ESG 360: ESG 2015 Predictions - Data Protection
ESG VP of Research John McKnight interviews Senior Analyst Jason Buffington on his 2015 predictions for the Data Protection segment.

Feb 06, 2015

ESG VP of Research John McKnight interviews Senior Analyst Jason Buffington on his 2015 predictions for the Data Protection segment.

Video Transcript

John: I'm here today with Jason Buffington, Senior Data Protection Analyst for ESG. Welcome, Jason.

Jason: Thank you.

John: So it's that time of year, the beginning of another new year. What will you be looking out for in the data protection market in 2015?

Jason: I think the thing I'm most interested in is SaaS backup. Everybody is moving towards SaaS as fast as they can. Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, list goes on and on. What most people don't realize is they don't back themselves up, right. Those platforms don't have built-in backup and the legacy solutions they're backing up onsite aren't going to follow them. There are very few SaaS backup solutions in market today and unless you're using one of those, unless you've added one of those, your data has just gone from well-protected to unprotected.

John: Right.

Jason: And that's going to be really interesting to watch. If you think about it, it's not much different than what virtualization was that many years ago, right? People had this legacy solution and then they added their VM-specific backup solution. Well, if you're 80% virtualized that is your primary backup solution, right? And if you move half of your servers into SaaS services, your SaaS backup solution is your data protection plan for 2015. A lot of people haven't figured that out yet and that's going to be interesting to watch this year.

John: Indeed. If you haven't read it, Jason has a very entertaining blog on the subject, where he makes a very humorous Hunger Games analogy to the SaaS backup market. So that's definitely something that's worth watching and kind of a scary trend as customers increasingly adopt SaaS-based applications.

Jason: Yeah.

John: So that's a little bit concerning and hopefully something the market figures out. Any other scary predictions for 2015?

Jason: Sure. For the IT folks out there, scary prediction number two, your users are walking around with a terabyte hard-drive in your laptops, and they are sharing data with people that you don't know. For whatever reason, senior management hasn't figured this out yet. I mean, the bottom line and if I could take an IT guy and just shake him, what I would tell him is, "It's corporate data, right?" It doesn't matter whether it's on a server or a laptop or whether even you bought the device or BYOD. It's corporate data. If you're not protecting it, it's like taking all your file servers and mail servers and saying, "We're going to turn off backups and then we're going to go ahead and mount it to the public Internet without a firewall. You can have whatever you want." Right?

John: Yeah.

Jason: No one would do that.

John: Right.

Jason: And yet they're not backing up laptops. That's nuts. And the part that's frustrating is it's not hard, right? Take those laptops, point them at a cloud service and light it up. And now all of a sudden IT is part of the solution not part of the problem. It doesn't have to be hard. You got to do something.

John: That will be so much more important this year as we've seen in our research and we've had this discussion around, such an increasing level of awareness and heightened focus on security and risk management at a corporate level, certainly in light of recent high profile breaches shall we say.

Jason: Absolutely.

John: Any good news or bright spots on the horizon?

Jason: Sure. Laptop backup isn't that hard. Just use the cloud. That's what it's there for, right? Turns out that BC/DR, Business Continuity/ Disaster Recovery also is not that hard when you use the cloud, right. So I expect to see organizations of all sizes, but particularly mid-sized organizations really embracing DR as a service. You got virtualization that makes all your servers portable. You got the cloud that makes things economic and gives you a secondary site.

John: Sure.

Jason: Put those two things together and DR as a service is something that everybody should be looking more at.

John: Absolutely. Any final thoughts for 2015?

Jason: 2015 ought to be a year with a lot of change. Not only the what's being backed up by the who, but also the who you're going to get backed up with. A lot of the big data protection vendors are going through different kinds of reorgs of one kind or another. You've got a lot of the smaller data protection folks that are really getting pretty feisty and their tech is actually pretty good. I expect for you to see a couple of more closures, a couple of more acquisitions. There's a few folks I'm especially keen to watch because they're either going to explode and just get huge or they're going to implode based on a failure to execute their go-to-market strategy or their message doesn't line up with their products.

But I think 2015 is going to be the year where there's going to be a lot of change and that's going to make it interesting to watch.

John: So the data protection Hunger Games continue in 2015.

Jason: There will be a sequel.

John: Excellent. Well, thank you Jason. You can read more of Jason's research and market perspectives at