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January 23, 2017

New Year, New Data Needs: A 5 Point Checklist for 2017

The new year has arrived and just as 2016 brought about significant change, 2017 is poised to revolutionize the way IT professionals will deploy, manage, protect and scale IT infrastructures. The landscape looks very differently than it did this time last year, so we’ve put together a checklist to help your team avoid playing catch up and focus on innovation. The following tool is a great starting point for creating a comprehensive IT strategy in 2017.

1. Integrated Compliance Policy

According to BetaNews.com, roughly 500-600 distinct laws and regulations dictate compliance standards across multiple industries. And, regulatory agencies are constantly updating these standards as new threats emerge. As organizations shift data storage from traditional environments to the cloud, they will encounter an entirely new set of compliance considerations. However, a recent article from Infoworld.com says compliance concerns should not prevent organizations from moving to the cloud.

If you host and manage sensitive data in-house, you’ve likely struggled to maintain the resources needed to keep pace with evolving regulations. Maintaining the most up-to-date certifications can require significant investments and an advanced audit procedure. A recent Data Center Knowledge article discusses a comprehensive approach to compliance and recommends finding experienced vendors to help you meet your compliance goals.

2. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan

As you develop your business continuity plan to protect vital personnel, resources and assets in the face of a disaster or emergency, make sure you include an Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan (ITDR). According to TechTarget.com, an ITDR “provides a structured approach for responding to unplanned incidents that threaten an IT infrastructure, which includes hardware, software, networks, processes and people.” The American Bar Association, Ready.gov and Computer Weekly have all discussed the importance of creating and updating your organization’s ITDR.

Zerto describes the leading hurdle in disaster recovery planning as “a lack of resources.” Most organizations don’t have the necessary resources to create and manage a disaster recovery solution in house. The most cost-effective way to ensure your data is protected is find a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider. That provider should offer redundancy across storage systems and hosts. Furthermore, your DRaaS solution should limit complexity with seamless installation into your infrastructure and provide maximum management controls.

3. Holistic Approach to Security

Every organization that stores and transmits sensitive payment, personal, financial or health information is a target for an advanced network of cybercriminals. In the 2016 PWC Global CEO Survey, 61% of respondents described cybersecurity as a “top concern.” Adding to that concern is the fact that Symantec reports that 73% of data breaches go undetected. Advanced physical and logical security is more crucial than ever.

Organizations in both the public and private sectors face challenges when defending against the constant attempts to gain access to their environments. These attacks come from a variety of vulnerability points, both physical and logical. A holistic approach to security will include protection against in-person breaches with 24x7x365 security monitoring, biometric readers, cameras and IR beams. Furthermore, these systems should defend against digital attacks with sophisticated Anti-DDoS solutions, web-application firewalls and log management.

4. Secure Connectivity

As you move into the hybrid IT landscape, a dedicated network connection will be paramount. A dedicated network connection provides increased bandwidth and reliability. The vulnerabilities associated with an Internet connection can be minimized by utilizing a cloud computing platform with dedicated network capabilities like Amazon Web Services.

Amazon Web Services recently deployed an AWS Direct Connect node in Chicago, placing an on-ramp to the public cloud platform inside QTS’ Chicago data center. Organization can now enjoy guaranteed network performance and a private connection when transferring large amounts of data. Learn more about AWS Direct Connect in Chicago here.


5. Progressive Hybrid IT Strategy

As your organization’s data needs grow exponentially, the key to being able to scale rapidly is to diversify your IT strategy to include both traditional on premise solutions and cloud solutions. In order to stay ahead of the curve in terms of computing and storage capabilities, it is vital that you seek a provider with an integrated solutions portfolio that includes colocation, cloud and managed services to support your legacy and new applications.

Hybrid IT solutions provide the highest level of scalability, flexibility and scalability, while allowing you to reduce capital expenditures because you only pay for what you use. Seek a managed service and data center provider with infrastructure solutions that seamlessly integrate with both your physical and virtual environments.