by Yogesh Gupta

Data is the New Data

Nov 22, 2019
Data CenterData MiningData Science

Data is the new oil if the attack vectors have fool-proof plugs across organisationu2019s IT infra to halt the leak. Else itu2019s all messy.

ai artificial intelligence man graphic interface data
Credit: Art24h / Getty Images

Data growth is fast and furious across organizations. Data is the new – gold, oxygen, high, diamond, currency, power, opportunity – that makes data the lifeblood of every organization today – small, mid-market or large – across all verticals. 

Storing, managing, indexing and securing each bit of data across on-prem, varied user devices and multi-cloud environments is turning out to be a taller order for CIOs and their IT teams. 

The worldwide data is expected to grow at 61% CAGR to 175 zettabytes (a zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes) by 2025, with as much of the data residing in the cloud as in data centers as per IDC. That’s a lot of data coming into our universe.


Applying a layer of analytics and BI to extract meaningful conclusions about customers and of course, monetize that filtered data is the fulcrum of digital businesses today.

Imagine a conversation between C-Suite executives in a board room 

CIO: Data is the new oil

CDO: Oil is the new digital 

CEO: Digital is the new money 

CSO: Money is ..Where’s the Data? 

Ouch! That’s data management (it’s become most complex in recent years with Apps, clouds, Kubernetes, containers, and new age technologies) and data often turning into the new devil for organizations. It’s a potent object of desire by hackers (steal and sell, purchase and use for unethical activities, blackmailing/ransom attacks after breaching privacy). Data is fairly a low denominator commodity in the dark web amidst never-ending breaches globally. For organizations, it (data) is priceless. 

Getting the data management strategy right across IT and Business teams is super crucial for organizations accelerating their digital business revenues. And digital transformation (has the term made it to Oxford Dictionary?) as we see it has succeeded to deliver two prime objectives – confuse the CIOs and secondly confuse the CIOs more. Because each journey around digital is unique from use case perceptive and its successes (and pitfalls) for a company. 

I recall speaking to CTO of a large technology conglomerate who said that CIOs should plot a techno graph of their digital transformation journey akin to a photographer clicking a photograph. And that data is the new source of energy in the digital universe. And rightly so, especially for unicorns, fintech and ‘born in the cloud’ companies making a goldmine out of data in the App economy world. Legacy companies too have no choice but undergo digitalization. 

Data interestingly is changing its location where it resides as new technology forces come to the fore. 

The collective sum of the world’s data (Datasphere) in– core (traditional and cloud data centers), edge (cell towers and branch offices) and endpoints (PCs, smartphones, and IoT devices) will undergo a massive change as the amount of data stored in the core will be more than double the amount stored in the endpoint by the year 2024 as per IDC.

With the core becoming the repository of choice as companies chug along the digital transformation journey, data and data management demands a ‘core’ attention by C-level executives and business leaders. 

An average person will have nearly 5,000 digital interactions per day by 2025, up nearly 8x from today as per a global report which will further lead to dense swamps of data across the networks. 

In India, the ‘data volume’ numbers are gigantic from both consumer and enterprise users. UIDAI, digital payments, smart cities, and overall Digital India to highlight few are picking up pace. More data needs more fool-proof security wall or walls (beyond firewalls). Add to data explosion, India’s Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) to be tabled in Indian Parliament (in next few weeks) and most probably passed; data privacy for organizations operating in India will be a different ball-game for all the stakeholders involved from data creators – data handlers – service providers – data users and everyone in the chain . 

The anticipation of the bill to be passed has led to a frenzy of certification courses for DPO (Data Protection Officer) for tech professionals to learn about data privacy and the new job role of DPO in post PDPB era.

The eighteen-month-old GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act introduced in 2018, and impending PDPB in India – to name a few – have turned data privacy on its head pointing in a unilateral direction. 

Who will be the real custodian (collect, manage, store, sort, index, secure …) of the data tinkled by new stringent standards of data privacy, compliance and regulations (state/ country)? 

CDO or CIO or CSO – one or many in some cases. Or a DPO. 

Is the data new or AI-laden oil at the rim? 

In either case, don’t let the ‘digital asset’ slip.