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5 major data backup trends to watch

As IT becomes more sophisticated, data backup grows to incorporate, and protect against, the latest advances. Find out which five data backup trends are top of mind for IT teams.

The concept of data backup has been around for almost as long as computers have existed, but the backup industry is anything but stagnant.

As technology changes, backups must also evolve so that they can continue to provide the required level of protection. Organizations must adapt data backup strategies to keep up with the latest technology advancements, including AI and SaaS. They must also be mindful of how remote work will continue to affect backup and data protection initiatives.

Below are five major data backup trends IT admins should keep an eye on.

1. AI automation

So far, the biggest tech story of 2023 is easily the rapid mainstream adoption of AI platforms such as OpenAI's ChatGPT. Software vendors across industries are scrambling to add AI capabilities to their products, and backup is no exception.

There are a couple of different ways that AI will likely be used in backups. One possibility is that AI will help IT pros discover gaps in protection and ways to better protect data.

Another possibility is that AI will aid in ransomware recovery. When ransomware encrypts an organization's files, the encryption process does not occur instantaneously. Instead, it can take many hours for ransomware to encrypt everything. This means that rolling everything back to a specific point in time probably isn't going to be the best recovery option. Going forward, AI might be able to assist backup admins in figuring out when each individual file became encrypted and how to recover those files in a way that minimizes any data loss.

If line of business SaaS clouds can have outages, there is nothing stopping the same thing from happening to a cloud backup provider.

2. Preparation for SaaS outages

Over the last year, several major SaaS providers have suffered outages despite their best efforts to achieve 100% service availability. Backup pros are beginning to realize that if line of business SaaS clouds can have outages, there is nothing stopping the same thing from happening to a cloud backup provider.

To counter this, many organizations are working toward implementing a form of redundancy that will enable them to use backups even if a cloud backup provider suffers an outage.

3. Remote work protection

Most organizations continue to use a hybrid workforce in which employees split their time between working on site and working remotely. This hybrid model can present massive challenges for backup pros since a user might generate and save data on a personal device when working remotely.

To reduce the chances of data loss and data exposure, many organizations are adopting cloud-based virtual desktops. These virtual desktops are configured to meet the organization's security specifications and can be accessed from nearly any device. A user who is working from a cloud-based virtual desktop would save their data to a centralized repository just as they would if they were working in the office, thereby making it much easier to back up all the organization's data.

4. An increase in data center jobs

Despite the sluggish economy, data center jobs are on the rise. According to some estimates, the data center market is anticipating a 10% growth rate through 2030, which translates into a 2% hiring increase in 2023 and 3% by 2025. While such numbers might seem modest, some sources are anticipating the need for 300,000 additional data center employees by 2025.

From a backup perspective, these numbers indicate that there will likely be ample opportunities for backup experts to find employment in the coming years.

5. An increased demand for cybersecurity

Finally, businesses are seeing an increased demand for cybersecurity as it relates to backups. Many organizations, for example, are applying zero-trust initiatives to their backups to ensure sensitive backup data does not become compromised. Likewise, organizations are increasingly adopting additional protective measures such as air gaps or immutable storage to guard against ransomware attacks targeting backups.

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