Staffing Pressures Drive Enterprises to Data Protection as-a-Service

By Krista Macomber, Friday, January 20th 2023

Analyst Blogs

The state of data protection is changing, from that of an investment in expensive infrastructure that largely sits idle, and valuable IT staff hours to procure, configure and manage that infrastructure. Data is becoming more critical, and it is also more in danger of corruption, exploitation, and loss than ever before due to ransomware. At the same time, the environments that need to be protected are more complex than ever before, being comprised of containerized, virtualized, and physical components on-premises and in the cloud that need to be protected to strict recovery points and times. Data protection teams need to scale, and what’s more, they need to free up their valuable time to play a fundamental, strategic role in supporting uptime of business-critical operations and resiliency against cyber-attacks.

Evaluator Group’s recent Trends in Enterprise Data Protection study found that while, high solution costs and limited budget remain the top challenges that customers are facing with their data protection solutions, the issue of limited IT staff has emerged solidly in the number three spot. This research also found that this pain point is materially influencing data protection solution requirements – specifically, that it is contributing to a tipping point to service delivery for data protection functions. The vast majority of organizations indicated that their organization using some form of public cloud and managed services as a part of their protection implementation (80% and 60%, respectively). This compares to an earlier iteration of this research from 2019, in which only approximately 10% of respondents were using backup-as-a-service (BUaaS) and disaster recovery as-a-service (DRaaS), respectively, and only one in five were using a cloud tiering/hybrid cloud strategy.

The need to simultaneously address staffing issues, the complexities of protecting modern IT environments, and growing cyber-security threats – coupled with investments by IT service providers in addressing compliance and security considerations – is driving interest in, and an uptick in adoption of, “as-a-service” delivery of data protection. However, the process of migration to the cloud is never straightforward, and it is even more challenging in the data protection market considering the longstanding entrenchment of existing solutions. In fact, one in four respondents cited moving from an on-premises to a public cloud-based implementation as a leading challenge with their data protection implementation. The process is one to be tackled step-by-step, for example by integrating hosted storage targets for backup and archive copies into the data protection strategy, and testing out hosted backup software for applications that are also hosted in the public cloud (such as Microsoft 365).

Evaluator Group’s Trends in Enterprise Data Protection study surveyed 136 IT professionals with hands-on experience operating data protection solutions. Respondents came from a global selection of enterprises with more than 1,000 employees from a variety of verticals. For more information, please contact Krista Macomber (krista@evaluatorgroup.com), Senior Analyst, or DeAndre Gregg (DeAndre@evaluatorgroup.com), Client Relations Manager.

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