Written by Special Contributor Sean Forkan, Country Manager, VMware Canada
Have you ever played ‘two truths and a lie’, perhaps as an icebreaker at a corporate gathering to get to know a new group of people?
Today, I’m using it to introduce not a person but a concept – data. You might feel this is a topic you are already very familiar with it. After all, data is all around us. It represents the information at our fingertips on all our devices. The organization you work for undoubtedly holds a considerable amount of data. And if you are a CIO, data is probably something you think about every day.
But the data landscape is always changing. What we took for granted a year or even a month ago may no longer be current. In short, we could all do with getting to know data a little bit better.
Truth: Data is an asset, not a liability
Among the biggest changes taking place today is the way organizations view data. We’re moving from seeing it as a cost centre, to appreciating the opportunities it offers. What’s behind this change? Canadian organizations are increasingly able to leverage data as a source of competitive advantage. With an ever-increasing pace, we are witnessing organizations leverage data to better employees, partners and customers.
Historically, many businesses may have struggled with the costs and complexity associated with maintaining large amounts of data. Today, through the field of big data, we see the potential to analyze and extract actionable information, and the immense value this offers. Whether you’re looking for insight into the changing needs of customers or advice on how you can make your organization more efficient, data can now play a key role in making fact-based decisions.
Truth: The cloud must ‘live’ somewhere
While having a cloud strategy is not new to most Canadian organizations, there is a renewed focus around understanding where cloud data is stored – and that means strategies need to be updated.
The context for this is a complex regulatory environment. I frequently meet with CIOs who tell me they find it challenging to maintain compliance with the data laws in every country where they operate. It can feel like a full-time job to stay alert to the nuances of each individual market.
Depending on the focus of your business, there may also be added requirements around where data can be stored. Here in Canada, public sector organizations and companies in some highly regulated industries like finance are often required to keep their data within our borders.
Other organizations simply prefer to keep their data here to avoid the requirement to comply with data regulations in other countries. The CIO is the one who is often tasked with finding a solution to complex data storage requirements, while also embracing technology that drives the broader business goals.
Lie: Highly regulated private and public sector organizations in Canada cannot take advantage of public cloud
A hybrid cloud approach, and the all-important agility it provides may have seemed off limits to CIOs with requirements to house data in Canada. For others, using public cloud wasn’t an option because of the complexity required to manage both on-premise and public cloud environments. But if organizations have been put off exploring cloud environments to date, that is just one more thing that is changing in the data landscape.
With the recently announced availability of VMware Cloud on AWS in the AWS Canada (Central) region, Canadian organizations now have access to a powerful hybrid cloud service that streamlines management across on-premise and public cloud environments while keeping data inside of Canada.
The use cases for this technology are diverse – from cloud migration to data centre extension – and the streamlined management platform avoids cloud silos that add unnecessary complexity to cloud management.
Although Canada has been slow to adopt hybrid cloud strategy when compared with our global counterparts, new solutions on the scene mean Canadians are poised to advance their journey towards digital transformation in 2019.
Looking to discover more about VMware Cloud on AWS in the AWS Canada (Central) region? Learn more here.