The double life of data

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You’ve heard it before – data is the lifeblood of every organization. Every business has it, and when data mining and analytics are applied to expose the valuable business information embedded in data, an organization of any size can improve performance and decision quality, while uncovering the knowledge in order to advance and compete. Growing at an unstoppable rate, the possibilities ahead with big data and analytics are endless.

Although data, when properly analyzed, has the ability to grow organizations by leaps and bounds, it has the possibility of bringing it to its knees – and it does. Take into account, in the past year more well-known global retailers have become victims of cyber security breaches than any year before. Kmart, Michaels, Staples, Home Depot, and even Dairy Queen had their data compromised in 2014 leaving millions of consumers at risk for identity theft – and businesses scrambling to rebuild and regain trust.

It’s easy to agree that there’s more business data than ever and it’s going to continue to grow rapidly, and unfettered access to that data is crucial to any organization’s success and long-term viability. But there is another fact of life that organizations, IT departments and senior executives need to take into account. There is also more risk than ever to organizational data, and the implications of that increased risk are potentially crippling. Consider the following:

Infographic on data from Avnet

No organization with any digital data, whether it’s stored on machines located on their premises or in the cloud, is safe from the threat of data loss. While there are many causes of data loss – such as industrial espionage, cyber terrorism, natural disasters and simple human error, there are steps organizations need to take in order to safeguard their data and most important operations.

Not only are solution providers today expected to help customers find value in their data, they need to also help them keep it safe through data protection, backup and recovery. With the growing number of risk factors, solution providers need to become data safeguards, recovery architects and experts for their customers. That means not only investing in resilient infrastructure solutions but also being able to plan, install and manage comprehensive data protection frameworks from the data center to endpoint devices. A tall order for solution providers to fill, but one that can generate nice incremental income opportunities – such as business continuity consulting and periodic readiness testing – when designing comprehensive disaster recovery plans that leverage sophisticated backup solutions.

If data is the lifeblood of today’s organizations, then periodic checkups and preventative medicine are needed to be sure that blood supply is safe, secure and always functioning properly – and solution providers can fill that prescription. Through a combination of vertical market knowledge, regulatory experience, IT governance best practices and cutting-edge technology, solution providers can make themselves more valuable than ever to customers, many of whom often lack the internal IT staff and expertise to design, deploy and manage those systems. Solution providers who do their homework will discover a lot of great business opportunities to expand their solution libraries and better serve customers by tackling both sides of data – the advancing and the potentially crippling.

At Avnet, we can help you navigate the changing technology landscape and help you develop the powerful, end-to-end solutions that give you and your customers a competitive edge. We’ll connect you with the world’s most innovative technology companies, and working together, we’ll streamline the steps it takes to architect, sell and deliver holistic solutions.

Learn how one bank was affected by data loss from the Northeastern Blackout of 2003 and their lessons learned on the Avnet Advantage Blog.

1 “U.S. Finds ‘Backoff’ Hacker Tool Is Widespread,” The New York Times, Aug. 22, 2014.

2 “One Hour of Downtime Costs > $100K for 95% of Enterprises,” Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, July 24, 2013.

3 “Top Health Data Breaches Caused by Hackers,” Health Data Management, August 2014.