Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: FinTech Journal, Open Source Cloud, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo

FinTech Journal: Article

IoT and #BigData – Who Owns All the Data? | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API

How many websites have you created accounts on?

Internet of Things and Big Data - Who Owns All the Data?

We've been doing it for years, decades for some. How many websites have you created accounts on? Your bank, your credit card companies, social media sites, hotels and travel sites, online shopping sites, and that's just the start. We do it often without even thinking about it, quickly entering our personal information, our data, in a plethora of systems. Sometimes we're not even aware of the information we are providing. It could be very personal information (think of the security questions you provide answers to for protecting your information on these systems), to information about your behavior, your interests (websites visited, internet search topics). While possibly concerning from a privacy perspective, you had some level of control. For the backend systems involved, the volume and variety of the data was a manageable situation. The tradeoff between privacy and convenience is something we, for the most part, found acceptable.

Not just about personal data
This is not a situation unique to consumers and personal data - businesses do the same thing. In order to conduct business with each other, businesses must share key information about themselves and their operations with their partners, such as key contacts within the organization, purchasing trends, locations, and shipping patterns of products. All the information that is needed by the business partners, yet is also an asset subject to privacy concerns within the business. As with our personal data, it is always a delicate balancing act of tradeoffs in order to be able to conduct business.

Then came mobile and Internet of Things
The game changed when the mobile revolution started, and continued with the explosion of the Internet of Things. Your mobile apps, along with all your ‘smart' devices that you wear (e.g., fitbit), are in your home (e.g., smart TVs, nest, smart appliances), or even your car, are sending massive amounts of disparate information out into the cloud. While the data packets for most devices tend to be small, there are a lot of devices. Gartner estimates that there will be over 20 billion ‘things' by 2020. To the sheer volume of devices, now add in the velocity of the data. These devices can be streaming a large variety information constantly. Your GPS location, house temperature, car speed, even your blood pressure. Sometimes we are aware, many times not.

The business-to-business side is not without impacts as well. RFID chips in inventory that is shipping between and through partner, smart manufacturing facilities, like smart homes, are providing huge volumes of information about their operation without even potentially realizing it.

Privacy & ownership vs the world
This is not a ‘the sky is falling' or the ‘world has my data' rant. I raise it to point out the impact of our data usage and consumption is in today's world of the ‘Internet of Everything.' I am reminded of a presentation I attended at a Gartner Symposium entitled ‘Privacy vs the World' presented by Heidi Wachs, a research director at Gartner. She raised the point that "the lines between social culture, corporate culture and regulation are blurred when it comes to privacy'." She asked the attendees, "How can organizations truly define privacy so that it is appropriately preserved?" The discussion revolved around the constant struggle and balancing of the business needs, convenience, and addressing privacy and security concerns of the users (or business partners) of the system. As many of you know, one of my favorite sayings is ‘Everything is a tradeoff.' The phrase was never truer than in our new world of Big Data and the Internet of Things. New uses and the data that is being collected appear at breakneck speeds, sometimes before we even understand the implications and tradeoffs involved.

Information is an asset
An added twist to this conundrum was raised in a recent article in The Atlantic. In the piece, the author raises the additional question, what happens to that data if the company storing it goes bust? Your personal information could be considered an asset of value that can be sold off, as what happened with Radio Shack.

While not discussed in the article, it raised another thought for me from a business-to-business perspective. What if my business partner is acquired by one of my competitors? Would it provide them insights into my operations, and help them possibly derive a competitive advantage with that information?

If data passes through your system, you have a responsibility
As technologists, we have a responsibility to help the business understand the tradeoffs and risks involved in this rapidly changing environment. We as humans, by nature, love to hoard things, and data is no different. We are accumulating large amounts of data as it passes through our systems. If it is in or passes through your system, you have a responsibility for ensuring the rules are followed. What level of privacy is needed/required/desired is fully dependent on the data itself. Not all data is created equal; some requires more privacy than others. Privacy and the security mechanisms needed to implement that privacy is not a once and done kind of thing; it's constantly evolving and changing. In the Gartner presentation I mentioned, Heidi asked a challenging question: "When a law enforcement agency comes asking for all that data you have been hoarding, what will you do?" It is better to be proactive and plan ahead than reactive when the situation occurs.

In this fast-paced, rapidly changing technology environment we live in today, we are providing and collecting huge amounts of data from an ever-increasing number of potential sources, whether they be mobiles, wearables, our vehicles, or any other of a myriad of sources we haven't even thought about. This data is traveling through the nebulous cloud environment we all love to talk about, and traveling through the ether to its final destination. Our challenge as technologists is to understand the implications, challenges, and tradeoffs involved in that world, and be able to articulate those to the business so that the proper balance between business needs, data ownership and privacy, convenience, et al, can be achieved.

It's a difficult and delicate balance. There is no one right answer, no one size fits all as to which tradeoffs are acceptable. Ultimately, that is a business decision, based on the goals and needs of the organization, and could change over time. It's walking a tightrope over a shark infested tank of water. Our job as technologists is to try and help the business understand the risks and tradeoffs so they can traverse that tightrope and get to the other side safely.

This post is sponsored by SAS and Big Data Forum.

More Stories By Ed Featherston

Ed Featherston is VP, Principal Architect at Cloud Technology Partners. He brings 35 years of technology experience in designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, and cloud technologies. He has delivered projects in various industries, including financial services, pharmacy, government and retail.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...