Recognising business value from data

by Sohini Bagchi    Aug 28, 2012

database managementThe growing amount of data – both structured and unstructured – in enterprises is driving a demand for more CIOs to manage their databases effectively. However, a recent Symantec report revealed that nearly 60 percent of Indian enterprises are struggling to effectively manage and protect their digital information.

According to the security firm, only 15 percent of businesses in India can confidently use their business information without being either too permissive or too restrictive about its access. Besides, about 89 percent of Indian enterprises surveyed said that they have lost some part of information in the past one year.

Without the ability to properly protect their information assets, this data can become a liability, said Anand Naik, MD Sales - India and SAARC, Symantec. He noted that the main concerns about data management revolve around three areas. Firstly, confidential information getting exposed outside of the company becomes a concern. Secondly, some CIOs face issues like compliance failures related to information. Finally, the amount of duplicate information stored also becomes a concern to enterprises, as Naik pointed out that one third of businesses mentioned about managing information sprawl especially the unorganised data that is difficult to access and that data often getting duplicated elsewhere.

Srinivas Raman, IT-head Apollo Indraprastha Delhi argued that CIOs are doing their best to protect and manage their critical data. The only thing is they should keep themselves updated on the latest trends in database management and ensure that the data they store brings value to their business. For example, the Symantec report found out that enterprises often face challenges on the amount of duplicate information stored. “However, there are a good number of deduplication software in the market. They must be aware of the right solutions, vendors and trends to bring in maximum benefit from the existing data,” said Raman.

Raman also believes that CIOs have to perform ongoing data maintenance in order to improve the quality of the data so as to protect their digital information.

“Managing data is certainly not a challenge for CIOs as that is what they are expected to do. What is important is getting value out of the data,” said Virendra Kumar Bansal, Group CIO at Luminous Power Technologies.

Bansal is of the opinion that it is not only the CIO who should be responsible for not getting the maximum value from data. This is because Bansal feels organisations often fail to understand the real benefit or value that can be obtained the data. “It is important for the enterprise to adopt a comprehensive roadmap for ensuring data quality and maintenance that includes everyone including the information officer,” said Bansal.

The Symantec report revealed that those enterprises that failed to recognise the value from data and lost a part of their information not only witnessed either a loss of customer base, brand damage, increased operational expenses and/or, a decrease in their revenue. Naik said these enterprises need to focus on protecting information rather than devices and data centre. Business must also be able to filter useless data from valuable business information and protect it accordingly.

Raman believes that enterprises should have in place a strategy to manage their data to maximise the value of its data assets. This will help them improve customer care and business operations efficiently.