One of the most prominent news items of the past few months has been the US elections, and two candidates with dramatically different approaches to technology and data privacy. The election has brought the issue of data privacy further into the public eye. Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, we have the ever-pressing issues of GDPR and Brexit, and what these will mean for companies who store their data in different parts of the world. At such a time, it’s easy to feel a general sense of confusion over how your business should address these changing times, but the key is preparation.


What Data Do You Have?

Data is the backbone of the modern business. However, not all data is useful. One thing we often see is companies keeping records spanning far longer than their regulatory requirement.Data volume is increasing constantly, with analysts expecting the amount of data to double every two years, and the IoT adding an additional ocean of data. As a result, unnecessary data-hoarding is unsustainable in the long run.


Companies need to get their house in order before they can face the changing regulation landscape. Successful data management starts with knowing where your data is – if you don’t know, you won’t be able to manage it or know what its individual requirements are.



Successful Data Management by Adopting a Data Fabric Approach

It’s important to know where your data is stored, as well as where it moves from and to, to help you work out which regulations you need to adhere to. Once you know the regions and countries you need to be compliant with, you can ensure you are ready to meet even the most stringent regulations. This is where a Data Fabric strategy, like the one NetApp supports, becomes so important. It is designed to meet the challenges of data placement and data mobility, while still delivering business performance and agile application delivery.


Many organisations are attracted to the economics and agility that the public cloud offers for compute, but are less comfortable when it comes to storing their sensitive or regulatory data in the cloud. NetApp Private Storage provides an innovative solution to this dilemma by storing your data ‘next to the cloud’ rather than in it. In this scenario your data is stored on your own equipment in a highly secure colocation datacentre connected to the public cloud by a high-speed data link to enable processor-heavy applications.


Being able to manage your data in a consistent format across a multi-cloud environments is key for secure, agile businesses. Through its Data Fabric strategy, NetApp provides the framework and tools for organisations to move in any direction they want and, if regulations change, or the business takes a different direction, then NetApp’s Data Fabric helps them to adapt quickly and efficiently.



Regardless of the longer-term effects of Brexit, the US election results, GDPR or Privacy Shield, ensuring that your business data is safe, secure and well managed should be one of any company’s primary concerns. At the end of the day, whoever you have manage it, it’s still your data and any successful data management platform should offer you the capability to manage it in the way that suits you, irrespective of where it’s stored. The most important lesson is preparedness; whatever political shifts or regulation changes happen, you need to be able to see where your data is located, and react accordingly.

Martin Warren

Martin Warren is EMEA Cloud Solutions Manager at NetApp. Based in the UK, Martin has many years of experience working in data protection, data storage, virtualization, cloud, big data and networks. In his current role, Martin is responsible for NetApp’s EMEA cloud strategy and solutions with a focus on driving business growth and aligning NetApp’s cloud offering with customer and partner demand.

Martin is a specialist in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, including the aspects of data storage and data management. He provides advice to businesses on the advantages and impact of different cloud and data storage solutions, helping them to meet their goals. In addition, Martin is a subject matter expert on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prior to joining NetApp, Martin held positions at Symantec, Sun and StorageTek. He also worked at IT service delivery and consultancy companies Misys and 4Front Services, advising businesses on adopting IT services specifically from a blended approach.

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