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Building Digital India with Data & Trust

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By Ramesh Mamgain, Area Vice President of Sales – India & SAARC, Commvault Systems

Every moment of every day, our world is disrupted by digital transformation. Data is the new oil for the hyper-connected economy, and over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily – all of which is useless unless we can unlock the huge untapped value within the data itself.

Many governments around the globe still lack the secure, self-healing, smart data management systems to maximise the granular, real-time insights from data that connects businesses, villages, cities, individuals, and governmental departments. For example: cognitive analytics can add real, measurable value to healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation in big cities, if you have the tech and regulatory processes in place to leverage it!

All too often, privacy and security concerns act as roadblocks to unlocking the untapped value of data streams.Hence, a complete, secure and advanced data management strategy is required when it comes to personal data, thus ensuring innovations and individual privacy rights can exist side by side.

For many developing and newly industrialised countries data can provide an answer to many environmental, societal and business challenges, but there are a number of questions that first need to be answered: how can we safely harness user data to unlock economic and social value? How can we anonymise data and effectively use the data of citizens without compromising an individual’s privacy?And, how can we identify, move, manage, recover and actually use these disparate data set from a technology perspective?

At the end of the day, it’s about managing data responsibly; ensuring data is protected, secure, and available in real time, to gain value from it, while at the same time building a level of trust between organisations and individuals.We shouldn’t neglect the fact that from a practical perspective, we also need to be smart and thoughtful about managing data protection, backup, rapid recovery and search functions in hybrid and multi-cloud environments too.

As the new India under the Indian Government aims to accelerate economic growth and embrace digital transformation,open access of anonymised data can spur real innovations and build a more productive and prosperous economy and society. By prudently using data for societal progress and better governance, the world’s largest democracy can also serve as a role model for rest of the world too, dispelling long-held myths that a data driven state doesn’t have to mean a ‘Big Brother’ state.

Robust data protection laws and meaningful privacy safeguards will help boost citizen confidence that their data will be managed, shared, used and deleted appropriately. By developing open data initiatives and pushing for smart data privacy regulation, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the nation can support innovation and protect citizens’ digital identities all at the same time.

The positive effects of GDPR are being seen beyond European boarders, and the Indian regulatory bodies are already embracing smarter data management initiatives and developing the right frameworks necessary to deliver a ‘privacy-by-design’ approach.

Beyond technology itself however, the key to the digital future of India will be trust, and with common standards for data protection, citizens can be sure they are in control of their personal information. Niti Aayog’s (Policy Think Tank to the Indian Government), recent proposal to create an independent regulator and remove data monopolies is a massive leap in the right direction, and highly relevant given the World Bank’s projections that India will become a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025.

Economic development and digital transformation can only be truly achieved if data is harnessed effectively without compromising the privacy of individuals or regulatory frameworks like GDPR.  Collaboration between the entire innovation ecosystems of a country means public and private sector, government, industry and academia all working together, all pulling in one collective direction towards one shared vision.

In order to realise Modi’s grand vision for the India of tomorrow, democratizing data and smarter data use will be fundamental to creating societal and economic value. However, it’s important to remember that regardless of all the ‘en vogue’ new tech such as AI or blockchain that will form part of the IT foundations for these plans, it will be even more important to build citizen trust into the processes.

Think Tanks, policy makers in government and technology providers, take note. If India is truly to unlock the value of its huge data reserves, in the process creating a smarter more secure future for its 1.3 billion citizens, trust, as much as data, will be the real key that unlocks the door.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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