“Organizations need to treat data as a strategic asset. They need a double focus on data,” says Entwisle. “How do they leverage and use it to better support their growth and development while keeping their data secure? »
Better decision-making, marketing and better customer service can all be enabled through data, she says, “but it must be controlled to mitigate risk and must be protected in sync across the organization to to realize their full value. Otherwise, it’s lost.”
In the simplest of comparisons, think of that drawer in your kitchen. The one you throw stuff in because you might need it one day. The one that’s so full you can’t find what you thought you put in there. The one who is out of control.
Never has more data been collected through more channels, by more people, in more places, with more sophisticated tools.
Globally, spending on data center systems reached $237 billion in 2021. The Australian data center market report estimates a CAGR growth of 4.5% in data centers from 2021 to 2026 .
The growing demand is driven in large part by a dramatic increase in machine learning and cloud computing thanks to a COVID workforce using complex technology from remote locations.
“This high degree of automation and technology solves some problems, but also creates new risks such as the ethical use of data.” Most of the time, organizations don’t know what data they have, where they have it, how it’s being used, and what its quality is, says Shane Silva, chief technology officer at Protiviti.
Whether for commercialization or protection, an organization must identify the quality of its data, then use and leverage it to make informed business decisions, while managing the associated risks.
According to Silva, “implementing upfront controls at the time data is collected is essential, as well as controls throughout the data lifecycle, including controls over the transfer of data between organizations, sub -contractors and suppliers,” adding that it is imperative to consider the full value of the data chain when managing data.
“What often happens is that the risk management team works from a security perspective while the information and analytics team works separately,” he explains. “If you combine the two teams and then put management and resources around them, you will get the result you want.”
Silva believes most Australian organizations are less prepared and more reactive. They think short-term, lack data strategies, and don’t know their most valuable pieces of data, including key organizational KPIs indicating data health and contribution to value.
“They may have visualization tools, but they are rather simplistic and do not lead to high decisions because their data is poor and of poor quality. Although data maturity is slowly increasing, it is not yet at the rate necessary to protect the organization’s customers.
“We’ve moved beyond the ‘data is the new oil’ mantra that we heard 10 years ago,” Silva says. “More and more customers are asking, ‘How can I take my business to the next level? How to identify quality data, automate it and digitize it? How can I get more value out of it? »
However, most Australian organizations struggle to keep up.
Entwisle warns that ‘Australia is lagging behind other countries’. “It has yet to enact data privacy laws that have the reach, power and ability to scare as much as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”
But it’s only a matter of time before we break out of the current framework of the 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), says Entwisle. “The Auditor General’s recent review of the Australian Privacy Act 2000 proposes greater protections for consumers as well as tougher penalties.”
Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, agrees that if Australia is to be a leading digital economy by 2030, any new regulatory framework must be consistent, promote trust and reflect the nature of digital systems. This must become best practice.
“Regulation should not delegate the management of these risks to a ‘tick the box’ exercise. It should be proportionate to the problem, well-targeted and allow all companies to learn from best practices,” says Entwisle.
Further democratization of data will likely compound the risks, but on the positive side, it will provide organizations with the opportunity to differentiate in value. This opportunity will be maximized when organizations take proactive steps to prepare for more stringent regulations.
Silva recommends that Australian organizations develop well-thought-out data strategies and balance value creation and protection while aligning with their organization’s overall strategy.
Decide now what you are going to do with your data and consider its ethical use while leveraging it for the business decisions of all stakeholders: customers, owners, executives and employees.
Move from enforced data governance to actual control of your data with informed intent and an appreciation of the value of data. Use your data for insights and customer protection.
“Look at your data with a dual purpose – protection and value. This is the only way forward,” says Entwisle.
Protiviti can help your organization with data strategy, management, privacy, and advancing your data maturity. Learn how to leverage data to improve your bottom line here.
Named to the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Protiviti has served more than 60% of Fortune 1000 companies, 35% of Fortune Global 500 companies, and 75% of the top 20 ASX-listed companies. The company also works with major government agencies. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI).
Ghislaine Entwisle is Protiviti’s Managing Director in the practice of technology consulting and business performance improvement. Shane Silva is director of Protiviti in the technology consultancy focused on data governance and management.