Benjamin Ross, Director, Delphix,  discusses how businesses can ensure that multi-cloud strategies continue to protect all-important data

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen many predicting businesses will move towards pure-play cloud storage in the near future.

Yet, in reality there has been a significant shift in cloud adoption strategies globally. More and more businesses are turning to hybrid deployments to support their business needs, by adopting a multi-cloud strategy that helps teams achieve greater elasticity and faster delivery times.

While multi-cloud strategies can help businesses achieve great speed and agility, data that is distributed across multiple places instead of one makes it that much harder to secure sensitive information.

In this article, we’ll explore how businesses can continue ensuring security is top of the agenda even if their data is stored in multiple locations.

Mapping a multi-cloud strategy

Migrating large volumes of data to the cloud or across clouds is not an overnight process or a one-time ordeal; in fact it’s exactly the opposite. Once data has been delivered, provisioning or refreshing it for consumption by cloud services is often a slow and iterative process, involving multiple teams. Which is why mapping a multi-cloud strategy is essential for businesses.

Although 98 percent of organisations expect to operate within a multi-cloud environment by 2021, just 38 percent have in place the procedures and tools needed to operate in such an environment. To build an effective multi-cloud ecosystem, data teams need to bring in new technologies to enable the rapid, automated, and secure management of data in the cloud.

To do this, organisations should pull together a seamless data management strategy that will integrate disparate cloud services and automate the movement of fast, secure data across their cloud ecosystems in order to fully experience the benefits of going multi-cloud.

Powering fast, secure data in the cloud

The emergence of cloud technologies has introduced the ability to access data on-demand and it adds complexity to data governance as information is spread across both on-premise and cloud environments.

While the promise of driving greater operational efficiency, productivity, agility, flexibility, and profitability are luring more organisations to adopt the cloud, IT leaders must consider the data-related challenges in order to successfully build and manage their multi-cloud strategy.

One way to ensure this is by securing sensitive data and ensuring compliance with regulations through encryption, which is recognised as a common method in safeguarding sensitive data. However, it is not an effective technique when it comes to protecting sensitive information flowing out of downstream environments for development, testing, reporting, and analytics.

Companies need to address this challenge by combining modern security practices, like data masking, with the ability to move data quickly across their organisation. Data masking turns real data into fictitious but realistic data that is valuable to testers, developers, and data scientists, whereas encrypted data may not be usable or valuable to those same teams.

It’s all up in the clouds

In today’s fast-changing digital world, companies are under constant pressure to drive faster innovation while also staying in compliance with the array of data privacy regulations around the world.

It is important to remember that businesses can’t drive data-driven transformation while neglecting data security. Simply put, you can’t succeed in one without the other.

At the end of the day, the onus of securing sensitive data and ensuring compliance with regulations lies with businesses. Given the number of organisations that rely on their cloud providers, companies must get a better handle on their data management practices to fully take advantage of adopting a multi-cloud strategy.