Time for Data to Check Out of Hotel California

Time for Data to Check Out of Hotel California

January 30, 2020

Cohesity Managing Director ASEAN Sheena Chin says when it comes to data handling, total visibility means absolute usability – which should be the ultimate goal for every client who loves their data.

By Joanne Leila Smith

According to Cohesity Managing Director ASEAN Sheena Chin, every business relies on IT staff to help it realize the true value of all its data. Continually creating and moving copies to make the most of your data — across on-premises, hybrid clouds, is time consuming and costly – given the rising cost of data centres in Singapore due to higher real estate, build-up and operating costs.

Chin says to truly empower your business, you have to bring up additional revenue, and create closer ties with customers. With any ensuing scale, comes a huge growth of data, which poses a challenge for enterprises, making the necessary scalability – a potential issue. To avoid sinking into data quicksand, Chin says scalability can be painless by taking a total integration approach.

“The market wants more automation, and, increasingly, if you walk into any organization, they will have many state of the art technologies at hand. Basically this means underneath it all, clients need integration. For integration, you need skill sets, you need strong and solid knowledge. When clients run different engines, different systems, integration can be a nightmare. What organizations need at a very basic level, is good, clean, proper housekeeping, in terms of managing their data, which in turn, allows them to optimise it. This requires an end-to-end data management platform,” says Chin.

According to Chin, the entire data management lifecycle requires a concerted effort from many stakeholders. Fundamentally, in an era where data is the real currency, Chin argues it needs to sit on a foundation that properly indexes the data, in real time. This is especially pertinent given the rollout of data privacy protection laws across the region.

“Clients will need the ability to recall data in times of need, within seconds. With the new data laws coming into effect in many jurisdictions, proper process and protocol, being the legitimate custodian of data, organisations will need to provide proof of compliance to regulatory bodies within 72 hours. Some institutions have failed to do this and have had to pay the penalty. When that happens, I believe the bigger loss is really reputational loss,” says Chin.

Chin argues that if fundamentally, data is not in a good state, and clients don’t even know what they are storing, ownership over security access and data recovery becomes uncertain; which means the organization needs greater visibility.

“From a security perspective visibility is really important. Everyone talks about this being a growth region. I see certain countries putting a lot more focus into really driving more data governance, management, more so than maybe two years back. In that light, there’s a lot more seriousness and commitment in terms of making things happen. For example, in Indonesia, I think the government is really behind the entire country about seriously addressing management and data governance requirements across every industry. It’s great to see more collaboration between government and industry, particularly with open source. If you look over the past three years I have seen banks, large global banks, really accepting open source and it’s very interesting to see collaboration becoming more acceptable,” says Chin.

Chin argues that handling huge data growth is not just about delivering greater data visibility, but usability. There must be a balance between not being overly restrictive, which reduces usability. According to Chin, CIOs now really have to understand the company’s objective, the business objectives, time to market, protecting integrity of data, its usability, speed of retrieval, and of course, satisfying all stakeholders etc.

“We see a lot of investment in state of the art tech to try to meet all these demands. But what if you are able to, over time, get what you have and put all this onto a single platform, and be able to start consolidating your data, index it in a consistent, reliable way, which gives you scalability and the ability to leverage cheap storage in the cloud? Most enterprises fear once they check into the cloud, they can never leave it, which is why the term Hotel California is often bandied around. We enable our clients to scale as they wish and move between on-premise to cloud, or cloud to cloud, so they are always in control of their data. When we have absolute visibility, we have total usability; clients know what the company has in its store, and that really takes away a lot of fear across the entire value chain of operations, including compliance… when we tell our clients no more weekend or midnight upgrades, no more downtime, the IT staff just can’t stop smiling,” says Chin.

While Chin promises IT engineers can get their weekends back, we asked her how a service provider like Cohesity might go about solving the data efficiency problem.

“Imagine you have a data management platform that performed via a smartphone where all your apps’ sits on it. We give clients that same consolidating, indexing capability on the one platform, which drives costs down, clients can stop over-investing in multiple technologies and upgrades etc. Using the smartphone analogy, running a Google app, someone types in a few key words, and you get the search response within seconds. With this notion in mind, we want to apply this for our enterprise clients. Simply put, clients want to future proof their investment. This is really what we help deliver for enterprises. It’s not about selling a functionality, it’s about total optimization of your investment and capacity and that’s our commitment,” says Chin.

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