As more companies send and receive information through their networks and across the Internet, they have access to a treasure trove of valuable data. How can business owners and IT professionals find innovative ways to extract value from their data stores while protecting their networks and databases from security breaches?
From buyer profiles and patterns to sensitive personal and financial information, businesses have access to vast quantities of consumer data. In fact, Mc Kinsey & Company estimated businesses with more than 1,000 employees had stored 200 terabytes of data each as of 2009. In addition, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates the amount of data generated globally doubles every 18 months and by 2020, the global population will have generated more than 40 zettabytes of information. In Part 1 of this series about the dawn of the Information Mobility era, we discussed that as companies are moving their data stores to the cloud, they also face pressure from government regulators and the public concerning data security, as well as transparency about how they use, store, and share data. In the second part of this series, we continue to explore data security issues, as well as ways companies can extract valuable business intelligence from their information stores to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The Rising Importance of Data Privacy and Security Regulations
As people learned about the amount of personal data businesses and government collected and stored, the public demanded disclosure about the nature of the data public and private agencies collected, as well as transparency the ways in which organizations used their data. In response, many governments enacted regulations addressing data collection, governance, security, and use. For example, the European Data Protection Directive provided E.U. citizens with the “right to be forgotten” after a certain amount of time, which meant people could request search engine companies, such as Google, to remove their personal information and the law compelled the business holding the data to remove it from the public sphere. The E.U. directive also regulates how data generated within its borders can be used overseas.
As businesses move their data to the cloud, the country where the storage provider has its servers gains importance due to the different data security laws. Countries that successfully balance cybersecurity and data privacy with the needs of private and public entities to gain insight and value from their data are most likely to become the location of international data centers. As business owners explore options for cloud-based storage solutions, they need to find out the locations of the provider’s data storage centers to determine the laws concerning data privacy and security regulations.
Developing the Means to Extract Value from Big Data
While companies have the means to collect and store an extraordinary amount of data and metadata from a multitude of sources, they are just beginning to find way and develop tools to leverage value from these information stores. For example, Tech Radar estimates that by 2016, 82.5 billion devices will be connected to the Internet due to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Forbes, the McKinsey Global Institute forecasts the data generated by smart devices connected to the Internet will yield $6.2 trillion in revenue by 2025. How can business owners derive value from their data stores?
The Key to Unlocking Big Data Value: Awareness of Emerging Technology
The development of analytic programs and tools to extract critical business intelligence and insight from big data is still in its infancy, especially when the IoT-generated data is involved. This means that business and IT managers need to look for new platforms and tools to analyze data from a wide variety of sources. For example, Tech Republic recently reviewed tools, such as Splunk, that collect and analyze infrastructure data, as well as that from IoT sources. The information contained in these infrastructure reports can then be used to find ways to decrease a company’s infrastructure overhead.
Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Holding Big Data
Many forward thinking companies, across all sectors, are using data stores to enhance revenue by:
- Identifying new services they can offer
- Pinpointing promising new service areas
- Discovering underserved demographic groups
While some companies monetize their raw data to generate income, increased consumer awareness of such practices means business owners need to prepare themselves from potential backlash. In addition, inherent in harvesting and storing large amounts of data is the risk of security breaches, especially from within an organization. In practical terms, IT managers need to work cooperatively with department heads to develop user-credentialing guidelines that allows access to critical data on a need to know basis.
As the global marketplace enters the Information Mobility Era, successful businesses will balance the need to keep their data secure while developing innovative ways to harvest the value held in their information stores.
About Natural Wireless
Natural Wireless owns and operates its broadband network to provide businesses with a dedicated, secured, and symmetrical Internet connection with guaranteed reliability and speed. Contact us to learn more about a Better Internet…Naturally!