Data Protection: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

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When it comes to data protection, every business environment has a unique set of requirements and needs, whether they are looking to secure legacy applications, mobile data, cloud apps, virtualized environments, or any number of different workloads. Unique data requires a unique solution, and yet countless vendors are advertising one-stop solutions described as “one-size-fits-all.” But buyer beware: When something seems too good to be true, it usually is, and an easy, one-size-fits-all solution may save you some short term time and money, but can result in major headaches and unforeseen costs in the long run.

For example, a business shouldn’t rely on an out-of-the-box solution that doesn’t take all of its unique workloads and requirements into consideration. A strong data protection strategy should cover more than just a single database or virtual environment. However, many existing solutions fail to encompass all of a business’ data. So how should a business go about selecting the solution that’s most appropriate for their workloads and goals?

Consider the Risks

In today’s uncertain world, an enterprise’s data can be lost, breached, stolen, or otherwise compromised by any number of internal or external factors, and the process of recovering that data can be at best daunting and at worst impossible. Yet shockingly, EMC’s Global Data Protection Index found that only 6% of IT professionals have implemented data protection plans for hybrid cloud, big data and mobile. This surprisingly low number suggests that many enterprises are risking a bottleneck to transformation by not ensuring protection is an integral part of their strategy. Meanwhile, other workloads might be falling through the cracks and creating potentially devastating vulnerabilities. Even more alarming, 71% of IT professionals indicated they don’t feel fully confident in their ability to recover their organization’s information following an incident.

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Enterprises want to deploy a simple, out-of-the-box solution that is flexible, integrates deeply, and doesn’t require the type of excessive monitoring that drains valuable resources. At the same time, IT professionals want to be able to customize and choose specific data protection tools from a portfolio of proven solutions that are right for their business objectives.

With flexibility and customization in mind, more and more businesses are seeking out vendors who offer a larger portfolio of integrated data protection tools. Some are even turning to multiple vendors to ensure they are completely covered. However, another compelling indicator revealed in EMC’s  study shows that working with too many vendors can negatively impact the overall success of a data protection strategy. Organizations that worked with three or more data protection solution vendors were found to be three times more likely than their single-vendor counterparts to have experienced data loss.

Relying on a one-size-fits-all solution can leave vulnerabilities, but working with too many vendors can lead to something being missed or falling through the cracks. In order for businesses to ensure that all of their unique workloads are adequately protected, it’s essential to find a balance.

Turnkey and Customized

The challenge of keeping enterprise data protected continues to evolve as new applications, platforms and workloads create new and more complex requirements. There are some tried and tested solutions that can be deployed and then they “just work.”

Selecting the right data protection solution should be similar to having a key cut to fit a specific lock. As the needs of a business evolve, it may need to change its “lock” to protect against new external threats, accommodate growth, etc., but the right partner will always be able to cut a new key to meet the new requirements.

Where to Start

Once a business establishes its data protection needs, it can begin the process of narrowing down the list of prospective partners that can address the spectrum of needs while minimizing risk. Independent analyst reports are a good place to start researching vendors. The vetting process doesn’t end once a short list is created, however. IT professionals shouldn’t be afraid to ask potential vendors detailed questions and conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure that the solution “key” fits their business’ unique “lock.”

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