Top Tips for Businesses in the Middle East to Prevent Data Downtime as Employees are on Holiday

Veeam Software announces its top tips to help business stay always on during the summer break. Over the next two months, the workforce will be reduced, but the same can’t be said for data usage. Banking, shopping and healthcare requirements won’t slow down, so businesses must be equipped to deliver digital services, ensure business continuity and reduce risk while managing customer expectations.

Below, Claude Schuck, Regional Manager for Middle East and Central Africa at Veeam Software, offers some advice to help businesses in the Middle East maintain their availability during the summer.

Pack up traditional backup
Data is the engine of digital transformation, but it is no longer enough to simply collect, store and protect data. The growth in volume and sprawl means the cost of managing, securing and protecting data is becoming more significant. Legacy backup and recovery solutions are not only expensive, but only offer an inflexible infrastructure that doesn’t expand or scale well to ever-changing business needs. Businesses need to be more proactive in how they address the information that’s available to them, create a competitive advantage and ultimately drive revenue. To address this, businesses must achieve hyper-availability, where always-on data automatically anticipates the needs and meets demands across multiple infrastructures – virtual, physical, cloud – while remaining protected, and ensuring compliance.

Factor in the right data protection
Data management and protection is essential if businesses are to not only survive, but to drive the digital transformation and thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Over the last few years, there have been data centre outages and increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks, which could have had irreparable consequences to not only brand reputation but also data and financial loss. Hospitals store critical patient data, which if a victim of malware could result in cancelling life-saving operations while banks have access to sensitive personal data, which if not appropriately protected could result in serious financial theft. Today, businesses must re-evaluate their data management strategy and take a holistic and a more proactive approach to data management. One that is on the right infrastructure, always protected, ready to work, in the right place, at the right time while meeting regulations, such as GDPR.

Explore alternative staffing
Always on businesses don’t stop, sales targets still exist, and customers have requirements that need to be met. During the summer period, businesses should consider re-allocating staff to cover certain roles and responsibilities of another employee during their holiday, to not only drive learning and development initiatives, but also address a potential skills gap in the company. Similarly, certain industries encourage it, particularly retail, leisure and hospitality, who take on seasonal and part-time workers to help meet the always on demands during peak periods. While this addresses the immediate business needs, consideration needs to be given to what data employees have access to, and what processes are in place to mitigate the risk posed by those with authorised data access, who have bad intentions. It is not enough to adhere to legislation, such as GDPR, that focuses on what data businesses have access to and how they use it, if they don’t drill down to the micro level at what individuals could do with the available data.

Avoid the burnout from traditional data and storage maintenance
In the age of the Hyper-Available Enterprise, businesses must evolve from a policy-driven approach to a behaviour-driven strategy. Data needs to become intelligent and self-managing to improve the responsiveness, security and business value of data. IT teams are responsible for the availability of the data and ability for the organisation to innovate, respond to marketplace needs and deliver new digital services. By moving to a more proactive mode of automation and orchestration, businesses can harness the value of its data to better adapt and anticipate the needs of the always-on customer. By reducing the cost and time the IT team has to spend on managing and storing data, the team can focus on driving the digital transformation of the business.