But fundamentally, while data management is a hot topic, most companies’ budgets are allocated mainly to modernizing data backup. That’s because it’s urgent: Businesses see their data is growing, they’re running out of capacity, they need more storage, more software, more processes and people. So today, the budgets are for backup. And I think it’s always going to be like that.
BIZTECH: Does that mean that ambitious data management projects will always be the purview of big companies with deep pockets?
TIMASHEV: No. The more advanced aspects of data management become more important as customer requirements, security requirements and government regulations make them more important. You’ll have to have visibility into your data, you have to use it for other business objectives, and so on, as business and regulatory requirements put more pressure on IT.
The main issues that companies are facing are all around data growth, data sprawl and data criticality. Data itself, of course, has become much more critical to the success of businesses, and that means it has to be restored much more quickly. And there’s a lot more of it: The amount of data in a typical environment doubles every two years. And the data has sprawled — it’s spread out across multiple data centers and hybrid cloud environments. So, managing all this data has become a lot more complicated.
BIZTECH: How are businesses responding to that challenge?
TIMASHEV: Last year and this year is the time when companies are having to think about, architect and implement hybrid and multicloud strategies. Until 2018, there was a lot of talk about cloud, but in reality, 99 percent of computing environments were handled on-prem. Then, starting last year and accelerating in 2019, there is big pressure on CIOs to reduce the cost of IT while providing more to the business.
There’s pressure to come up with a strategy for IT to move faster, leveraging the public cloud. Businesses need help in migrating to the public cloud and then they need help managing and backing up the data in the cloud and moving data between different clouds.
BIZTECH: What should CIOs be most concerned about as they start to make that transition to multicloud environments?
TIMASHEV: Mostly security and cost optimization. A business might think that if they move to a public cloud provider, their data is protected by the provider. No: The infrastructure is protected — the cloud provider is responsible for protecting the infrastructure — but the data is your responsibility.
For cost optimization, you have to be able to move the data in and out of the cloud provider. Only if the provider knows you can move data in and out easily can you optimize costs. When the customer has this flexibility, they have the power to negotiate better deals with Azure and other cloud providers.