Photo: Keith Murray, Schneider Electric.
"The main question to ask is whether the total spent on maintaining a data centre is justifiable," he said. "Consider not just the physical components of the data centre, but how the overall system works and how it is managed. As data centres typically have a 15-20 year lifecycle, enterprises also have to consider the technological changes during that time span and its ability to change and optimise the data centre during that lifecycle."
Big data, big opportunities
"The most valuable asset any organisation has is its data. The challenge lies in how it extracts, analyses and leverages such data in a way which will provide business value," said K.R. Sanjiv, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Analytics and Information Management, Wipro Technologies.
Photo: K.R. Sanjiv, Wipro.
Such information is being used in sales and marketing for customer segmentation and campaign targeting, and in analysing financial models. It is also used in operations to monitor performance, consistency, and turnaround time.
Speed and volume are defining changes in business analytics. "Processing speed defines good usage of data. Information which is useful today may not be useful tomorrow. Real-time or reasonable-time processing is needed from the time data is obtained from the source to its end-consumption if enterprises are to maintain a competitive edge," said Sanjiv. "Changing huge volumes of raw data into contextual and relevant information is critical. In a hospital, for example, patient monitoring systems provide a wealth of information from heartbeat and blood readings to medical history. Good business analytic tools will process and summarise the relevant data if instantly required."
Sanjiv believes that a good business analytics model called for a three-tier architecture. "The current one-tier model is insufficient to enable speed and volume processing. A second layer is needed to extract meaningful new age data drawn from blogs, streaming videos and other social media tools, and a third tier to deal with applications."
Given the importance of data, it was vital to continuously examine security policies in place to protect the transfer of information within the network. Sumit Bansal, Director of Sales, ASEAN, Sophos, identified data leakage as the top concern, be it through theft or accidental data loss. "Confidentiality, integrity and availability are the core principles of data security; organisations have to decide the balance and trade-offs between these three principles they want to have," he said.
Photo: Sumit Bansal, Sophos.
Data loss had financial, legal, reputational and regulatory ramifications. With multiple means to access and store data -- from desktops and laptops to USB drives, mobile devices and cloud services -- it was important to educate employees on the consequences of data loss. Encryption, threat protection, data loss prevention and ensuring policy compliance were technology solutions which could help protect data.
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