By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Arcserve
Your data is invaluable. You can glean business insights, make better decisions, foresee trends, recognize opportunities, and even anticipate customer desires. That all adds up to a competitive edge. But two requirements must be met if your data is to deliver on its promise of enhanced insights and increased efficiencies. First, you must keep your data safe by employing an air-tight approach to backup and recovery that prevents downtime and minimizes data loss. Second, you must draw the value out of your data by managing and analyzing it efficiently.
Unified data management helps you do both. For starters, it eliminates vulnerabilities that result from data silos and inefficient data management. Over the past two decades, many organizations have deployed best-of-breed solutions from network security to antivirus (AV) to backup and recovery. Because these systems were usually created separately, they have resulted in silos and operational and security gaps.
These gaps result in vulnerabilities and open the door for bad actors to hit you with a cyberattack or a rogue employee to do damage from within. Data silos compromise your overall data security posture and increase your risks. With unified data management, you gain better oversight and control of your data. From there, it’s possible to build a more robust security, backup, and recovery strategy. You can also mitigate the other downside of data silos: distributed, disparate data that can’t deliver the insights you need.
What is Unified Data Management?
Unified data management gathers disparate data sources into a single source of truth, with everyone working with the same information. That isn’t the case in siloed environments, where data is often hidden or unavailable, creating blind spots that limit the value of analytics insights.
While unified data management is the goal, it isn’t easy to achieve. Merging disparate data systems is complex, and your company's data storage may rely on fragmented technologies that aren’t designed to work together. That isn’t hard to imagine, given that there are thousands of hardware and software vendors, all relying on a variety of programming languages, vocabularies, syntaxes, and practices.
Then there’s the fact that data comes in many forms. There’s big data, small data, structured, unstructured, and multi-structured data. Some systems can only handle certain data types, and data sets can vary markedly. You might say that most data ecosystems are as complex as the United Nations—with just as many disagreements.
That’s a problem because data assets drive your business forward by helping you make informed decisions based on relevant and actionable insights. And that’s why you should make unified data management a key initiative for your business—if you haven’t done so already.
Here are three ways to get started:
1. Consolidate Vendors
From a data storage, backup, and recovery perspective, consolidating on a single data management vendor will help you minimize gaps and increase your data resilience. A single vendor also helps reduce complexity and costs. And many companies have systems running today that they don’t completely understand how to manage.
Part of that may be due to the dire shortage of IT talent today. Companies struggle to find people with the knowledge, experience, and skills to manage far too many point solutions. When you consolidate with one vendor, you cut down on IT time spent on operations and focus more on strategic initiatives.
2. Embrace Automation
Automation is a priority for many, if not most, IT teams today, especially when it comes to addressing the challenges that come with protecting your data in today's complex infrastructures. That makes sense since once implemented, companies can automatically consolidate and cleanse disparate data sources to create a single data source, saving valuable time for IT teams and data scientists.
Unified data management applies rules to data automatically, eliminating instances of non-compliance. That’s essential because non-compliance can now bring hefty fines (think GDPR). Compliance also indicates that your business is focused on best practices and building trust with customers and vendors. And automatically linking policies and business rules centralizes management while improving data quality and protection.
3. Focus on Visibility
Explosive data growth is one of the biggest challenges to unified data management. How many data copies you have—and where they are stored—can be hard to track. Storage is another challenge, forcing you to decide which data needs to be stored and protected and which doesn’t. Fortunately, available solutions can give you visibility across all locations where you have data—on-premises, in the cloud, or in backup locations. Unified data management eliminates data gaps and silos because you can view all your data from a single console or control panel.
Make Unified Data Management a Priority
With the average annual amount of data generated by organizations doubling, managing that data and leveraging it for business insights is challenging. Unified data management helps you solve those challenges. That explains why IDC predicts that half of all organizations will implement a plan to unify data storage, access, and governance by next year.
Find out how Arcserve products can help you achieve a consistent data experience, optimize the value of your data, and gain a competitive edge by choosing one of our expert technology partners.
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