It’s already a well-worn cliché, that data is the new oil. Yet it remains one that virtually every technology company wants to claim in some way.
The cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and the IoT are all the rage at the moment as organisations are told they must affect genuine digital transformation to remain relevant and competitive.
In the corporate world, everything from boosting operational efficiencies, smarter / faster product development, improved yields in primary industry and resources, to better customer experience, and most recently mass workforce mobilisation hinges on the secure availability of large volumes of data.
Likewise, the healthcare, education and government services our society and communities rely on are increasingly data-driven.
Sure, you might be thinking this sounds like another marketing message from any technology firm today. But there are some interesting parallels between the oil industry of the 20th century and the ‘digital’ industry of the 21st that help explain how crucial – and coveted – a resource data has now become.
Both grew extremely rapidly, generating huge wealth and power. Similarly, the spoils quickly became concentrated in the hands of a few monopolies, prompting interventions by government regulators seeking to protect market freedoms.
Each industry also became a key battleground in political / geopolitical wranglings; oil being the impetus for numerous armed conflicts, and data now being a coveted resource in escalating cyber-wars.
With everything going on at the moment, it seems like a very long time ago (2018) Facebook was embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exposed a serious security breach that enabled the mass-harvesting of subscriber’s personal data - and creation of psychological profiles - which were sold to US political parties in the lead up to the 2016 US election.
More recently at home, the Australian Federal government revealed in June 2020 a massive hacking operation that has seen ‘state-based-actors’ carry out up to one million attacks a day on government agencies and companies.
Knowledge is power
Now more than ever, knowledge is power.
Whether it’s learning more about our customers, how they think and behave and why, creating more efficient models for energy or improving our understanding of health threats like COVID-19, data is key to solving many of our most pressing business and societal challenges.
And on an everyday level, it’s hard to argue that our lives haven’t been transformed – largely for the better – by the so-called FAANG giants of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google.
But just like the human brain, data and knowledge are only as powerful as the means for gathering, storing and sharing them.
High-speed communication networks provide the ‘neural’ pathways that are enabling today’s exciting data-driven world. Returning to the ‘oil’ analogy, they provide the supply chain infrastructure without which we’d all grind to a halt.
If that sounds like another industry cliché, try for a moment to think about how your business would operate without at least the most basic communications, such as fixed-lined ADSL, and low-end mobile phone plans for your staff.
And if that’s all you actually have, you’ve probably worked out that your operations could be running a lot smoother with a few simple, affordable upgrades.
Or it might be that you’re already connected to a range of professional, enterprise services. But are they the right combination for your business needs?
Are you a heavy user of multiple cloud services? Does your business – and workforce – operate across multiple national or even international jurisdictions? How important is data security for your business?
These are critically important considerations for any business that is serious about optimising its performance and being genuinely competitive in today’s data-driven world.
But it’s not something you should contemplate figuring out entirely on your own.
It’s imperative that you partner with a communications provider that not only has a deep understanding of your specific requirements, but also one that has the infrastructure assets – and skills – to meet them.
Superloop is one of Australia’s most progressive network service providers. Connect with Superloop today and start exploring new possibilities for better data communications for your business.