In terms of data management in Africa, businesses primarily face storage, maintenance and regulatory challenges, but these can be overcome, says data management company Commvault Africa channel lead Gerhard Fourie.
Storing and using vast volumes of data without crashing systems is an ongoing challenge, as it is expected that these systems boast an “always on” level of performance and that unplanned downtime is minimised, he adds.
Moreover, it is critical that data storage systems are kept running optimally to ensure associated applications perform productively and remain available.
Therefore, constant routine maintenance and relevant skills availability are required, says Fourie.
Complying with stricter regulatory mandates while forcing modern security practices and access control measures is also essential.
“Most companies can be measured by the performance and use of their data. The number of devices, frequency of user interactions and volume of data stored are increasing exponentially, causing constant and rapid change.”
Fourie adds that these circumstances result in companies having to rethink the methods behind leveraging, securing, managing, extending and maintaining this data.
Commvault regional sales executive Bar Hori adds that many of the company’s customers across Africa have complained about the lack of automation when managing data end-to-end and, more importantly, the inability to centrally manage their data from one location efficiently.
“Many of them were using legacy solutions, legacy scripting and entirely manual operations to manage their data daily, prior to transitioning to Commvault.”
Hori notes that, after the transition to Commvault, these customers are managing and understanding their data better, while providing value for the organisations across many aspects and meeting data protection requirements.
In terms of infrastructure, he says Africa has been evolving, developing and innovating quickly across different aspects of information technology.
“While there still are some limitations associated with existing poor infrastructure, we have the capability to make best use of existing infrastructure to optimise data management through advanced technologies, such as software-based compression, deduplication, block tracking and snapshot management,” Hori explains.
As more countries place a stronger emphasis on relevant legislation and regulatory compliance requirements and enforcement, Fourie says there is more activity among customers who are endeavouring to ensure that they have more in-depth views of their data, consequently enabling them to be more informed about the applications and datasets that require more attention.
He notes that the increase in ransomware attacks is also making customers more aware of effectively protecting and managing their data to ensure they minimise data loss and reputational damage.
Fourie adds that South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Algeria and Mauritius are a step ahead of the rest of other African countries in terms of data management.
“Data is one of the most important assets, if not the most important asset, of an organisation. It is the largest revenue driver for organisations and, therefore, it is extremely important to Africa’s economic growth,” Hori concludes.