Will the Internet of Things bring new data availability challenges?

Warren Olivier
Veeam Software regional manager of Southern Africa Warren Olivier. (Image Source: Veeam).

The move towards the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – in which everything from fridges and TVs to running shoes and wristwatches are connected to the Internet – will create new data availability challenges for individuals and companies alike.

Worldwide, IDC says the adoption of IoT products and solutions will grow dramatically in the next few years from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020. Two-thirds of consumers plan to buy connected technology for their homes by 2019, and half plan to buy wearable technology. This is going to put immense pressure on organisations that are delivering IT.

Consumers have very high expectations that their data, which is increasingly stored in the cloud, should be available where they want it, when they want it – whether it’s their running history, their share portfolio or their family photographs. This means the companies supporting and storing that data must exemplify the always-on business by providing constant availability.

Data must also be protected against loss and unauthorised access. Consumers revolt against companies that fail to take their privacy concerns seriously, and laws like the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) are on their side. So as companies gather and store more and more data about individuals, the burden on them to protect that data grows. With an Internet-connected TV, for example, there are central records of everything you’ve ever watched, your credit card details, what you’ve downloaded, potentially even your video chats. The consequences for any company that allows that data to fall into the wrong hands will be disastrous.

Companies need to ensure they avoid data loss through near-continuous data protection, verify their protection to guarantee recovery, and use appropriate encryption to protect against unauthorised access.

In the modern data centre, that often means protecting data at two different physical sites, as well as protecting the connection between them. And if backups are stored in the cloud, they need to be under just as much protection.

Finally, there will be growing emphasis on protecting data while it’s on actual user devices such as laptops. Endpoint protection is becoming a very important part of an overall data availability strategy.

By Veeam Software regional manager of Southern Africa Warren Olivier