’ shared responsibility model, they are responsible for all the data they store in their SaaS applications and elsewhere on the cloud,” explains Nair. “As recent successful cyberattacks on cloud-based data demonstrate, when organisations do not protect this data by creating a pristine, verified backup copy of it that they can restore after a successful ransomware or other cyberattack, the results can be devastating.”
Get more from your data
With the growth of cyber threats last year, “in 2022, C-Suite executives will begin mandating that their IT teams conduct periodic ‘fire drills’ to test the strength, resilience, and speed of their cyber defence and disaster recovery processes and solutions,” predicts Don Foster, Global Vice President of Sales Engineering.
“Data integrity fire drills can confirm if an organisation’s cyberattack defences are robust or discover weak points in these defences that cybercriminals might exploit. These drills can also verify that, if a worst-case scenario occurs and data has been locked, altered, or destroyed by an attack, it can be quickly recovered from a secure backup copy — turning what could have been a data disaster into a data speed bump.”
However, data is not just about protection – businesses can gain a lot of valuable insights from their data if it’s managed and used effectively. “Over the next year, enterprises will launch new agile, DevOps-like teams dedicated to optimizing how they manage and use these enterprises’ data,” predicts Reza Morakabati, Chief Information Officer.
“These DevOps-like agile data teams are needed because, having accelerated their digital transformation initiatives during the pandemic, enterprises now find themselves unable to view or control all the data they have sprawled across dozens of SaaS applications, multiple cloud services, and various types of on-premises infrastructure. They also need agile data teams that shorten cycle times for new data management solution releases, increasing the frequency of these releases so that the enterprises’ other IT and business teams can experiment with them and quickly provide feedback on how well they help improve business outcomes.”
He concludes: “Those enterprises that create agile data teams in 2022 will be able to continuously optimize how they store, protect, secure, govern, and use their data – allowing them to ensure the fundamental integrity of their business while also liberating them to do amazing things with this data.”