Where ‘Data Protection’ Fits among 2015 IT Spending Priorities (Video)

Each year, ESG publishes its annual IT Spending Intentions report – and each year, I look at the research from a “Data Protection Guy’s” perspective.

I’ve already shared my 2015 Data Protection Predictions that were in part based on that research, but my friends in the ESG video studio let me share my data protection interpretations of the IT Spending Intentions research itself.

If this makes sense to you (or not), leave me a comment below – or ping me and let’s talk more about how those insights matter to you.

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Jason Buffington, senior analyst at ESG covering data protection. One of the best pieces of advice that I ever received is if you really want to know what somebody’s priorities are, look in their checkbook and look in their calendar. How do they spend their money? How do they spend their time? Each year ESG asks several hundred IT decision makers what they’re going to spend their money on in its annual IT spending intentions report. Today I’d like to help you see what I see from a data protection perspective.

For the top ten IT priorities, improving backup is number two this year and BCDR, business continuity and disaster recovery, is number eight. So backup, the tactical side of data protection, and BCDR, the strategic side of data protection, are both in the top ten and so is regulatory compliance. Regulatory compliance is more than just data protection, but those regs will surely affect your data retention or preservation plans. But take a look at some of the others, data growth, server virtualization, clouds, public and private.

In each of those cases, folks are modernizing some aspect of their production capabilities, and I guarantee that’s going to force them to modernize their protection capabilities as well. Let me say that again. When you modernize production, you must modernize protection as well. Whether your future plans include Windows Server 2012, more VMs, or moving to software as a service, whatever you do, you will almost definitely need a better data protection solution. This topic has been so hot I recently published a free analyst brief on it, so search the Web for “Buffington” and “modernized protection.”

But let’s step back for a minute. What’s really driving IT is the business. When ESG looked at the business drivers for IT change, regulatory compliance shows up again in the number five slot, and reducing cost comes in at number two. If we double-click on how folks are planning on reducing costs, we see an interesting trend. Number one, renegotiate contracts. You want to do what you’ve already been doing, but you want to pay less. Number two, increased use of cloud because you can’t have a conversation about IT transformation that doesn’t include the Cloud. And number three, purchase new technologies with a better ROI. And if you want to double-click into how they’re going to use cloud as an infrastructure, we asked that too. The number one use case, data backup and archive. Number three, BCDR. Are you starting to see a trend yet?

Now of course, infrastructure as a service isn’t the only way that folks are embracing cloud. Lots of folks are leaving basic file servers, e-mail servers, collab platforms, CRM systems even, all for software as a service, SaaS, like Office 365 and Google Apps and Salesforce. But for those of you that are getting rid of your on-premises servers, I have some bad news for you. Those SaaS platforms are about ensuring their availability. They don’t do protection. They don’t do retention. If you need to get back an earlier version of a doc or retrieve an e-mail that was deleted, they won’t help you. Oh, and more bad news? Most of the current backup solutions in market today don’t back up SaaS, just like most Legacy products didn’t back up VMs for years after VMware first started making virtualization a reality. So you’re almost assured to replace your Legacy solution or supplement it with some additional backup technology that does do SaaS.

Here’s what I see. Business transformation is driving IT modernization. IT modernization is forcing data protection modernization. Those initiatives are driven by trying to reduce costs and increasing agility due to ever heightening SLAs. For many, the Cloud will almost assuredly be part of your data protection strategy moving forward. Now, some folks will back up to the Cloud, especially for endpoint devices. Backup as a service. Some folks will back up what is in the Cloud as they adopt software as a service like Office 365 or Salesforce. Some folks will utilize the Cloud as a tertiary retention solution, so after the data has been protected to some local storage, then it’ll go to the Cloud in what I call disk-to-disk-to-cloud or D2D2C. Some folks, they’re going to see the intersection of virtualization that makes service portable and the Cloud, which makes an economical secondary site we need into disaster recovery as a service or DRaaS.

So yeah, customers will be modernizing their protection because they are modernizing their production. And if they’re doing it for reducing costs or increasing agility or ensuring that the new platforms are adequately protected. Cloud is part of the solution but so is a modern set of on-premises capabilities that improve that agility. I hope this has given you some new ideas to consider. I’m Jason Buffington for ESG. Thanks for watching.

[Originally blogged via ESG’s Technical Optimist.com]

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