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Securing the future of the data sharing economy

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Recent data regulatory advances such as GDPR and open banking have not only had huge implications on businesses, but also its impact on consumers. More than ever, consumers have an informed view and control over their personal data. This increased consumer awareness has driven the necessity for organisations to ensure effective customer data management and safety, or else risk significant financial and reputational damage. In today’s data-driven business world, this has only raised the stakes.

The power of data is enabling huge insights to be achieved, helping businesses make more informed decisions for its products and services, and also gain better understanding of customers and the marketplace it serves. Data has become such a valuable commodity for modern business, that everyone from junior level to the C-suite wants to delve into the treasure of data to uncover new insights and possibilities.

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Data sharing leads the new data economy

Accessing data will only become a more seamless experience, as the notion of data sharing revolutionises the data economy. Through cloud-built data warehouses, select datasets can be shared securely and in real-time, both internally and externally throughout the business ecosystem, whether that’s to partners, customers, or supply chain.

Data sharing instantly levels the playing field for any organisation wanting to share data and consume shared data for one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships. When this happens, new business models and market opportunities can be achieved, like previously unimagined.

Lime, a dock-free electric scooter, e-assist bike, and pedal bike service that helps people get where they want to go in 70 communities across the U.S and Europe, is using data sharing to securely share data with commuters and public officials. Lime helps would-be riders quickly locate a set of wheels and also provides administrators with the data they need to keep their local transportation programs running efficiently and cost-effectively. Lime is additionally sharing this data back with the communities it works with in order to help transportation departments better understand traffic flows.

Drop the legacy systems

A barrier that has often halted further development of data sharing has been rooted within inadequate, traditional data storage systems, which have been both cumbersome and security-fragile.

Those that still rely on on-premise data warehouses are often susceptible to ransomware and destructive attacks, where attackers can lock data in a single location. Sharing and backing up information creates risk of interception, corruption and misuse, while also being vulnerable to data loss from equipment failure, power outages or surges, theft or vandalism, and natural disasters.

On a more basic level, data sharing through these systems often means spending hours, even days gathering particular data, downloading this into a digestible format and then sharing the already-outdated data through excel sheets. In today’s threat landscape, this is only opening the doors to hackers.

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Embrace the cloud

Thankfully, due to the innovations of cloud-built technologies, the access, delays and concurrency issues can be a thing of the past. If data centres are geographically isolated, they also provide built-in disaster recovery.

Cloud data warehouses are equipped with redundant power supplies so they remain up and running even during lengthy power outages. Additional safeguarding capabilities such as encryption, access control and security monitoring are wrapped up as part of a cloud solution vendor, taking the burden away from the customer.

In 2019, businesses would be wise to ditch their legacy data storage capabilities, and instead embrace multi-cloud ecosystems. Not only will this create new business opportunities through securely sharing data internally and externally, boosting the growth of the data economy, but also offer more secure protection over data.

Simon Field, CTO of Snowflake Computing

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