In this article

By Michael Ambruso & Thomas Mohr 

As businesses increasingly move to hybrid and multicloud, the cost and complexity of traditional data management has become untenable. To enable innovation and provide businesses the agility they need to succeed in a dynamic digital world, IT must find better ways to effectively manage and protect data while leveraging the power, scalability and flexibility of public cloud. Specifically, IT needs to simplify and improve how they consume and deliver IT services. And of course, this must be done securely and cost-effectively. 

One of the key lessons organizations learned from the pandemic was that they need to focus more on improving business and operational efficiency in order to drive better business outcomes and customer satisfaction–which requires investing in digital infrastructure, according to IDC (1).  When it comes to data management and backup, businesses can choose from a large menu of approaches and solutions, running the gamut from traditional to bleeding edge.  

Many technology vendors offer variations on a service offering fabric covering the entire landscape, from on-premises to the cloud. These solutions sometimes combine traditional hardware with IT services, and offer consumption-based pricing and cloud-based management interfaces.  

Among the most effective offerings are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, such as Dell's APEX Backup Services, which helps you protect your data while reducing cost and complexity, taking advantage of the flexibility of the cloud to enable you to respond to key business initiatives with agility. APEX Backup Services leverages an offering via public cloud to minimize time to value and provide cloud-based management with consumption-based licensing models.  

How do you decide which of these offerings is ideal for your organization?  To select the most fitting approach for your organization, you need to do the following:

1. Develop a clearly defined strategy of where applications and data will live. 

In order to choose the correct data protection solution, you first need to have a clearly defined strategy of where applications and data will live. If your strategy is shifting or ambiguous, take the time to refine and complete it. It will be worth it in the end. 

2. Understand your organization's strategic approach to financial expenditure. 

Your choice will be impacted by your business's preference for the traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) spending or the currently trending "pay by the drip" operating expense model (OPEX). Which strategy works to meet your organization's financial needs? The answer is not always clear, especially in volatile times.  

If you do choose a consumption-based model, make sure you fully understand the specifics for the service you choose, as different SaaS offerings have slight but impactful differences in how they are structured by the various manufacturers.   

If your business prefers OPEX to CAPEX, SaaS models typically cost less and enable you to pay on a consumption basis.  

3. Determine the importance of time-to-value. 

More and more, it's becoming increasingly important for your business to quickly realize the value of your backup approach. Because of this growing immediacy, cloud-based services are demonstrating themselves as a viable approach, as opposed to traditional infrastructure solutions. You don't have to worry about navigating supply chain issues; purchasing, building, integrating or maintaining infrastructure; or finding people with the right skills to manage it, which is getting increasingly difficult with the growing IT skills gap. 

SaaS models get backups up and running much faster, bringing true reality to time-to-value. As an example, Dell's APEX Backup Services not only deploys in minutes, but also enables you to scale infinitely, with virtually unlimited on-demand capacity to ensure growing data volumes are always protected, without requiring any capacity planning. Very few, if any, other offerings can provide this level of scalability. 

4. Make sure the offering provides simplicity and consistent experiences.  

Ideally, your data protection solution would offer a simple, engaging and consistent user experience, with complete, centralized visibility at all times. With APEX Backup Services, customers have complete visibility and a consistent management experience through a single console across all of their applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads. For example, a single dashboard provides complete visibility across Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and Salesforce.  

5. Make sure the solution comes with access to expert consultants. 

Regardless of the approach you select, your organization will undoubtedly benefit from the insight and experience of strategic, business-minded consultants who can fully comprehend your present and future business needs, your current environment and how to most effectively close the gap between where you are and your desired end state. Engage these consultants from the beginning and ensure that they have the capabilities to help you throughout the process, from strategy to execution. 

Choose consultants who are experts in all the various technologies and approaches, and who have deep and broad experience helping organizations develop their backup and data protection and management strategies, as well as implementing solutions and adopting services. Consultants who are independent–not tied to a specific technology or solution–can provide you with an unbiased assessment of the best offering or offerings for your specific needs.  Contact a World Wide Technology expert to assist in your decision-making process 

6. Validate that it has end-to-end security, including ransomware detection and protection. 

One of the main reasons many companies choose SaaS backup services is their inability or reticence to combat the increase in frequency and severity of ransomware and cyber attacks using their own systems. A strong, effective backup solution must include all-in-one secure protection with backup, disaster recovery and long-term retention. 

APEX Backup Services allows you to enforce data governance and simplify disaster recovery, delivering high performance and secure backup, long-term retention and automated compliance. It allows cloud-to-cloud backup, a multi-cloud approach to back up data that is stored in one cloud to another cloud, which provides an additional layer of protection. APEX Backup Services for SaaS apps delivers unified data protection, management, and information governance, including automated compliance and legal hold.  

In Gartner's 2021 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions, Gartner highlighted Dell's anti-ransomware solutions as one of its strengths, saying it "offers comprehensive ransomware detection and recovery capabilities both on-premises and in the public cloud. The solution supports an immutable and air-gapped architecture, and meets Sheltered Harbor recommendations."(2) 

7. Make sure you are relying on a proven leader. 

Protecting your data and ensuring business resiliency are key responsibilities that can make or break your brand. Although a variety of companies provide SaaS offerings for data protection and management, it makes sense to turn to and rely on established industry leaders, especially those with modern, proven technologies and deep innovation capabilities like Dell Technologies. You want a company that will be there with you for the long haul, with the resources, expertise and ingenuity you need to help your business succeed well into the future. 

Keeping these key considerations in mind will help you simplify your data protection, enabling you to deliver the agility your business both needs and deserves. 

Learn more about World Wide Technology Dell Data Protection  

About the authors 
Michael Ambruso, Solutions Architect, World Wide Technology 
Michael Ambruso is a 30-year IT veteran with experience in server administration, backup architecture & administration and over ten years of enterprise technical sales experience. He specializes in Data Protection and Cyber Resilience. 

"I help customers protect their data from bad actors, natural disasters and good old-fashioned human error." 

Thomas Mohr, National Account Manager, Data Protection Solutions, Dell Technologies 
Thomas Mohr has more than 21 years of experience in the Technology Marketplace including both sales and integration. He has a continuous and successful track record leading various teams in different business verticals. 

About WWT & Dell Technologies 
As Dell Tech's first-ever Titanium Black partner, WWT leverages more than 25 years of partnership expertise to design, test and deliver best-in-class, integrated solutions that accelerate digital transformation and drive our customers' businesses forward. Together, WWT and Dell Technologies (formerly Dell EMC) help businesses become industry leaders by harnessing the key drivers of transformation and innovation across solution areas that include IT infrastructure, Digital Workforce and Security. 

(1) The Business Value of Dell Technologies APEX as-a-Service Solutions,  IDC, 2021. 
(2) Gartner 2021 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions, Gartner, 2021.