UBISTOR WHITEPAPER: MANAGED SERVICES HELP BUSINESSES DEAL WITH DATA GROWTH, IT PERSONNEL SHORTAGES

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1 UBISTOR WHITEPAPER: MANAGED SERVICES HELP BUSINESSES DEAL WITH DATA GROWTH, IT PERSONNEL SHORTAGES

2 MANAGED SERVICES HELP BUSINESSES DEAL WITH DATA GROWTH, IT PERSONNEL SHORTAGES CONTENTS 03 Introduction 04 The Storage Management Problem 06 How the IT Skills Gap is Impacting Corporate Storage Strategies 08 Managed Services Help Organizations Deal With Data Management 10 Sources 2

3 Managed Services Help Businesses Deal With Data Growth, IT Personnel Shortages Data is accumulating at a rapid pace, presenting a capacity planning problem that businesses across all industries must solve. With storage demands expected to double every two years, there are numerous benefits to getting it under control today, including lower costs, improved operations and faster electronic discovery. Due in part to the rate at which technology advances, businesses around the globe are faced with a lack of skilled IT professionals to perform the necessary data management processes. This information explosion also comes at a time when there is a widespread skills shortage in the IT community. Due in part to the rate at which technology advances, businesses around the globe are faced with a lack of skilled IT professionals to perform the necessary data management processes. In such scenarios, tools that offer automation are becoming increasingly popular, as automation is a more cost-effective solution than labor. Automation can also improve the effectiveness of backup and recovery initiatives, enabling valuable IT staff to focus efforts on higher initiatives within the company. Many organizations are turning to managed services providers as well, as a means of better utilizing IT resources and ensuring the effectiveness of solutions put in place. 3

4 Since data can be created, consumed and replicated in a variety of environments, many of which are largely frequented by consumers rather than the enterprise, it can be difficult to delineate the corporation s role in the evolution of the digital universe. The Storage Management Problem Global marketing intelligence firm IDC recently released its latest annual installment of the Digital Universe Study, which thoroughly explored the creation, replication and consumption of digital data using figures from 2005 onward to project the size of the digital universe in The study specifically found that, from 2005 through 2020, global data stores will grow by a factor of 300, increasing from 130 exabytes in 2005 to 40,000 exabytes at the end of the decade. Since data can be created, consumed and replicated in a variety of environments, many of which are largely frequented by consumers rather than the enterprise, it can be difficult to delineate the corporation s role in the evolution of the digital universe. IDC specifically noted that businesses hold responsibility - in some form - for nearly 80 percent of all existing data, requiring them to practice effective data management in order to comply with industry regulations, ensure adequate privacy and meet copyright requirements. While many assume that organizations need to retain data for analytics purposes, the IDC study showed that only a small fraction of all data is actually used for such initiatives. In fact, the fastest growing area is data that mandates particular protections, representing less than 33 percent of the digital universe in 2010 but expected to make up more than 40 percent by The substantial data growth is logically expected to be accompanied by increased investment in IT infrastructure as many organizations attempt to manage data storage by acquiring new hardware, software and services. IDC estimated that all IT infrastructure-related expenditures will grow 40 percent between 2012 and 2020, with specific areas like storage management, cloud computing and IT security expected to see markedly faster growth. This will mean that when looking at spending by gigabyte, by 2020, the investment per gigabyte will have fallen to $0.20, down from $2.00 in Another recent survey sponsored/conducted by Vanson Bourne explored the challenges with data storage management, finding that the majority of IT decision makers at large enterprises use manual processes to manage and analyze stored data. Furthermore, they rarely delete data and instead prefer to add more storage as needed. Organizations across a number of sectors, including media and entertainment, life sciences, medical imaging, oil and gas, government, and video surveillance, are choosing to retain much of their data 4

5 As clearly evidenced by multiple reports, data is undergoing explosive growth today, and this can create numerous challenges for all organizations. retention, including regulatory, compliance or governance requirements, as well as the opportunity to repurpose and monetize information in the future, the survey summary detailed. Findings from a separate IDC report showed that specifically file-based and object-based storage growth will dramatically outpace overall storage growth. Demand for these two types of storage are expected to generate $38 billion in worldwide revenue by 2017, up from the 2013 estimated value of $23 billion. Object-based storage, which manages data in flexible object form rather than fixed block sizes, is likely witnessing increased momentum due to its easy use for managing data in cloud environments as well as unstructured data. Both file-based and object-based storage sales are projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 24.5 percent through As clearly evidenced by multiple reports, data is undergoing explosive growth today, and this can create numerous challenges for all organizations. The main struggle many companies are facing is devising an appropriate storage management solution capable of meeting all specific organizational needs. Regardless of the amount of data passing through corporate hands, securing that data is a primary concern; but as data stores continues to grow, this can become increasingly difficult to effectively do as data fragmentation and shadow IT loom ever-larger on the horizon. Shadow IT is a term used for scenarios where employees access, share and store corporate data outside of the control of the IT department, which puts company information at higher security risk and increases the chance of information loss. This is becoming an increasing problem for organizations, spurred by the bring-your-own-device trend that has more personnel bringing personal computing devices into the corporate environment. While much of the responsibility to combat the growing shadow IT problem falls on the average employee and necessitates a change in work behavior, IT managers can and need to take certain steps to trigger such transformations. An effective storage management system and clearly articulated policies regarding the storage of corporate data are integral to minimizing the issues that shadow IT can create for a company. Richard Hughes, author of The Business Communication Revolution, recently explored the issues of shadow IT and data fragmentation that IT managers are faced with today, addressing the more recent trend of bring your own application (BYOA). The introduction of unapproved software into the company is sometimes described as Shadow IT, and it has consequences that are not immediately apparent to the user, Hughes wrote in a recent article. Most of these services store data on the provider s servers, 5

6 At the same time, IT job salaries are rising 5.1 percent annually, which is 45 percent higher than average U.S. jobs. which has implication for the company s data security, discoverability and accountability. BYOA can also lead to the fragmentation of the company s collective knowledge across a wide range of disparate services. BYOD (or BYOA, rather) is a powerful trend, and many organizations have taken the approach that it needs to be embraced rather than ignored so that companies can maintain more effective control over the IT environment and the success of the business. However, in order to embrace BYOD, companies need to acquire highly capable IT talent, something that is becoming increasingly difficult due to the widening IT skills gap. How the IT Skills Gap is Impacting Corporate Storage Strategies While shortages in skilled professionals have been noted in many market segments, it is perhaps most readily observed in the information technology sector. According to a PayScale report, only one out of every 10 organizations has all the IT talent it needs to be successful, and about 75 percent of surveyed students and teachers reported a gap in their ability to meet the needs of the IT workforce. At the same time, IT job salaries are rising 5.1 percent annually, which is 45 percent higher than average U.S. jobs. To drive the point home, PayScale showed that 67 percent of organizations are having difficulty finding the necessary skill professionals, as 61 percent stress a lack of qualified applicants as the main reason positions remain unfilled. A CompTIA study highlighted what specific information technology areas are struggling the most from the lack of skilled professionals. These included tech jobs in network infrastructure, big data, server/data center management, security/cybersecurity and data analytics/business intelligence. As the IT skills gap is not something that can be bridged overnight, it is important for organizations to understand what options they have available to help them manage their infrastructure. In his recent book titled, The U.S. Technology Skills Gap, author Gary Beach thoroughly explored the IT skills gap, offering up solutions such as creating a long-term national education strategy and fostering innovation through research funding. While such solutions may be effective in the long run, this still leaves many years and even decades between now and the time when the gap could potentially be closed. 6

7 To address the IT skills gap, one of the best options available to corporations is outsourcing data and infrastructure management to third-party services providers. Business is not going to sit idly by and wait the decades it may take for the U.S. education system to catch up to meet the IT needs of modern corporations, however. In fact, business moves at a faster rate than ever before, and companies that cannot maintain pace will likely be left behind. This leaves many organizations in the position of exploring alternative options for managing data storage and IT infrastructure. While there are a variety of tools available to help IT departments do more with less staff (and money) - such as those with automation functionality that enable businesses to shift common tech personnel tasks to increasingly sophisticated software - many organizations today are turning to managed services as well. Managed Services Help Organizations Deal With Data Management Effectively managing data storage is not only crucial for handling security and compliance in the face of rapid data growth, but it can also help boost efficiency and reduce costs across the board. Some IT executives have adopted the mindset that the skills gap needs to be tackled first, before any ground can be gained in deriving value from corporate data stores. To address the IT skills gap, one of the best options available to corporations is outsourcing data and infrastructure management to third-party services providers. Seeing as how cloud services are at least in part related to surging data growth, cloud-linked data protection services could be an ideal management solution. Deborah Culhane of corporate action information provider Fidelity ActionsXchange, stressed the benefits of taking a data-centric approach to regulatory compliance, noting how data management strategies have changed since the 2008 financial crisis. While regulatory demands and internal risk management practices were primary catalysts for projects aimed at improving access, integration and management of data, the ongoing explosion in both volume and complexity of data has challenged organizations to manage increasing risk and meet customer demands for more timely, comprehensive and complete information, Culhane explained. At the same time, organizations must address the need for improved 7

8 Two popular data protection offerings from IT managed solutions provider UbiStor include its SafeStor Enterprise and SafeStor Endpoint Protection services. operational efficiencies and predictable cost structure to support firmwide data management needs. To successfully navigate the constantly changing enterprise IT, regulatory and economic environments, many organizations have already or are currently considering the strategic outsourcing of specific IT tasks. Two popular data protection offerings from IT managed solutions provider UbiStor include its SafeStor Enterprise and SafeStor Endpoint Protection services. The SafeStor Enterprise solution is fully unified, enterprise data management software geared toward helping companies drive down IT costs by enabling improved planning and resource utilization. With high scalability, such a solution is able to change alongside growing data stores, allowing for quick data and application recovery through the use of cloud environments. A unified solution and console helps IT administrators maintain centralized data management, and automation tools ensure that backups are performed successfully. Reduction of point-solution vendors, compatibility issues and overall inefficiencies further support improved operations and lower cost of ownership. Furthermore, regular updates regarding storage capacity and granularlevel oversight of object-level storage adds a new level of precision to data management and recovery initiatives by enabling storage tiering through archiving. UbiStor s SafeStor EndPoint Protection is an excellent way for organizations to handle the security concerns, with an intuitive dashboard enabling effective monitoring and action of any data management-related operations. With industry claims that data is key for endpoint management, automation is a particularly valuable tool for grappling with the IT skills gap, and deduplication is necessary for handling data fragmentation, the SafeStor EndPoint Protection is an ideal solution to assist businesses with the challenges they face today and moving forward. Using this solution, IT administrators can effectively secure a complete network extended to the endpoint computing environment, leveraging deduplication to lessen the strain on bandwidth, reduce storage loads and accelerate backup and recovery processes - all in a secure, cost-effective manner. 8

9 Sources Data Storage Growth IT Skills Shortage Fiction_?page=4&taxonomyId= Infographic.pdf tackling_big_data_initiatives_9633.htm closing-skills-gap-educating-innovators 9

10 Managed Services for Data Management Ubistor Consulted Sources Added Sources https://www.actionsxchange.com/ 10

11 UBISTOR UbiStor 1111 N. Plaza Dr. Suite 600 Schaumburg, IL, United States STOR(7867) 11

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