Enterprise IT teams have had a rough go of it in the past year or so.
When the easy money-fueled pandemic boom ended in 2022, the threat of a looming global recession replaced it. Many IT teams have since been hit with layoffs and budget and hiring freezes, perhaps best exemplified by ongoing cuts at tech darlings Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, Salesforce, and many others.
IT spending has also been affected.
Gartner slashed its 2023 IT spending growth forecast in half from last October to this January, following a year (2022) during which IT spending decreased year over year – a rare occurrence.
Simultaneously, the ongoing overseas outsourcing of IT work has compelled countless skilled IT workers into preemptive retirement, taking decades of valuable domain expertise with them.
Many IT teams are now facing a daunting mandate: “Do more with less.”
Fewer skilled/experienced workers. Less time. Less overall budget. Yet, top management and investors still expect to see improved security and productivity gains, right?
It’s a conundrum that has spurred many IT decision makers to look high and low for IT efficiency gains – often through automation — so they can keep the few heads they still have above water.
In the data protection and backup operations field specifically, IT teams are increasingly relying on a shared set of plays to improve efficiency.
Five Ways Backup Operations Teams Can “Do More With Less”
Eliminate Manual Reporting
If you’re in enterprise backup operations, you’re likely already bought into automation. Almost every backup product today supports automatic and/or scheduled backups, and many backup teams already automate tasks within their data replication and data recovery workflows, too.
But with all those efficiency gains, what does the backup monitoring workflow look like? It’s typical for many organizations to spend up to six hours per day manually entering backup results into spreadsheets or reporting templates, simply to demonstrate that data is successfully being backed up for internal compliance, data protection, and/or for customer SLAs.
Bocada collects data automatically from your backup products and generates reports and data visualizations on backup successes and failures across your entire environment. What used to take hours per day now can take just minutes per day. In addition to time savings, the automated reporting is vastly more reliable — devoid of human error and available both on-demand and via schedulable reports.
Modern enterprise IT infrastructures are already complex and will grow even more complex as needs continue to evolve. Today, data assets are stored on premises, in the cloud, and even across multiple cloud platforms. Data protection teams use multiple backup products across their backup environment, in part out of necessity (to support disparate environments) but also to enhance their security posture through vendor diversification and technical redundancy.
By centralizing backup monitoring and reporting across all their backup products, backup operations or data protection teams can much more efficiently stay on top of backup issues across the entire complex backup environment.
Bocada allows any user to easily identify and remediate backup issues across more than 40 different backup products from a single centralized dashboard, enabling faster and much more efficient backup operations.
Automate Asset Reconciliation
One key benefit of using cloud and multi-cloud infrastructure is the ease with which new assets can be spun up. It’s easier than ever for development teams to add more assets, devices, and data to operating infrastructure. As of May 2022, more than 80% of enterprise teams reported that they were using multi-cloud infrastructure, with 78% claiming they were on at least three public clouds.
Given both the growth and complexity of modern IT environments, staying current with asset reconciliation – the process of identifying and protecting data assets – has become paramount.
Bocada integrates with any asset inventory solution like CMDB, SQL Server, DB2, Postgres, and even CSV files to automatically identify key assets with missing backup policies. This not only is far more effective at discovering unprotected assets before they become a problem, but it also saves time versus manual reconciliation processes.
Automate Alerting & Ticketing
When backup failures occur, as they inevitably, identifying them is only the first step.
Beyond backup monitoring, Bocada automates steps in the remediation process, cutting time to remediation while saving additional labor hours.
Bocada’s automated alerting and ticket creation capabilities deliver significant speed advantages.
Take, for example, a backup failure that is identified in the dead of night, when staff are unavailable: Bocada can automatically identify the failure, alert the backup admin(s), and cut and assign incident tickets in the organization’s preferred incident tracking platform – teeing the failure up in advance for the staff responsible for remediation before they’ve even arrived at the office. This cuts time to remediation, further reduces manual effort, and improves the organization’s data resiliency.
Streamline Storage Costs
With the proliferation of data creation, storage costs can quickly become a headache-inducing line item.
Data on public clouds, for example, is subject to storage fees (i.e. per GB), which for some organizations can constitute more than 25% of total cloud spending.
IT teams often employ practices to keep these storage fees in check, including:
- Limiting cloud storage to certain data. (E.g. Photos and videos from the company’s holiday parties, as epic as they are, might not need to be on the cloud.)
- Using the right storage tiers. Storage costs vary depending on how often you need to access your data. “Hot” storage tiers allow you to access data frequently, whereas “cold” storage tiers only allow you to access your data infrequently but generally cost a small fraction of what “hot” storage costs.
- Deduplicating data before uploading to the cloud. This reduces cloud storage, network traffic, and backup recovery costs.
Storage costs are a major consideration for backup operations and data protection teams, too.
Bocada’s storage utilization reports give backup teams the data-backed insights they need to reduce overall backup capacity and storage costs. (Case Study: Major Hospital Group Reduces Backup Capacity Needs By 50% with Bocada)
Efficiency as a Growth Driver
The era of “throwing bodies” at IT challenges is at an end. The persistent trend towards automation has accelerated rapidly this year, fueled in part by the looming threat of a global recession. IT playbooks are being rewritten across every industry, and efficiency will continue its meteoric rise in importance.
For backup operations and data protection teams, solutions like Bocada represent a multi-pronged approach not only to achieving efficiency but also to unlocking growth.
Backup teams that choose to remediate their outdated work processes will enable the business teams they support to grow — free from the risks of spiraling IT costs, data breaches, and unmet compliance/SLA requirements.
Bocada LLC, a global IT Automation leader, delivers backup reporting and monitoring solutions that give enterprises complete visibility into their backup performance. Bocada provides insight into complex backup environments, enabling IT organizations to save time, automate ongoing reporting activities, and reduce costs. With the largest installed customer base in the Fortune 500, Bocada is the world’s leading provider of backup reporting automation. For more information, visit www.bocada.com or contact us.