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How SaaS solutions can boost data protection to new heights

(Image credit: Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock)

In response to the pandemic this year, the use of cloud technology by UK organizations of all shapes and sizes has far exceeded what experts predicted 12 months ago. As millions of typically office-based workers were forced to work from home almost overnight, businesses without the cloud – or with only a basic use of it – suddenly found themselves needing the accessibility, scalability and flexibility it provides.

On top of the primary challenges that 2020 presented to businesses, adding to the difficulties has been the rise in ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals have unsurprisingly taken advantage of the increase in remote workers. As many people have had to access and work with potentially confidential or sensitive data from outside their offices on what might be insecure networks, cyber attacks have spiked. According to research, 62 percent of organizations suffered a ransomware attack this year, causing many to rethink their cybersecurity. The cloud has been one way to do this.

Mass migration to the cloud has seen the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market skyrocket, and it’s set to continue into 2021. The scalability of subscription-based software is enticing to many businesses, as it allows them to use what they need, when they need it. In a year such as this, it has helped employees across the country to stay connected to their systems and data, to continue providing a good service to customers and driving the business forward in these uncertain times. Not only do SaaS solutions help businesses to protect their all important data from cyberthreats, the ever-increasing changes to data regulations – and the ability for SaaS to meet these easily and quickly – are encouraging businesses from all industries to make the switch.

The rise of SaaS

The significance of as-a-service models, and their overall operational simplicity, is always becoming more evident as many businesses look to implement it into their IT environments. Businesses are now seeking – and want to be ahead of the curve in adopting – modern consumption models and cloud technologies to help them stay competitive in the developing digital landscape where every company is fighting for customer attention.

Businesses globally are facing bigger challenges than they’ve likely encountered before, as they attempt to understand how to protect and secure their IT environments against the continually rising wave of cyberthreats. The consensus among experts has now moved quickly away from deciding if businesses should put workloads in the cloud to which workloads they should prioritize moving to the cloud first. Alongside the adoption of cloud comes the wider adoption of newer economic models that IT organizations may not have experience working with before. Generally, one way to consider this is with an OPEX model – focusing on the here and now and day-to-day operations – over a CAPEX model where benefits aren’t seen as immediately.

SaaS and businesses: the perfect pair

SaaS solutions have quickly become a very attractive option for many organizations. They involve simple subscriptions, predictable costs, and no large (or small) capital investments, making them an increasingly viable solution to opt for. SaaS becomes particularly valuable when trusted organizations collaborate to build a service, bringing together their experience and individual knowledge to produce a higher quality product. SaaS with data protection is one such example of this. By providing enterprise-grade data protection with the same benefits and consumption model as existing SaaS solutions, SaaS with data protection is capable of helping companies to:

  • Support their cloud-first initiatives or journey to the cloud
  • Eliminate tech debt while maintaining strong security
  • Rapidly expand and scale to support ever evolving workloads and SaaS apps

With these solutions, organizations can simply transition to cloud storage without needing to manage, monitor and secure it separately from their data protection service. There’s one key consideration to keep top of mind, however. There is sometimes the assumption that the protection of data in the cloud becomes that responsibility of the cloud provider, but in fact it is still a business’s responsibility to keep on top of.

Enterprise-grade protection is crucial, but it’s important that businesses look for offerings which are not only cost-effective but that also do not add complexity into the mix, so that business objectives can be met. The best solutions on the market will provide SaaS data protection that’s capable of reducing costs, decreasing overheads and eliminating headaches. With this in place, companies can save precious budget finances on things like network, hardware and infrastructure expenses, which could then be better spent elsewhere in the business. What’s more, they will benefit from fully-hosted data protection, thus avoiding facing installation, configuration or large upfront capital investments again.

Companies that opt for more advanced SaaS models will also benefit from built-in protection against cyber-attacks through air-gapped and immutable copies of data, together with additional hardened security controls that prevent unauthorized users from accessing backup data. Given the continued threat of ransomware, which has only increased this year during the pandemic, watertight protection such as this is invaluable right now for companies across all sectors. Suffering from a ransomware attack at any time can be devastating, but with so many organizations already hit hard by the lockdowns this year, these attacks are more unwelcome than ever.

Facing the future head-on

As we start looking towards 2021, the business landscape will continue to change as a result of the impact of Covid-19. Organizations need to ensure that they work with providers that have longevity, profitability and sustainability as their key aims. Startups can sometimes look the most appealing, but given the fragility of the current business world, opting for providers that have a longer history and a stronger chance of surviving these turbulent times gives customer IT departments the confidence that their entire infrastructure can thrive with the provider’s modern data protection model. The future may still be uncertain – and likely will continue to be into 2021 – but one of the best ways for businesses to prepare for this is by integrating SaaS technology and facing their data protection challenges with conviction.

Jonathan Bowl, AVP & General Manager, UK, Ireland & Nordics, Commvault

Jonathan Bowl, AVP & General Manager, UK, Ireland & Nordics at Commvault, has over 20 years' experience in cloud, IoT, big data, analytics, and emerging technologies.