The way data is viewed, managed and used is becoming more complex, requiring intelligent management to enable people to interact with machines, devices and services, says enterprise information management multinational OpenText product marketing VP Stephen Ludlow.
The effects and combinations of new technologies will lead to smarter systems that require more information, as well as the ability to use the information in intelligent ways, to carry out their functions.
“This leads to the need for automation, as well as new ways in which data will facilitate interactions between machines and people. Information is already the most valuable resource in businesses and is commonly regarded as being key to new business models and use cases,” he says.
The connection of about four-billion people and about one-trillion devices through the Internet, and the development of applications that leverage such an ecosystem, necessitate a change in the concepts of production and use of data, from machines to people and enterprises.
A trend driving change in interactions, as well as the simultaneous increase in the importance of data management, is that applications should be readily usable without any training by people who understand the business or technical processes to effectively achieve a task.
Linked to this is the spread of a range of applications (apps) throughout businesses and organisations. This data often resides within the apps and there is a need to take a platform approach to app management that allows every relevant user to access them, as well as to provide scalability and reuse of existing resources.
“These platforms also provide a single source of truth, and allow for managing where critical information is stored. While such platforms’ ecosystems are critical for businesses, the users interact only with the apps,” explains Ludlow.
This app-enabled work environment is also where artificial intelligence and automation become applicable. As the apps consume more data, a combination of analytics and automation will help to infuse insights into apps and automate various underlying or related business processes.
Effective information management will also help to reduce device vulnerability and denial-of-service attacks using Internet of Things networks, as well as to bolster control over devices. This will also help to reduce the exposure of data contained on these devices.
“Hackers test vulnerabilities and are often able to get inside a company’s perimeter quickly. They then try to determine what the valuable information of an organisation is. This highlights that efforts directed at protecting the perimeter should also be matched [with the protection of] information in an organisation. The average time to detection was 206 days after the perimeter had been breached,” he says.
Detecting suspicious activities within a company’s perimeter while hackers search for valuable information is, therefore, important. Automation can help to reduce the time to detection, he adds.
OpenText has invested heavily in cybersecurity-related technologies and companies such as EnCase, which manages end-point devices by collecting information from them to determine and understand their behaviour, as well as reach these devices to fix issues or breaches.
“Greater amounts of information can be consumed by analytics systems to protect modern business environments and to understand what happened and why. This will support the development of predictive capabilities and protect information as an asset.”
Additionally, information sprawl within and outside organisations accentuates the risks.
Ludlow advises that improving information life-cycle management will reduce storage and management costs, improve the time to discovery of breaches or leaks and help to implement information management best practices.
“The core of next-generation information management is the platform, fully available as software-as-a-service and in the cloud, which supports the sharing of information in organisations and controls the methods of information sharing that people use as part of their daily work, as well as their interactions with apps, services and devices,” he concludes.