Shifting customer behavior in the wake of the pandemic has forced many financial organizations to accelerate their digital transformation plans. According to a recent survey of financial C-suite executives, these organizations are increasing their technological investments to address the changing landscape. The cloud — a necessary component of any digital transformation — is a focal point of these investments.
But finance organizations can maximize their investment in the cloud only if they embrace effective data management while providing superior protection with cloud-ready infrastructure. That means focusing on the key data governance principles: data protection, resilience and reusability.
At 9 a.m. PST (U.S. time) and 11 a.m. CET (Europe time) on Oct 27, 2021, I will join Colin Chatelier of Rabobank and Ajay Bhatia of Veritas at the Hitachi Financial Services Summit in a session called “Cloud-Ready Infrastructure for Finance’s Changing Landscape.” Join us as we explore how you can address today’s disruptive changes by building a secure, resilient, compliant global cloud infrastructure.
3 Key Objectives for a Cloud-Ready Infrastructure
Data is any organization’s most valuable resource, so a modern approach to identifying and managing that data throughout its entire life cycle are the keys to transformation. And data governance is foundational to success. When your organization is contemplating an investment in cloud-ready infrastructure, I recommend that you start by considering these three key data management objectives:
- Protection. This essential part of digital transformation starts with a robust approach to data protection and technology, so you can store your content properly and protect it with the right strategy throughout the data life cycle. Then, if problems occur, you can pull your information back together and keep your business moving. Protection needs to be customized for individual applications. It needs to leverage modern technology, such as snapshots, continuous data protection (CDP), N+1 copies and airgap solutions, while encrypting key data in flight and at rest.
- Resilience. Protection works hand in hand with a resilient infrastructure design. This is also a principal approach to architecting for availability, performance and disaster recovery. Due to its affinity to business it’s a key measure of how business protects itself against disruptions caused by adverse conditions. Today’s organizations must get out of the backup mindset and create a more sophisticated architecture that embraces two distinct functions: operational recovery for fast disaster recovery and archiving for long-term storage.
- Reusability. Historically, finance organizations have stored large amounts of data in various backup locations, where it is difficult to view or access. This practice creates haphazard piles of data that mask information and keep it in the dark. Instead, make your goal data reusability. That is, store your data so it is tagged and cataloged for streamlined access. That way you can easily view and retrieve it for any business use case.
I recommend that you view these three areas holistically, rather than as siloed pieces of the data governance puzzle. To truly modernize your infrastructure, you must tackle all three at once so that your architectural foundation provides sufficient support for a cloud-ready infrastructure.
Identifying Types of Data and Recovery Mechanisms
Where is the right place to store your data? The answer depends on how you’re going to use it. In a cloud-ready infrastructure, you can think of all data segments as falling into two categories: data for operational recovery and archive data. When you categorize your data in this way, you can store in proper storage tier through its life cycle, retrieve it when you need it, and organize it for fast recovery when necessary.
Data for operational recovery. You must be able to identify data for operational recovery to protect your organization from a disaster. To recover your business from a ransomware and equivalent attacks, for example, you’ll need to identify the principal data that underpins your infrastructure so you can create air-gapped copies to store off-site if your data is compromised. With this type of data storage, you can recover quickly because you have identified and stored the pertinent data as snapshots, instead of squirreling it away in a backup. When you have the right data governance policies in place, operational recovery is quick and easy.
Archived data. The data your company collects that doesn’t change — or that is not used for other transactions but that must be stored for legal or regulatory purposes — can be archived. Archived data includes data that must be stored for a long time. This data is at the core of the reusability concept. If you have a regulatory inquiry, for example, you can retrieve archived data to respond to the inquiry. If you are researching an instance of fraud, you can tap into your archived data to investigate historical evidence of that activity.
Just as with data protection, resilience and reusability, think about operational recovery and your archive together, not separately. This can help your organization achieve a true cloud-ready infrastructure and bring scalability, security and highly cost-effective operations to your organization.
Want to learn how to create a cloud-ready infrastructure for your organization? Register today for the Hitachi Financial Services Summit, on October 27 and 28, 2021, from 8-10 a.m. PST (US time) and 10-12 p.m. CET (Europe time)!
Inderjeet Rana is Chief Technology Officer, Financial Services at Hitachi Vantara.
 “2021 Financial Services Digital Transformation Survey,” BDO, 2021.