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Cloud-Based Data Protection Is New Norm

69% of organizations surveyed currently using backup-as-a-service solutions, up from 39% in 2016

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT analyst, research, and strategy firm, and a division of TechTarget, Inc., released The Evolution of Data Protection Cloud Strategies, a research (registration required) examining how IT organizations utilize cloud services as part of their data protection strategy.

Due to the broad adoption of public cloud services and applications, data owners are increasingly protecting the business-critical data residing in those cloud services with native or third-party solutions. As a result, cloud-based data protection is the new norm, with a majority of organizations surveyed now using cloud-resident solutions such as backup-as-a-service, DR-as-a-service, and cloud-based backup targets.

This new study, which surveyed of 381 IT professionals familiar with and/or responsible for their organization’s data protection strategies, also found troubling indications that many users have the wrong impression of the data protection levels offered by public cloud infrastructure and SaaS) providers – leading to potential data loss and compliance risks.

Specifically, more than one-third of organizations still rely solely on SaaS vendors for backup and recovery of those cloud applications. Since organizations are always responsible for their data and its recovery, ESG believes this way of thinking is a major mistake.

We’ve been tracking this trend, which ESG calls ‘the big SaaS/data protection disconnect,’ since 2019, and it’s extremely troubling that our latest research confirms the problem is not getting better,” commented senior analyst Christophe Bertrand. “IT managers need to assess their data protection strategies for cloud-resident applications and data, and technology vendors must increase market education and awareness efforts, or businesses will continue to risk the loss of BC and potentially even damaging regulatory fines.”

Among the study’s other key findings:
• The adoption of public cloud-based data protection services has grown over the past 5 years, with more than two-thirds (69%) of organizations surveyed currently using backup-as-a-service solutions, up from 39% in 2016.


• Organizations are placing stringent RPO requirements on their backup-as-a-service vendors, with more than 1 in 5 expecting CDP-like capabilities.
• Cost-effectiveness (cited by 27% of respondents), as well as advanced security features (25%), top the list of key capabilities that customers believe cloud backup and DR target solutions must offer while operating at scale.
• Organizations expect in-cloud solutions to provide granular restores (21%), tiered storage (20%), and the ability to deliver vs. service levels and support newer technology deployments, such as those based on container technology (19%).

This data is all suggestive of a market creating enormous potential for new vendor offerings, with additional ESG research finding the space is undergoing a fundamental shift away from traditional backup and recovery due to the emergence of more autonomous AI-based solutions.

These features facilitate a broader adoption of what ESG calls intelligent data management, in which data is better understood and reused for other technical or business purposes.

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