As data becomes the most important asset for digitally transforming companies, many are still facing the challenge of protecting their data effectively, especially in these unprecedented times.
According to KT Ong, Country Manager - Malaysia, Dell Technologies, “Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, it is becoming very clear that digital technology is a crucial part of business continuity and of our daily lives. In fact, since two years ago, Dell Technologies has been tracking how our business customers are responding to digital transformation and we have seen an increase in their performance”.
Ong spoke during the virtual Dell Technologies Forum 2020 Malaysia, where he discussed highlights of Dell’s Digital Transformation Index 2020. In the said Index, Dell surveyed 4,300 business leaders from around the globe to analyse their organisations’ transformation efforts and found that the percentage of digital laggards, those who have no digital plans has decreased from 9% in 2018 to 3% this year.
The digital evaluators (organisations who are seeing gradual digital transformation and planning) and adopters (those who already have mature digital plans, investments and innovations in place) have both increased to 39% in 2020 compared to 33% and 23% two years ago, respectively. Ong believes that the pandemic played a very crucial role in this acceleration.
In fact, in the same index, the digital priorities are now propelling organisations in the Asia-Pacific and Japan regions forward, with 84% of organisations having fast-tracked some of their digital transformation programmes while 86% are reinventing their business model altogether.
“However, they are struggling with two big problems. First, they are swarmed with a huge amount of data from everywhere. Second, their IT department is under increasing pressure to become more simple, agile and most importantly, they need to be secure”, added Ong. He mentioned that this is why data privacy and cybersecurity should be everyone’s #1 concern.
The fact that 43% of organisations are intending to invest in top technology solutions for their protection and cybersecurity is a good sign, especially as we enter the next data decade.
Improving Cyber Resiliency to Mitigate Disruptive Events
According to Saravanan Krishnan, Director, Data Protection Solutions, South Asia, Dell Technologies, there has been a significant growth globally and in Malaysia in terms of the Internet usage, which is generating huge amounts of data. “Now the challenge is exacerbated by the fact that as the data increase has taken place, there are a lot more destructive events which have also been introduced in the way we live, work and play. That has been the case in the last several months”, added Saravanan.
He explained that 84% of organisations suffered a disruptive event in the last 12 months, while 70% fear that they will experience more disruptive events in the next year. Such disruptive events include cyber-attacks, data loss, system downtime as well as other threats and vulnerabilities.
While these events are happening, companies are also challenged to be innovative by adopting and investing in emerging technologies such as cloud-native applications and AI for their data protection strategy.
As high as 75% of organisations agree that emerging technologies create more data protection complexity, while 77% believe that existing data protection solutions will not be able to meet business challenges in the future. Today, in an increasingly multi-cloud environment, 83% rely on solutions from multiple vendors.
“This is a very important piece of insight which suggest that we need to talk to customers about realising the need to have this conversation with Dell Technologies and to see how they can improve their overall cyber resiliency in the organisation”, explained Saravanan. With that, he announced various offerings and solutions from Dell Technologies to address these challenges.
The first announcement was about the new Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances - including the new PowerProtect DP series appliances, which are the next generation of integrated data protection appliance and the PowerProtect DD series appliances, the next generation for data domain.
These appliances provide replication, deduplication and instant access and restore with seamless VMware integration. They also feature performance and efficiency enhancements, such as 45% faster restores, 38% faster backups and up to 65 times deduplication.
“We believe that technology and architecture are a significant part of our success and it is not all about making sure that you bring the performance and efficiency but also about improving the overall returns on investments”, added Saravanan.
The second part of the announcement was about the PowerProtect Data Manager enhancements, which have added features through different providers. This software is a technology solution introduced with new capabilities, taking on an agile development methodology.
One enhancement is the deployment workloads in the cloud in Azure and AWS with the 256TB PowerProtect Data Domain Virtual Edition (DDVE). Another addition is the support from VMware Tanzu, which enables storage policy-based management and mission-critical protection. Lastly is the agentless protection of PostgreSQL and Cassandra which allows deployment of Kubernetes quicker.
The final part of the announcement was the introduction of the PowerProtect Cyber Recovery and CyberSense, which is about data vaulting and recovery processes. “This is a data vaulting and recovering capability which is an extension to our PowerProtect Appliance Solution. In today’s world, the need to recover from cyber-attacks is a lot more compared to the need to recover from disaster recovery. We need to be able to understand that disaster recovery is not cyber recovery”, explained Saravanan.
He then explained how Dell is joining the Sheltered Harbor Alliance Partner Program, which is a standard that combines secure data vaulting of critical customer account information and a resiliency plan for their solutions. Its missions are to ensure that in a worst-case scenario:
Public confidence in the financial sector is maintained.
Critical data sets are protected across the industry.
Critical services can continue even when systems and backups are down.
An impacted financial institution has a lifeline to survival; and
All of the above must be achievable, independent of the event’s origin.