As the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region has its own set of compliances and privacy requirements, one of the very stringent requirements is to keep government, mission critical and public sector data resident within its areas of jurisdiction. For this reason, in the last few years a number of cloud and infrastructure vendors have initiated roll outs to host their local editions in the region.
Gartner has predicted that Middle East and North Africa (MENA) spending on public cloud services including software, infrastructure, platforms, and security, will cross the $2bn mark in 2020.
Overall, the adoption, usage and spending on public cloud has seen a consistent double-digit growth in almost every region of the world. The primary reason for this is the switch-over from an asset-based capital expenditure model for IT spending to an operating expenditure, pay-as-you-use model, that is provided by a public cloud type of consumption service. This reduces the burden of having a high initial expenditure outlay and a software vendor-based lock-in.
The consumerisation of IT, which is so much a part of the public cloud platform, continues to be an enabler for the double-digit growth of IT spending on this platform. On the flip side, it has opened the gates for a large number of users to come on board and use the platform. While the number of cloud-enabled users will definitely boost collaboration and workflow inside an organisation, it exposes a wider segment of executives to the vagaries of an external environment.
Irrespective of the service level agreements of uptime provided by the cloud service providers, business organisations must have the complete copy of their cloud data accessible to themselves in the event of a wide spread operational failure or unexpected litigation or force majeure of any sort. Recent global outages involving large cloud service providers, like the Google outage in April 2019, have led consultants to point out that losses from such prolonged incidents could run into tens of billions of dollars.
Migration of an organisation’s employees to cloud platforms has meant they now have access to data stored on the cloud. Irrespective of how well security policies have been mapped into cloud application platforms, accidental deletion or malicious deletion of data by users is another unpredictable possibility for the loss of data in the cloud.
Consulting company, Aberdeen Group, points out that the most common reason for data loss in the public cloud, is end-user deletion, even when multiple confirmation steps are required. While such incidents are definitely not frequent, when they do occur, the financial losses could be devastating. In other words, the cloud platform does not offer a fool-proof plan for data protection unless organisations actively build such a plan.
One of the best ways to build such a fool-proof plan is to invest in a data backup solution that can replicate and save data from the cloud to on-premises, irrespective of which cloud platform is being used by the organisation. Moreover, the best backup solution is one which allows data to be backed up from multiple cloud platforms and saved on-premises. The reason for this is, most organisations are in a multi-cloud platform environment rather than a single cloud one.
Such a backup solution would work equally well whether the cloud platform was Microsoft’s Office 365, OneDrive or MyDrive, as common examples. The backup solution would also offer multiple modes of backup operation, which could be a continuous mode process, scheduled process, or manual process.
With increasing prices of cloud storage services, as you include value added services such as security, backup and recovery, backing up data from the cloud to on-premises, is getting increasingly economical. This is more pronounced for large, sprawling, global enterprises.
By backing up data from the cloud to on-premises, end users can save on cloud storage costs and only keep the most current data in their licensed cloud platforms.
Lastly, the backup solution should offer the latest storage management features such as deduplication and single instance data management. This would bring cost and storage efficiency to the organisation that has taken the initiative to backup cloud data into an on-premises data management platform. While innovative technologies may come and go, offering multiple opportunities for businesses to adapt and move efficiently forward, being able to successfully manage inherent risks is also part of the success.
The views expressed in this article are Simon Hwang’s own opinions and not necessarily those of Business Tech Africa.