Iniel Dreyer, Managing Director of DMP SA says the move towards “Everything as a Service” (XaaS) is revolutionising business, and Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) – the latest offering in this basket of solutions – is gaining popularity, driven largely by cloud migrations along with the simplicity and cost effectiveness that DMaaS delivers. Here’s what you need to know…

It is expected that the continued uptake of cloud, particularly in the local market, will result in an increased interest in DMaaS, however, it is not always well understood along with the benefits it delivers. First, though, an good understanding of DMaaS is required.

A common misconception is that data management is simply ensuring your data is stored and backed up. DMaaS encompasses storing, protecting and managing data on behalf of the customer with a ‘pay-per-use’ model that does not require any capital outlay, nor do they need to manage their infrastructure, enabling them to focus on their core business.

Many organisations are already leveraging elements of DMaaS for their storage, archiving, Disaster Recovery (DR) and backup requirements. These are often delivered by a variety of different service providers, creating several challenges for business. This includes complex management, duplication of data, and the inability to create a single view of data.

DMaaS delivers an end-to-end offering through a service-based model, simplifying management, optimising storage requirements, and ensuring that businesses benefit from a single view of their data. This is essential for leveraging the full value of data, as well as ensuring that compliance and data protection objectives can be achieved.

With DMaaS, businesses can leverage the complete array of data management services and solutions, delivered by an expert provider in a completely scalable manner for a predictable and cost-effective monthly expense. Given the importance of data today, along with compliance requirements, effective data management is a priority for businesses.

It can be delivered as a cloud service, on-premise, or a hybrid model, depending on the needs of an individual business, and can also be utilised by mid-sized businesses right through to large multi-national corporations.

The advantages of DMaaS over in-house data management

Managing data in-house requires all infrastructure, hardware and software to be purchased up front, which is a significant cost exercise. DMaaS, as with all ‘as a Service’ offerings, reduces the need for up front purchases, moving data management from a CAPEX to an OPEX model with a predictable monthly expense.

In-house data management requires accurate capacity planning to ensure that sufficient storage is available now and for future requirements. With DMaaS however, organisations can optimise their data management infrastructure, since they no longer need to predict their requirements. Furthermore, data management becomes flexible and agile. Capacity can be scaled as required, and changes can be made instantly in a cost-effective manner, considering you only pay for what you need.

A solution to the shrinking skills pool

Managing data in-house also requires specialist skills to be retained, which can prove costly and challenging to achieve, as there is a significant shortage of these types of skills in South Africa, particularly. Leveraging a service model means that organisations can easily access these expert skills end-to-end across their data.

The upshot of these benefits is that data is protected, backed up and recoverable using enterprise-grade technologies and global best practices.

The compliance conundrum

Effective data management also ensures that compliance with data regulations is simplified. For example, the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require that organisations protect personal information and be able to locate and delete information as and when requested by customers. When your data is seamlessly managed end-to-end, this task becomes far simpler to achieve.

Why do SA businesses need DMaaS?

Aside from the abovementioned benefits that are applicable to any organisation, for businesses in South African in particular, DMaaS can be hugely beneficial. The challenging financial landscape means many organisations are hesitant to sink large sums of cash into investments such as data infrastructure. This makes the OPEX model of DMaaS even more attractive.

In addition, the scarcity of skills and load shedding are some of the pressing issues that local businesses face. With frequent power cuts already occurring, businesses need better data backup, recovery and redundancy, and DMaaS offers a cost-effective solution to this problem.

Choosing a DMaaS provider

Reputation is the number one criterion to look out for when choosing a DMaaS provider. It is also essential to ensure that they are experts in data management, and use leading technology to deliver a complete, seamless and end-to-end solution. From a compliance perspective, always ensure your DMaaS provider is able to meet requirements for storing a duplicate of backups in another data centre, as well as requirements for local in-country data storage option.

When it comes to DMaaS, reliability is key. A reliable DMaaS provider makes managing your data a priority, which ensures that your data is protected, backed up, recoverable and available at all times.

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