Updated: Jan 4
From the moment you open your phone to the moment you enter work to the time you go to sleep, we use at least one or two internal system apps that keep our businesses going. It can be anything from Customer Relationship Management Solutions (CRM), or data centres like servers, cloud storages or local racks, or even your personal PC. While different ranges of solutions and infrastructure plugins have have our work easier, data security has become more and more lax, leading to greater risk of leakage and leading to dire consequences for businesses.
Here's the tea.
We couldn't care less about data management.
In the age of Big Data, we fail to realize that technology has become the critical enabler for businesses and big data processing are what give businesses power to conquer market. Therefore, shoddy tech setups, piecemeal infrastructure purchases and poor integrations are what contribute greatly to the failure of SME's and startups today.
Why is Data vital to a Business?
Big Data can be any data collected in bulk to be analysed and cast to discern patterns and trends in the market, particularly human behaviour and interacations. As the seasoned expert in the ERP industry, I have seen first-hand how terabytes of a company's business information can be interpreted, pivoted and extracted, all from the screen of a tablet.
I knew a company where everything from the sales, CRM, financials, shipping, accounting, inventory, payroll, labour cost and much more was laid out in a discernable manner to the board, allowing million dollar decisions to be made within minutes. However, as data was stored in a server with no firewall and a freakishly hackable password, some of it turned up later at a competitor firm and enabled them to eat up that company's customer base, leading up to millions of dollar worth of lost revenue and decline in profits.
The dilemma of the Cloud
Some of my industry peers and customers have told me that they have solved the problem with SaaS platform solution by a third party provider. While it solves the problem of data security in the short-term, privacy policies across different Cloud solutions will vary. The rise of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) reflects a deeper problem of data storage providers that misuse customer information for marketing purposes.
For companies that deal with intellectual property or sensitive research, good local cloud storage and data infrastructure comes to the fore while also maintaining the wealth of features and ease that comes with Cloud solutions.
What does a good data infrastructure look like?
Two words. "Solution designed"
Your data center should be tailored to fit the purpose and scope of your business. If you think that subscribing to an affordable one size fits all solution is going to help you, think again. No one looks good in an oversized (or undersized) t-shirt. Finding the sweet spot in terms of cost per storage space is important for balancing both productivity and your infra dollars.
2. Trusted and certified
Never compromise on your data center acquisition. Get good hardware. Get certified implementers and distributors to set it up for you. Buying 'crack' software is not an option if integrity and security of your storage is your top priority.
3. Professionally Managed
I don't think I will emphasize this enough. At the end of the day, it all boils down to business intelligence and visibility of your data. Having tight data regulations and strict IT policies are important to protecting your data. Preferably, a company with a solid data infra should have a CIO or CTO to manage and prevent data from being hijacked or stolen.
At the end of it all, one must remember that in this digital age, a new war is brewing. It may have already begun. Across the world, businesses and companies are scrambling to guard the asset that could make or break them
The Battle for Data has begun!
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