Harness your data – unlock your assets
Gartner’s 2018 CIO Survey (above) plainly reveals that the job of the CIO is changing. As digitalisation
and innovation put more emphasis on the information rather than the technology in “IT,” the CIO’s role is transforming from delivery executive to business executive. They must now control costs and re- engineer processes to drive revenue and exploit data.
So, how does a CIO transform their organisation to help drive revenue and the exploitation of data whilst controlling costs and facilitating these business objectives?
According to The Economist ‘the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’. Therefore, the Chief Information Officer should be an organisation’s most valuable asset. However, many are struggling to operate at their full potential. Time and again, strategies are defined and goals are set but the fundamental data question remains –
“I don’t even understand what data I’ve got. Where do I start so I can begin using it?”
By answering this seemingly simple yet complex question, CIO’s are able to advance the objectives of their business, transforming the model whilst supporting the digital agenda.
Often seen as a risk, we want to demonstrate that rather than being something to be concerned about, data can be controlled and turned into an asset.
The Issues With Today’s Solutions
If ‘data is the new oil’, then the ability to use the information we hold about our customers and businesses appropriately and in context is the key to digital transformation and organisational success. In this new world, the ability to remove friction from the customer journey whilst efficiently ensuring the safety and security of the data becomes paramount.
If we assume that to harness and control data we first need to know what we have, we can see that there are a number of approaches currently being deployed to establish a foundation:
- Clipboard exercises interviewing line management to ascertain where the organisation thinks its data should be and what the data flows should look like. Time intensive, often requiring external consultants and delivering an espoused view as opposed to reality often facets this approach.
- Tackling structured data with a barrage of queries often yields results but precludes all of the unstructured data both within those structured sources (like CRM systems) and the ‘Wild West’ of shared drives, email platforms, cloud storage systems and ‘servers under a desk in Stoke’.
- eDiscovery systems can be deployed to try and forensically assess what data is out there. Expensive, restricted and with an inability to respond quickly, these systems only get a partial job done. Our system reduces the size of your data lake, minimising Data Analyst’s effort to complete the task.
- Data Governance Solutions are utilised to try and control users and their access to, and use of, information. Largely focusing around directories and fileshares but with rules and some AI, these tools do their job but on a limited set of data up to a capped scale with some, but often restricted, insight into what’s going on with the information estate.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) platforms are acquired to get control on the data and how it flows. Expensive, lengthy and with inflexible rule matrices that can often take 2 years to develop and can become obsolete in an instant means that this ‘hard code’ approach to try and tag and bag data to get it under control and understood often falls short of the overall goals.
- Data Management platforms like Hortonworks provide powerful tools to leverage data and understand it. However, they are often mired in lengthy development cycles and require hard-to- recruit and retain developers and technologists.
- ‘Traditional’ storage systems such as a SAN allow organisations to easily add data capacity but not to automatically manage or control information based on content and therefore relevance.
Click here to download the PDF version of this guide.
The Smart Alternative
The diagram below provides an architectural overview of the Exonar Information IntelligenceTM platform and how this platform has been harnessed to create a new concept in data management – Search Optimised Smart Storage (SOSS).
Exonar Search Optimised Smart Storage
The verb SOSS means ‘to move gently’. The movement of data, or data control, within an organisation is crucial not only for controlling Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) but also for utilising information as an asset and managing information as a risk.
Search Optimised Smart Storage (SOSS) from Exonar allows intelligent data control policies to be defined through the powerful and flexible search capabilities inherent in the Exonar Platform. SOSS provides the capability to automatically move data to the right location with the right performance and protection based on the data’s content, metadata and importantly, its value and risk. Crucially, SOSS moves data gently enough that it always remains searchable, discoverable and accessible to the right set of people and applications.
SOSS Platform Capabilities
- Optimising TCO and performance for frequently accessed data through smart storage tiering.
- Placing verbose or repeated data into Deduplicated and Compressed storage locations.
- Moving important data to storage locations with DR policies that define data appropriate Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO).
- Reducing TCO for orphaned, stale and rarely accessed data by moving from ‘hot’ to ‘warm’ or ‘cold’ storage (e.g. cloud storage).
- Protect sensitive data by moving it to an encrypted and access restricted storage location.
- Retention and records management via search based retention policies that control not only where data is kept but how long it is kept for.
- Enable rapid data production for regulatory production (such as GDPR Subject Access Requests)
The Exonar platform is uniquely positioned to combine massive scalability, speed and data ingestion from almost any source. It has the ability to interrogate and analyse content rich data in bulk or at the level of an individual item, in near-real time. This is delivered on a clustered and resilient software and hardware platform that can economically scale to a range of customer data requirements and sizes; from around 100,000 up to billions of items. Exonar’s platform provides: integration, coordination and deployment of scalable big-data technology on commodity hardware, the use of Machine Learning and natural language processing techniques to understand and classify information, and the use of indexing and a user-experience layer to provide insight for our clients, with security always top of mind.
The vast amounts of data and variety of usage patterns pose a number of challenges:
Data presentation – users are provided the high level insight they need as well as an ability to zoom in and work with individual documents.
Finding the needle in a haystack – users can easily locate that one document they care most about amongst 10s or 100s of millions of documents in their organisation. This requires a powerful search interface, flexible schema and fast response times. An intelligent platform backed by Machine Learning makes it possible to automate processes which otherwise would require a huge amount of manual processing.
Scalability – the high volume and variety of data and fast rate of growth put Exonar firmly in the Big Data category. As our customers’ data volumes increase, the platform is designed to scale up with the volume.
Evolving requirements – we are able to quickly react to the needs of our customers and pivot when necessary. Using open source components at the core of our platform enables us to take features to market quickly, focus on solving the most pertinent problems and provides clients with the assurance of long term utility should Exonar no longer exist.
Exonar has an open framework that can connect to all of the most frequently used business information systems. Implementation is rapid and the platform delivers results from day one of installation. We employ a layered architecture which takes data from external systems and applies a series of processes to understand and index it, making it available for interrogation by users and other systems. For organisations with more complex environments, custom connectors are created to integrate legacy systems data into this new environment. The platform doesn’t need an analyst to operate it and is accessible by a regular business with a half day of training.
Exonar is provided as a scalable appliance. It is licensed on an annual basis against the amount of data indexed, with sliding scale discounts applying to larger data volumes, and includes all hardware and software support and maintenance as well as product updates.
Leveraging The Exonar Platform
Clients are deploying the Exonar platform to solve a range of business imperatives, such as:
- Achieve and maintain compliance with Data Privacy regulation like GDPR, CCPA and POPI
- Process access requests for personal data in minutes, not days
- Create a Data Inventory of ALL your data.
Partner Data Indexing
- Reduce costs in limiting time finding your partner data
- Index data remotely, improving operational efficiency.
- Detect cloud data classified as ‘digital litter’ – duplicated, outdated and trivial
- Organise information to speed up usability, efficiency and governance.
- Assemble practical intelligence on data and file location and sensitivity
- Drill into specific files of the same subject, regardless of location and format.
- Discover and understand your sensitive information, what it is, where it is and who has access to it to ensure it can be properly and appropriately protected.
Data Lake Filtering
- Our eDiscovery tool reduces your data lake, minimising human effort.
The Exonar Advantage
Intuitive User Interface
- You don’t need to be a data scientist or an analyst. Simply connect Exonar to your network and our easy-to-use dashboards enable you to pull charts up and drill to any level of detail.
- Intelligent Classification automates the process of identifying patterns in documents and categorising them for protection, accessibility or deletion. Categories are defined by anything a user can search for, such as document markings, location, authorship, accessibility or contents.
- Exonar’s ability to search billions of enterprise documents and return not just one but all of the most relevant results swiftly is enormously powerful. Our product can be scaled horizontally and can be installed either on-premise or in the cloud.
- Exonar has an open connector framework allowing it to connect to almost any data source.
Near real time performance
- Exonar’s platform delivers near real time responses to queries so it can be utilised both for single instance and ongoing monitoring of information assets. In addition, users can interrogate information from day one with a single ‘crawler’ ingesting around a million items a day.
Customer Obsessed Culture
- Exonar’s agile culture sees our development process evolve through iteration, continuous feedback and evolution. We are highly focused and work collaboratively with our customer base to deliver a solution that can enable your digital transformation.
Exonar Background And Experience
The Exonar platform was originally developed for the needs of clients in the Defence sector. The system enabled them to understand their Intellectual Property, assess the ramifications of its loss including the business impact, and to help design improved processes for future protection.
We are an innovative technology company, based in the UK. This year we were selected by one of the UK’s largest retail banks over IBM to meet their initial requirements for ‘life after GDPR day’ and their platform for information management. We were selected by them not just for the unique capability of our technology but to deliver their information insight swiftly, simply and at scale because of our innovative approach and our ability to react to changing customer requirements. As a company, we pride ourselves on being utterly professional whilst maintaining our belief that people don’t want to deal with ‘the Corporate Entity’, they want to deal with real people who they can work with to solve their business problems.
We partner with the ‘big four’ consulting firms and specialist ‘boutique’ partners to deliver projects and ongoing programmes. Our investors include Amadeus Capital Partners and Winton Ventures, two of Europe’s most respected Venture Capital firms.
Where Do I Start?
The answer is to simply start. The task does not have to be approached as a big bang and no elephants need eating. Exonar can help you plan your approach and the benefits are almost immediate – the index that is created is searchable from day one. Every organisation is different with a balance bias between structured and unstructured data, different employee behaviours and different blends of knowledge and process workers but all yield benefit. The business benefits of action are clear, the rewards tangible and attainable. For the first time, discovering your information advantage is simply and easily achievable.
The first step in the process is to get in touch with Marcus Hill who will organise a walk-through of the platform for you and your team. Marcus can be contacted via 07793 857122 or marcus@Exonar.com
In return, you could have peace of mind with regards to your GDPR Compliance, PII, Cloud Migration, Information Security and many other of your data challenges.
Click here to download the PDF version of this guide.