Integration of data protection in enterprise cloud strategy to ensure business success

5 December 2017

The appeal of cloud computing is clear. With instant access to a world of information at their fingertips, customers are far more demanding today when it comes to their expectations and experiences. Businesses are hence pressured to innovate at a far faster pace to meet their heightened demands, with many looking to the cloud to support their digital transformation initiatives.


Business at the speed of cloud


Moving to the cloud is not always simple or straightforward. For a start, the cloud strategy must often align with multiple objectives, including the business goals of C-level executives. They are also subjected to practical limitations and constraints stemming from variables such as mergers and acquisitions, and need to deliver a positive customer experience in today’s customer-centric world.

Even for workloads that are currently on-premises, businesses must also plan for the possibility that they may be moved to the cloud tomorrow. All workloads must therefore be designed to support some measure of portability, offering the ability to be easily migrated when necessary. To succeed, any conversation must begin with the cloud, and with a focus on how the cloud strategy can meet overall business goals.

And despite it being rarely mentioned, the most important and strategic asset that an enterprise own would doubtlessly be its data. Some cloud providers would have you believe that of data in the cloud is inherently reliable, but this is simply not true. While there was a time where data backup was as simple as inserting a cartridge into a tape drive and waiting, the topic of data protection in the cloud is a far more nuanced and complex topic.


Data protection in the cloud


Without the requisite systems and processes in place, data can just as easily be lost both outside or within the cloud. Indeed, without access to the raw storage drives in the cloud, it is arguable that data loss in the cloud is far more likely to be permanent due to the inability to access the physical storage drives to perform data recovery.

As it is, the pervasiveness of the cloud means that any data strategy is dependent upon how the cloud is leveraged within the organisation. To ensure that their data is backed-up properly, businesses must adopt a robust enterprise data strategy detailing the distinct specifications and security guidelines for their data. This includes data that are created natively in the cloud, and those that are migrated there.

In addition, this data strategy must also be adequately flexible for future data growth, and not just to meet today’s data needs. Though the latter is important, not looking further can result in insurmountable issues as the organization outgrow the original assumptions that the existing data structures are pegged to. It is imperative that stakeholders consider factors that may impact the breadth and depth of the data that could be managed in the future.

Important data considerations


The first consideration for establishing data protection in the cloud would probably be that of scalability. Businesses are generating more data than ever before, and these are likely to be spread across multiple cloud platforms and sites. A good strategy will need to cater for large volumes of data without long provisioning times or laborious data migration exercises.

The importance of reliability cannot be overstated either. Notably, the chosen backup solution should incorporate the innate ability to seamlessly validate data backups and initiate data recovery. This will in turn relieve the burdens for production users, and free IT staffers responsible from having to grapple with cumbersome backup tools.

It is worth highlighting that not all data could be legally stored across country borders. On the other hand, there is often a need to storage geographically separate copies of data to pre-empt against unforeseen disasters. Be sure to work with your providers on this to guarantee the long-term integrity of your data.

Finally, one crucial but often neglected consideration when it comes to data backups would be the network factor. Cloud-based services are not necessarily cheaper, and the devil is often in the details with regards to the cost of the network infrastructure, cost of data retention over the network – as well as the cost of data restoration. Even with everything else in place, poor network connectivity can literally break even the most carefully laid cloud backup strategy.

Consider all these factors in your cloud strategy, and you should be well on your way to building a robust cloud infrastructure that is also disaster proof.

To learn more about how StarHub can help your your business with a robus and affordable network for your data storage needs, please contact your account manager or call 1800 888 8888 or email


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