[ Our friends at Commvault (Tinton Falls) have been looking into their crystal ball for us for several years. Here are their predictions for 2022.]

David ngo, CTO at Metallic, a Commvault company (Shrewsbury)

Businesses will scramble to control cloud-induced data sprawl

In 2022, businesses will seek to bring order to the growing and chaotic sprawl of data they face – caused by their rapid adoption of dozens of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and multiple services. cloud before and during the pandemic – by implementing programs and solutions that will allow them to comprehensively manage the storage, security, protection, governance, optimization and use of all their datawhether it resides in a SaaS application, cloud service, on-premises, or on an employee’s laptop.

Companies that succeed in gaining this type of control over their data proliferation will be able to ensure the fundamental integrity of their operations and accelerate their digital transformation efforts. Those who don’t will find that this uncontrolled proliferation of data creates a wedge between where their data environment is and what it needs to be, if they hope to thrive in the digital economy and ensure the fundamental integrity of their businesses.

Cloud Managed Services Market Growth To Accelerate

In 2022, companies will step up their use of cloud-managed service providers (MSPs) for cloud-related IT responsibilities they previously managed in-house – responsibilities such as customizing standard SaaS applications for their particular business needs. , ensuring that their SaaS applications comply with government data privacy regulations and protect their SaaS and other cloud-based data from malicious cyber attacks. In addition, many companies will also contract with cloud MSPs to assist them in more strategic digital transformation initiatives, enabling them to accelerate these initiatives and expand their development of unique cloud-based digital services that differentiate them. of their competitors.

Businesses have already rounded the second base of their cloud journey by outsourcing their application infrastructure management to SaaS and public cloud service providers. In 2022, expect these businesses to look home by partnering with cloud MSPs to help them manage the configuration, customization and administration of these cloud-based applications, creating new opportunities. revenue for IT service providers with the expertise, resources, and solution provider relationships required to deliver these types of cloud-based managed services.

Don foster, Global Vice President of Sales Engineering at Commvault (Dallas)

Don Foster | Photo courtesy of Commvault

Prepare for data integrity fire drills

In 2022, C-Suite CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and other executives will begin requiring their IT teams to perform periodic “fire drills” to test the strength, resiliency and speed of their business processes and solutions. cyber defense and disaster recovery.

These leaders may think that their organization’s IT team has a solid strategy in place to repel and, if necessary, recover from ransomware and other attacks. But with the integrity of their businesses threatened by these attacks, these executives are following the famous old Russian proverb: “Trust, but verify. They can “trust” that their IT team’s strategy will work, they can also “verify” that it will work.

Data integrity fire drills can verify whether an organization’s cyberattack defenses are robust, or uncover weak spots in those defenses that cybercriminals could exploit. These exercises can also verify that, if the worst-case scenario occurs and the data has been locked, modified, or destroyed by an attack, it can be quickly recovered from a secure backup copy, transforming what could have been a data disaster in a data speed bump.

Reza Morakabati, CIO at Commvault (Boston)

Reza Morakabati | Photo courtesy of Commvault

Businesses Bring DevOps Agility to Data Management

Over the next year, companies will launch new agile DevOps-like teams dedicated to optimizing the management and use of these companies’ data. These groups, made up of data security, protection, analytics and other experts, as well as IT operations staff, will be tasked with rapidly and effectively improving the security, protection, governance and value of their data. organization.

These DevOps-like agile data teams are needed because, having accelerated their digital transformation initiatives during the pandemic, companies now find themselves unable to visualize or control all the data they have scattered 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 releases of data management solutions, increasing the frequency of those releases so that other IT and sales teams across the enterprise can experience them and provide quick feedback on how they are helping to improve the business. results.

With these agile data teams in place, they can achieve this centralized visibility and control, enabling them to secure that data against cybercriminal attacks; recover it if a successful cyberattack or other disaster locks, modifies or destroys it; and move it between SaaS applications, clouds and infrastructure. These teams can also work with industry employees to find new ways to use data analytics, AI [artificial intelligence], ML [machine learning] and other tools to glean valuable insights from that data that will improve their business results.

Organizations that create agile data teams next year will be able to continuously optimize the way they store, protect, secure, govern and use their data, enabling them to ensure the fundamental integrity of their businesses. activities while allowing them to do amazing things with that data. .

Manoj Nair, general manager of Metallic, a Commvault company (Palo Alto, California)

Manoj Naïr | Photo courtesy of Commvault

Data protection solutions will play a bigger role in the battle against ransomware

Data protection solutions are currently the last line of defense for many IT teams against cyber attacks. These teams use these solutions to create an independent, pristine, verified backup copy of their organization’s data, which they can use to quickly restore that data if a cyber attack locks, alters, or destroys it.

However, by providing IT teams with a complete and secure representation of all their data, data protection solutions can play an even bigger role in IT teams’ endless war against cybercriminals. Specifically, IT teams can use the AI ​​and other technologies built into these solutions to monitor both their organization’s backup data and their primary data (while that primary data is being backed up). If this monitoring reveals abnormal or suspicious behavior indicating that a cyber attack 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. .

As ransomware attacks increase in both number and sophistication, expect data protection solutions in 2022 to integrate more AI-based cyber attack monitoring capabilities into their solutions, enabling teams IT professionals to use them as “another look” on their data in their continuing battle with cybercriminals.

The increasing severity of cloud data will attract data protection solutions

While organizations have been using data protection solutions to back up their on-premises data for years, many have been slow to use these solutions to protect their SaaS application data and other types of data that they have stored. in the cloud.

However, as more organizations move both a higher percentage and more important data to the cloud, the severity of cloud data (its power to attract solutions, services and other data ) has increased exponentially. The increasing severity of cloud data is now attracting data protection solutions as organizations seek to be able to quickly back up and restore cloud-based data after a cyberattack, misconfiguration, or other disaster.

The fact that IT pros realize that as part of the shared responsibility model of cloud service providers and SaaS, they are accountable for all the data they store in their SaaS is still fueling the Growing appeal of data protection solutions for the cloud. applications and elsewhere in the cloud. Like recent successful cyberattacks based on cloud-based data demonstrate that when organizations fail to protect that data by creating a clean, verified backup copy that they can restore after successful ransomware or other cyberattack, the results can be devastating.

Insurance companies are also pushing the cloud to attract more data protection solutions. Faced with high ransomware payments, insurance companies now require their customers to implement data protection strategies for their SaaS and other cloud-based data before purchasing or renewing policies. insurance against cyber attacks.

On top of all this, cybercriminals are launching increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks, and the damage from successful attacks is becoming more and more visible.

All of these reasons are why we can expect that in 2022 the increasing severity of cloud data will attract more data protection solutions, virtually any organization with SaaS or other cloud-based data. having implemented a strategy to quickly back up and restore this data before the end of the year.

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