Opportunity and risk in GDPR

Chris van Wagoner, CommVault (Image: CommVault)

Commvault CSO warns on underestimating the change



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19 May 2017 | 0

The forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is both an opportunity and risk from a data management perspective, according to the chief strategy officer of Commvault Chris van Wagoner.

Van Wagoner was in Ireland to meet key customers as a guest of local partner SureSkills. Speaking to TechPro, he said: “Part of the macro world of GDPR and other regulations is that the reporting and auditing must be much better in order for IT and the business to validate that they’re meeting the requirements that are being placed on them.”

Businesses should not underestimate how the change will affect them, he added. “Most people look at these [regulations] as a question of tools and infrastructure, when the real issue is the business process changes that are going to be required. They’re going to need outside help to be able to design, deliver and audit those processes as much as they’re going to need the tools and the infrastructure to deal with that.”

Although the regulation comes into effect a year from now, in May 2018, businesses caught in GDPR’s net should not delay the process of becoming compliant. “From a global scale, organisations need to start those discussions now if they’re not already doing so. Many people wait until the last minute and they find the scale and scope of what’s required gets pushed out and puts them out. Secondly, they need to assess honestly where they are in terms of whether they have a strategy to get to where they need to be. There may be a set of precursor moves they need to make before they can implement the technology,” said van Wagoner.

Van Wagoner also shared insights into Commvault’s technology strategy. Historically, back-up vendors’ proprietary formats meant that the only way to access data was through the application that wrote it. This made changing vendors problematic and meant back-up was “like an insurance policy that had little other value than just the potential for recovery,” said van Wagoner.

Part of Commvault’s vision is to make backup deliver more value back to the business by opening access to previously locked-down data sets, he added. “Doing that opens up a whole host of uses cases of how you can use the data for improved business outcomes, for example DR [disaster recovery]. I can now read data directly without waiting for the data to be converted from backup format to native format, so I can get access to data for DR in minutes rather than hours.”

Gordon Smith

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