Our relationship to data is a topic that is no longer just an issue for CIOs to discuss; it is an issue which is debated more frequently by CEOs in their boardrooms and it affects everyone in an organisation as recent data breaches clearly demonstrate.
The rise in cybercrime is continuing at a rapid pace and in order to survive a threat from a data breach it is crucial that organisations have effective security measures in protecting the interests of their customers and their brand reputation. Risks from the Internet of Things and the rise in mobile accessible devices are all adding to the security nightmare which is keeping CIOs awake at night.
Therefore it's no surprise that 59% of respondents to a recent BCS Digital Leaders survey cited information security as among their organisation's top three IT topics for the next 12 months.
We all agree that sharing data is a necessary social and economic function which is at its most powerful when it is aggregated to suit all needs. If used to its full potential it can enhance the relationship between businesses and consumer. However it is vital that CIOs have the competitive advantage and stay ahead of the game in leading their organisations effectively through the data revolution. CIOs need to remember that what worked well yesterday, may not necessarily work well tomorrow and that with the right strategy in place they can add value to their business. There is a growing need for firms to use effective techniques and work with their internal resources to establish trust in their data.
BCS has launched a 'Personal Data Challenge' and this topic is at the heart of what our society will look like in future, rather than an esoteric technology debate. The goal of our challenge is to achieve the full potential of data by seeking the best possible public benefit; we want to achieve the best outcomes for the most people with the least risk and harm. We want to encourage individuals and organisations to come together to shape the future of personal data. To this end, we've proposed three essential personal data principles: safety, integration and relationships which we are currently debating and discussing with interested parties.
A central tenant of the challenge is our call for individuals to have control of their own data. We want to see the creation of a new industry of personal data management which will enable data sharing to benefit everyone including Government, businesses and individuals.
Some 89% of people in Great Britain think they should be able to control what data a company collects about them online, and what it uses this data for, according to findings from a YouGov online survey on behalf of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
In an attempt to understand the relationships people have with their data, and respectively with organisations that control that data the key is to unravel the underlying issues as to why trust and public confidence remains low. Awareness of the role of data in society is needed and only once this understood, can we begin to develop solutions and create relationships of trust that will help society realise the full potential of data.