Shinydocs CEO Jason Cassidy: Digital transformation requires data fitness

Preparing for the next digital transformation, complying with increasing regulations, and combating cybersecurity threats demands greater data fitness, suggests Jason Cassidy, CEO of Shinydocs Corp.

During his panel at ITWC Digital Transformation Week, Cassidy noted how COVID-19 and the events of the past year, organizations have had to face what he called “impossible challenges” due to decision-making based on incomplete and ever-changing information.

“When you lack data fitness, the costs are high and increasing every day,” he said. “COVID has completely upended organizations, shredding the best-laid plans, and proven to be an absolute wrecking ball of disruption that’s exposed some pretty staggering gaps and vulnerabilities across the enterprise,” he told the audience.

He urged organizations to treat data fitness more like physical fitness: “A good fitness program is a series of habits. With data, your understanding and action should be approached as an ongoing program, not as a project.”

“It doesn’t make sense to work out once every five years to get your body fit; why are you doing a data cleanup and migration every five years?”

Like a physical fitness program, Cassidy stressed the value of a checkup, or data assessment. “Before you head down the migration treadmill, ask yourself: what is my data fitness, where is my data, and who is using it?”

Today’s enterprises, he contends, face a “staggering” increase in the volume, variety and velocity of data. IDC predicts that by 2025, 175 trillion GB of new data will be created.

“Right now, some data professionals are finding data volumes are growing by 63 per cent per month,” he said. He added that “The average enterprise underestimates their total data by half or more, that leaves a lot of risk in our environments.”

He urged CIOs to take a data-first or user-first approach to data management, not application-first, and to avoid vendor lock-in, citing that no one application can ever hold a single version of the truth.

Current migration efforts to a repository or cloud are unlikely to last more than five years before a new “bleeding edge” application or technology creates the drive for a new digital transformation, he said.

“It is your data understanding — your data fitness — that will make you resilient throughout these digital transformation iterations.”

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Lawrence Cummer
Lawrence Cummer
Lawrence ("Law") Cummer is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor who's followed the technology trade for two decades. He has a passion for sharing how people can work better, easier—and maybe "smarter"—from technologists to executives to home contractors.

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