2012 Will Be All About the Data, and How We Manage It

2012 Will Be All About the Data, and How We Manage It

Part 1

I can’t decide if this is the most exciting time to be in IT or, frankly, if it sucks. While our budgets have yet to move upward, the number of initiatives, new strategies and technologies we need to evaluate and implement are growing at exponential rates. And for those of you with CIO’s pushing a cloud strategy, it’s even harder; as you are now being told to use the cloud to solve all of your company’s woes, and you likely have employee’s signing up for SaaS applications outside of your control.

At this time last year, I predicted we were going to stop leading with the “cloud” and stick to the tried and true process of buying a solution, not the cloud. This means we start at the same place we always have, evaluating the business and technical goals of our company and finding the best solutions on the market to fulfill those requirements. If, during this process, we find a cloud-based solution that works and saves us money (and allows our CIO to check that cloud box), then that’s frosting on the cake. However, I’m not convinced we totally got there last year, as I’m still seeing too many conversations start with the cloud rather than the challenge or solution. But we have improved.

Over the past year, we also experienced huge debate around public versus private cloud, with many large enterprises (and smaller businesses) refusing to utilize so-called public cloud solutions. The biggest driver for this was data protection and privacy concerns. In 2012, I believe we must start moving beyond the public versus private cloud debate and realize that all clouds are built on an Internet backbone and, thus, present security issues if not managed or architected well. In doing so, enterprises will take a more holistic view of their infrastructure, cloud and on-premise, and will focus on the most important element of business: data.

Just as Julie Andrews taught us in Sound of Music (yes geeks can still like musicals), let’s start at the very beginning, which in this case is the data. We have all seen the stats about the astronomical data growth. IDC says we will be in the Zettabytes by the year 2020, and other experts think that will happen more quickly. Even if you are not dealing with “big data,” everyone in the coming year will face a cascading rise of digital data across a wide range of device types, networks and users.

Therefore, the emphasis needs to be on creating networks of “trust” based on proven security policies and governance; worrying less about where that information sits in a cloud, or locally, but instead on how that information is protected, managed and accessed.

Read Part 2 on Friday- Creating Trusted Data Networks

By Margaret Dawson, Vice President of Marketing at Symform

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