How to Better Manage Growing Data Volumes While Maximizing IT Budget

September 25th, 2019 by Paul Luppino

It’s all about the data, so what do you do with it all?

Data is growing at an exponential rate and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. In fact, IDC predicts that by 2025 worldwide data creation will grow to 175 zettabytes.

However, it’s more complex than the simple increase in volume and rapid growth of data. Data is also originating from multiple sources, exists in multiple formats, and is stored in various locations.

Consider this: 80% of all data created will become inactive legacy data that will never be accessed or utilized again. Despite this, it still needs to be maintained and understood at all times. This is crucial because organizations need to adhere to data retention and compliance requirements, as well as be able to find information at a moment’s notice due to time sensitive business requirements and litigation-aligned requests.

The challenge many IT leaders are faced with is figuring out what to do with all this data: where to store it, how to ensure it is readily available when it is needed, and remain within – or, even better, free up — their IT budget.

Driving data storage cost effectiveness: Striking the right balance of tape and cloud

When it comes to storage options these days, the cloud is talked about everywhere: the press, trades hows, industry analysts and more. However, according to the 2018 ESG Data Protection Landscape Survey, 63% of organizations plan to maintain tape technology as part of their future strategy and 67% leverage tape for long-term data retention. This is largely due to the optimal offline security and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) on long-term data retention that tape offers.

Despite its benefits, tape also comes with challenges as it requires time-intensive and manual processes to manage. As a result, IT staff are being pulled away from strategic IT projects to work on basic tape management and restoration workloads. Most businesses also lack the equipment and tools needed to efficiently locate, restore and/or migrate information on tape. This leaves organizations at risk of being unable to quickly respond to litigation or recover data for disaster.

Furthermore, managing legacy tape in-house is expensive. Costs such as backup software licenses, equipment maintenance, IT man-hours, and data center space accumulate to create high TCO.

So, what is the solution? How can organizations eliminate the time and cost burdens of managing legacy data in-house and still maintain access to data when needed? More importantly, how can increased data volumes be managed with static or limited budget?

Organizations have the opportunity to maximize their IT budget, ease the migration to cloud, and more effectively restore and manage their data through managed services.

The Value of Managed Services for Data Restoration & Migration

It’s a common misperception that managed services is an additional cost and therefore increases TCO. In fact, the opposite is true. Organizations that outsource data restoration and migration services typically save between 40% and 70% on IT costs.

A managed service model also offers other benefits outside of cost:

  • Security: added data protection through true offsite, offline vaulting and air gapped storage
  • Environment: simplify your IT environment, whether through retiring your tape environment and/or through implementing an on-demand data restoration service
  • Labor: free up your IT department to focus on more impactful business transformation projects such as analytics and big dataWhat to look for in a data restoration and migration providerWith so many vendors out there, it can be tough to know which one will truly fit your needs and help you achieve your goals. Here are some essential qualities to look for in a vendor:
  • guaranteed SLAs for e-discovery requests
  • on-demand access to stored data
  • defensible and predictable data recovery processes that will stand up to an audit in court
  • ability to adhere to compliance and retention schedule on an ongoing basis
  • global coverage
  • guaranteed secure chain of custody from request to delivery
  • data restoration without backup applications
  • ability to deliver customized options to meet your unique technical and budgetary needsMore and more organizations are considering a managed service for data restoration and migration services to save on IT budget. Watch our short on-demand webcast with IDG CIO to learn cost saving approaches pertaining to the growth of legacy data in today’s IT environment.Watch the IDG and CIO webcast: “Data Storage Cost Containment Strategies: How to Better Manage Growing Data Volumes While Maximizing IT Budget”.Paul Luppino is Director, Data Management, Data Restoration and Migration Services at Iron Mountain.

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