Why IT doesn’t modernize data protection

What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

For far too many organizations, the main reason they don’t modernize IT architectures as fast they probably should is a failure to communicate. Even for something as simple as backup, it stands like this:

  • Technology professionals think in terms of IT capabilities, such as the protection or restoration of data, and discuss those capabilities through terms like Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
  • Business or operations stakeholders focus on their teams’ productivity and view themselves as IT’s customer (or victim). So, the lens that they assess IT through is how downtime and data loss affect their operations, which can be measured in Business Impact Analyses (BIA) and Risk Analyses (RA). Moreover, the effort of finding common ground on expectations with IT is through Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Financial folks see things not as much through “how” IT does it (technology) or “why” businesses need it, but simply as a mathematical exchange of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO for investments in people or materials versus the business outcomes or impacts: Return on Investment (ROI).

Those are a lot of three letter acronyms (TLAs) and jargon. More importantly, each of these lenses is accurate yet incomplete, because so many folks only speak one of the three languages (four, if you include application jargon). Unfortunately, a failure to understand each other’s goals and pains often results in indecision and a begrudging acceptance of the status quo, even when everyone individually believes that they ought to be able to do better.

What to do about it

In 30+ years in IT data protection, I have seen this problem far too many times. To help with that, Veeam asked me to write a small book Data Protection by the Numbers for Dummies that unpacks and translates the three languages, gives ideas how to calculate the real costs of downtime (operational and economic), and a top ten list of ideas to consider (nothing about Veeam or any other solutions within the text, just the cover).

In addition, check out this video on the topic:

As always, if I or Veeam can be of assistance, please let me know.

Thanks for watching

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