3 Data Priorities For Business Leaders This Year
by Jill Macmurchy

As we begin 2023, economic uncertainty looms large. Many organisations continue to invest in digital transformation but with rising inflation and global conditions impacting bottom lines, leaders in APAC will have to make intelligent investments in technology that will ensure operational efficiencies, boost resilience, and fortify long-term growth. In short, this year will be about getting your data to work smarter, not harder. Here are three key areas business leaders will want to prioritise in 2023:

 

  • Modernising cybersecurity measures as threats increase

 

Cloud-security vulnerabilities will continue to be a concern for organisations. One survey revealed that 48% find data protection more challenging to manage in the cloud than on-premises. Ongoing global economic and political instability is increasing risk, with a rise in cybersecurity threats being attributed to the war in Ukraine.  

 

IDC forecasts that spending on security solutions and services in Asia/Pacific will exceed $31 billion in 2022, an increase of 15.5% from 2021.

 

Clearly, the modernisation of cybersecurity infrastructure is crucial. The systems currently in place were architectured for a different point in time. They are not able to scale to confront increasingly numerous and sophisticated threats. 

 

That’s partially because of the volume of data, the fact that it’s coming from different places, and the idea that the capturing of data is closely coupled with other applications. Each factor element creates more risk and widens the surface area of attack.

 

Decoupling the capturing of data in real-time is crucial for cybersecurity purposes. At the same time, organisations must grasp a vast variety and volume of security data and send it to the right tools to be analysed for cyber threats as they happen. 

 

This is where real-time data streaming can help. It allows companies to get ahead of attacks by rapidly sorting and analysing a large quantity of data to identify that needle in a haystack that could be a cybersecurity threat. Anomalies can be quickly detected and dealt with before the damage is done. 

 

  • Secure data sharing and rethinking the ownership of data 

 

There’s now a need more than ever to share data in a secure, governed way. A recent example is Covid health data and how governments and other bodies had to quickly figure out a way to share the data safely across departments, organisations, and country borders. 

 

Up until now, that has been really tricky. Many people are still reticent to share data because there’s a sense that they’ll lose control of it – they don’t know what’s going to happen to it outside of their firewall. 

 

Secure data sharing for a variety of purposes will be another focus for organisations in 2023. Each industry has its own specific use cases that demand data sharing. If we look at financial services, the use of data enables institutions to offer personalised services, address fraud and enable easier applications for products like student loans. But privacy and security concerns–whether that’s from customers, regulators, or the institutions themselves–create barriers. 

 

Markets are now shifting toward safer financial data sharing for both companies and their customers. As an example, Australia’s new consumer protection laws give customers the power to share their data to compare products and services to find offers that best match their needs.

 

This relates to the point about rethinking the ownership of data. Data privacy is now a fundamental right and consumers must have control over their data relationships with organisations. Those companies that provide transparency and control for consumers will have a better brand reputation and more trust. 

 

Data sharing and ethical ownership can be best enabled by having a secure, centralised data architecture powered by data streaming. Financial services companies can recognise who owns what data, creating real-time applications that respond intelligently to a customer’s needs while respecting their right to privacy at the level they have consented to. 

 

  • Breaking the batch data habit 

 

Nearly every organisation still operates with batch data processing, which, while fit for purpose at a basic level, only diminishes competitive advantage in the long term. As the Netflixes and Ubers of the world adopted real-time data streaming to establish and strengthen their position as industry giants, they’ve also changed consumers’ expectations forever. 

 

Legacy organisations no longer have loyalty to rely on. If companies want to remain competitive, they must break the batch data habit and turn to real-time streaming. Otherwise, they risk being knocked out of the market by another company able to provide the kind of experience that today’s customers simply take for granted. 

 

Data streaming – especially when managed via a third-party service – also allows organisations to streamline their tech stack by consolidating software and mining the depth of machine learning already there to automate data flows. In fact, more and more companies are turning to fully managed solutions for help with real-time data. The IDC’s 2021 Streaming Data Pipeline Survey reports that over 70% of companies have indicated that they plan on using managed services for their future data streaming projects.

 

2023 will be a significant milestone in the data streaming category as businesses wake up to the value it creates in times of economic uncertainty. The organisations that embrace the possibilities of real-time data streaming, modernise cybersecurity practices and secure data sharing will stand a better chance of dealing with disruptions and turning challenges into opportunities.

Jill Macmurchy

APAC Vice President of Solutions Engineering

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