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How to ensure your digital transformation doesn’t become a digital disaster

Digital transformation is quickly becoming a matter of survival, not just for the largest enterprises, but for midsize companies as well.

A recent study by Oxford Economics found that more than half of midsize companies see the digital transformation as a core business goal. Why? Because they believe digitisation can improve business performance for a wide range of functions, including more efficient business operations and stronger financial performance.

At the core of any digital transformation initiative is data, because data is the foundation for understanding where the business is and for making informed decisions about where it is going. Just like their peers in large enterprises, midsize businesses need the right tools to help them navigate the explosive growth of data in their organisations, as well as the right resources to help them manage and protect all that data.

However, this appetite for digital transformation can quickly morph into a digital disaster. The problem is that many midmarket companies don't have the resources and skills necessary to execute a successful transformation. Unlike larger enterprise organisations, they lack the funds to hire full-time employees for data protection, storage, and management.

At most large companies, for example, data storage and management have become a specialised niche for IT staffers. Midsize companies, for their part, run the risk of dealing with data management complexity themselves, without the proper resources, dramatically increasing the likelihood of data loss and threatening the potential for business growth.

The good news is that a disruptive technology has emerged that fills the data protection gap for midmarket companies and allows them to execute on their digital transformation initiatives without fear of failure. That solution is converged primary and secondary storage that eliminates storage and data protection silos, blurs the lines between primary and secondary storage and scales out seamlessly to help manage explosive data growth.

The beauty of a converged data platform is that it can provide much-needed data management relief to midmarket customers at a fraction of the cost of typical enterprise solutions. Here are four key features midsize companies should look for when evaluating a converged data protection platform:

1.  Zero complexity: The converged platform must be able to consolidate the components for managing storage, local backups, onsite and offsite replication, and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) all in a single place. Simple data storage, recovery management, and optimised workflows are key attributes to look out for.

2.  Powerful data protection: The converged platform must deliver industry-leading recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) for premium data integrity and business continuity. It should also offer “set and forget” data protection that is SLA-based and policy-driven. This gives the assurance that every machine is recoverable according to a specific backup, retention, and replication SLA.

3.  Scale-out storage on the go: The converged appliance needs to provide a pool of scalable capacity for either primary or secondary workloads to eliminate costs associated with over-provisioning and disruptive forklift upgrades. Specifically, it needs the ability to expand storage dynamically and scale granularly—adding one drive at a time, or multiple nodes within a cluster—all without any configuration changes to the application.

4. Total business continuity: The cloud is vitally important in the race to zero downtime, as it can be used as another tier of storage, offering near limitless object storage capacity. Furthermore, the cloud can be a replication location, providing an off-site backup. It can also be a recovery location, allowing disaster recovery to the cloud and testing in the cloud using a copy of the on-premises production environment. The converged solution should offer tight integration with vendor cloud services (and third parties) to make recovery of the entire infrastructure quick and seamless while offering the highest SLAs with one throat to choke.

Converged data protection platforms can help eliminate complexity and significantly reduce costs associated with primary and secondary storage. For midsize businesses that want to embrace digital transformation—and avoid digital disaster—that is nothing short of priceless.

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