Johannesburg, 20 Sep 2023
There is little doubt that data remains both the most compelling and most complicated asset for a business. On one hand, it is a potential treasure trove of insights and information; on the other, it is difficult to manage, store and sort.
Data appears at such speed and in such volumes that organisations end up with poor data quality, disparate data silos, limited visibility, disjointed processes and systems, and the inevitable concerns around security and compliance. Companies are constantly looking for solutions that allow them to unlock that data’s value but, as McKinsey points out, they are dealing with "legacy systems, distributed data sources and the lack of an overarching data strategy".
What’s needed, beyond strategy and frameworks, is technology that can empower the business. Allow it to slice into the cost of storing, managing, analysing and absorbing the data without losing the value of this data. And this requires two shifts – the move to recognising data as a product, and recognising that cloud offers the space, computing and scale that companies need to optimise how they store their data.
Cloud remains one of the most powerful tools in the digital arsenal. For organisations, balancing public and private cloud architecture allows them to benefit from the flexibility and scale of public cloud architecture with the security, control and visibility of the private cloud. One of the key benefits of hybrid data storage and management is that it allows the business to incrementally evolve its systems and platforms based on changing storage requirements; to engineer its systems and architecture based on need while equally allowing for modernisation and digitisation to seep throughout the business.
When it comes to security, hybrid cloud offers immense value to organisations looking to refine their storage posture across governance, regulatory compliance and security. Hybrid cloud allows for organisations, particularly in the financial and health sectors, to remain in line with regulations such as GDPR and POPIA.
Sensitive data can sit in the private cloud, protected by enterprise-grade security that aligns with the organisation’s compliance and regulatory mandates, while the remainder can be stored, also securely, within the public cloud at a lower price point than storage on-premises. This gives the business visibility into data sovereignty and peace of mind, plus the resilience that hybrid adds to the equation. Your business can nab storage within the public cloud at times when velocity and volume exceed on-premises expectations, and then scale down when the space is not required – all on demand. There are very few solutions that provide the business with this level of freedom to shift and adapt as required.
However, in as much as hybrid cloud offers immense flexibility, scale and visibility, it doesn’t come without its own unique set of challenges. It can become complicated managing data, storage and systems across multiple service providers and platforms, which adds the risk of bill shock. The flexibility and easy scalability of hybrid cloud is as much a benefit as it can be an expensive problem if not managed properly.
Which is why the true value of hybrid cloud lies in an integration that ensures visibility throughout the architecture and in using a service provider that has a cohesive and strategic hybrid approach. With a trusted partner, your business can create a balanced storage solution that addresses the challenges around hybrid cloud while providing simplicity, security and intelligent services that fit within budget and deliver to your growth strategy. Hybrid is, after all, about your business building the best-fit solution for your storage, and with the technology and hyperscale solutions available in South Africa today, this is an achievable reality.