Now that primary season is officially upon us, the usual bombast concerning the number of regulations being enforced by the Federal government is sure to be a hot button issue. But no matter how anyone working at a managed service provider (MSP) may personally feel about those regulations, there’s no denying they're good for business.
Whether it’s the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the Dodd-Frank Act, organizations of all sizes are being required to manage data much more responsibly and aggressively than ever before. The leaders of the organizations affected by these regulations might not always appreciate being required to comply with them, but the fact of the matter is these organizations are now spending more money managing their data than ever before.
In fact, a new survey of 584 IT professionals conducted by Guidance Software finds that 65 percent of repondents say they expect their organization to spend more on data management. Well over a third (37 percent) cited regulatory and compliance policies as one of the primary drivers of those investments, and almost half (46 percent) said protecting sensitive data is a high priority.
Regardless of motivation, a full 69 percent say they need to find ways to systematically delete data to limit their chances of running afoul of a regulation and to reduce both storage costs and the size of their attack surface from a security perspective.
The challenge most IT organizations have is that they are not particularly good at managing data. The truth is that very few would get a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for data management. Not only do they regularly fail to proactively delete multiple copies of the same data that no one is actually using anymore, many of them aren't even sure what data is residing where at any given moment.
Compliance opportunities for MSPs
This lack of data management expertise at a time when regulatory compliance is a top-of-mind issue for most businesses creates a major opportunity for MSPs. From data protection and basic security all the way up to advanced data analytics and machine learning algorithms, the spectrum of data management services that IT organizations require continues to grow. Add to that the rise of video and a proliferation of new data types across the enterprise, and it becomes clear that already hard-pressed internal IT organizations are about to be overwhelmed.
As such, MSPs would be well-advised to invest more in core data management services and map out a plan for how they will expand those services as more advanced data management technologies come to market in the months and years ahead.
The causes behind the demand for more data management expertise might not always sit well with everyone. However, the good news is that despite all those compliance regulations, the business value of data management at a time when there is more data than ever to be managed will prove itself out regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office in 2017.