Data is always evolving – in today’s business environment data is becoming more valuable. There are numerous trends that IT professionals are predicting will have an impact in the following years. As a data management company, we believe that it is imperative to be aware of what you need to look out for and how to prepare. The main trend for data is that things are getting more and more intelligent. Gartner have released a list of the top 10 Strategic Trends. We have seen a continuation of trends from 2017 along with new trends that are being presented for 2018.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things has threatened to change the way businesses operate for the last few years and while its uses are becoming more practical it still isn’t particularly revolutionary in its current form. But this will remain an area that businesses continue to invest in, developing the technology in areas that will allow for true innovation.
An area of IoT that must be addressed is security, which falls in line with other trends in the technology industry. IoT devices have been notoriously easy to hack in the past, giving cyber-criminals the power to create hugely powerful Botnets, capable of crippling networks and causing mass outages. One reason for this is the widespread use of administrator credentials and passwords, but security systems must evolve to ensure these can no longer be exploited. For organisations to make a success of IoT, security will be important, consumers and businesses alike will lose confidence in the abilities of products if there is a known associate risk.
The Increasing Value of Data
The increasing volumes of data that many organisations are experiencing can easily become an expense, taking up space on primary storage systems, utilising stretched resources and increasing the challenges of data management. However, with the rise of technologies such as big data and the increasingly common use of algorithms to analyse data, data is growing in value.
In well established markets that are saturated, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, but by analysing data to make smarter decisions, that is exactly what some organisations are managing to do. Turning data into information, into actionable insight, gives businesses a unique understanding of how their customers make buying decisions and how they purchase products – this can be utilised to give a competitive edge. Often though, this process creates new data, further increasing any strain on storage systems.
ROT data (Redundant, Obsolete, Trivial), is data that presents no value to the organisation; the data that is not used or accessed and is taking up space on primary storage, this will often include multiple copies of the same data as well as outdated versions of documents and documents that should have been deleted prior. While ROT data has no value, successfully managing (and deleting it) can present a cost saving and is a project that many organisations will look to undertake in the coming months, improving efficiencies and gaining better use of storage that is already in place.
With 2016 being dubbed the year of Ransomware, and 2017 seeing a large number of high-profile malware attacks and large-scale data breaches, 2018 is set to see an increased focus on security for many. The cyber-security industry itself must change to keep up with the latest threats and to stop cyber-criminals from being able to exploit vulnerable systems. Organisations are likely to face more threats and attacks throughout 2018, so there must be an element of training or education for staff to help them reduce risk. Implementing methods such as multi-factor authentication, can quickly improve security and give administrators an overview of any unauthorised attempts at access.
Cyber-security firms will look to develop and implement more advanced methods of stopping attacks, spotting vulnerabilities and cutting risk. These may include deceptive technologies that are designed to give hackers or cyber-criminals access to a redundant system or account, that does not contain any real information, which will then alert IT security staff if the account is accessed. Other technologies that can be used are analytics or hunting tools that will actively seek out a threat to systems, to identify and disable it.
The General Data Protection Regulation is set to take force on May 25th, 2018 and will shake up the data protection and cyber-security industries. While compliance projects will be ongoing, organisations should have taken these into account in 2017. The implementation of the regulation, may see a large number of organisations facing action for non-compliance during the early stage of its lifetime, while there will be organisations who will benefit greatly by having the ability to provide compliance tools, training and development. As the regulation has such a widespread effect, this could claim victims across the globe not just in the UK or Europe.