Over the holiday season, the workforce will be reduced, with IT departments at larger enterprises and IT managers at SMBs taking annual leave. But, there is certainly no holiday for data. Cloud Data Management is enabling businesses to do more than simply ‘keep the lights on’ even when they are not operating at full capacity.

Given the importance of data-driven decision making for business across banking, retail and healthcare, it’s critical that its digital infrastructure is fully available, operational and protected at all times. Below are some tips to help businesses maintain their availability during the summer.

Claude Schuck, regional manager, Middle East and Central Africa at Veeam.

Backup Your Data Continuously
Backup is an essential process of powering an intelligent business. The Veeam 2019 Cloud Data Management report, which surveyed 1,575 global business leaders, found that less than one-third of businesses continuously backup and replicate high priority applications. Through integrating backup solutions into a broader Cloud Data Management strategy, businesses can ensure that backing up is a highly automated and continuous procedure, allowing IT personnel to focus on enabling digital transformation. This gives the business peace of mind and ensures that data is always available even at times when IT departments are depleted.

Adopt a Data-Driven Approach to Resource Planning
While the holiday period can be testing, it should not take businesses by surprise. Veeam’s research has found that 9 out of 10 businesses are looking to embrace Intelligent Data Management, often by exploiting Cloud Data Management capabilities, to drive more value from their data. Using data analytics, businesses can manage resources more effectively and plan for multiple absences accordingly – whether it’s exploring alternative staffing or handing over responsibilities to other team members in good time. With 91% of business leaders viewing employees’ improving their digital skills as vital to their success, organizations should consider extending IT capabilities to other departments beyond IT. This more data-driven approach can help businesses maintain seasonal productivity.

Maximising the Value of Augmented Intelligence
Taking advantage of Cloud Data Management technologies that enable greater automation means that IT personnel can focus time and resources on delivering strategic value to the business than time-consuming and repetitive processes. According to Veeam’s 2019 Cloud Data Management report, nearly three-quarters of businesses have already deployed or plan to deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the next 12 months. As well as augmenting the intelligence and capacity of IT managers and teams generally, AI and machine learning technologies can be trained to fill the void left by holidays during the summer period. When deployed across other areas of business, automation can lessen the load for individuals and teams with larger workloads due to the absence of their colleagues.

Proactive Data Protection and Preventative Cybersecurity
Employees take holidays, but cybercriminals and software bugs don’t. In fact, malicious attacks and unplanned outages can happen at any time. According to the Veeam 2019 Cloud Data Management report, application downtime costs organizations a total of $20.1 million globally in lost revenue and productivity each year. Businesses can ill-afford to suffer the consequences of downtime, with over half of business leaders agreeing that outages have an impact on customer confidence. Cloud Data Management helps organizations stay on the front foot, proactively protecting and managing their digital estates even when IT teams are shorthanded. Furthermore, investing in robust backup and disaster recovery solutions can help businesses ensure that their data is protected in the event of unplanned downtime.

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