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A connected world: Successful data sharing when it’s mission critical

Monday 30 March 2020 Data Insight & Analytics

Ian Park's picture
By Ian Park

Connection between systems is the key to ensuring data sharing has a positive impact on businesses. But with many worried about a security breach, how can perceptions change to remove resistance towards mission critical systems talking to each other?

Data sharing and interoperability shouldn’t be scary, but many aren’t realising the benefits it can bring to operations. Just as data on health, crime and infrastructure is slowly being used to resolve issues and benefit society, so could organisations reap rewards from their tech.

Security and the fear of a breach is the main blocker to sharing data better. Despite moves such as GDPR, fears still abound over how to connect systems and information with less risk. It’s this scare culture that stops people moving towards the readily available technology for data sharing and interoperability between systems.

But there is a way it can be achieved. At CACI Information Intelligence, we believe that if companies preach of the benefits of saying goodbye to manual and inefficient data sharing and move towards sleek, interconnected systems, the culture will change, and we may just realise the new dawn of data.

 

Has GDPR stopped data sharing?

The benefits and technology behind data sharing are well known and understood, but have security fears stopped us in our tracks when it comes to data sharing? With hefty fines being levied towards companies who have mishandled personal data, the reality of what the GDPR legislation means has settled in.

But should fear of a slip stop progress? We believe advanced interoperability may just be the answer to remove the barriers to connected systems, which in turn can support GDPR compliance. Interoperability, or different systems communicating and working together to request and query data, is the cornerstone of successful data sharing to remain competitive, offering a slick service to customers, and benefiting operations.

One such recent example is the government’s move to share vehicle ownership data with the DVLA to enable car tax and MOT reminders, and for payments to be automated. Aside from being useful to customers, this will also reduce the risk of unsafe vehicles on the roads – something that would have been impossible without data sharing.

While GDPR is a concern for many, the fear of being caught out shouldn’t stall much needed progress towards connection. Quite the opposite – along with the Digital Economy Act and the data sharing code of practice from the ICO, this much needed piece of legislation means a move towards better data security.

A culture shift

Data sharing should be benefit-led and much higher on organisations’ agendas. But some companies are taking the lead, with strong moves being made towards a world of data sharing and interoperability that sets the bar for what could be achieved.

There is a gradual cultural change happening, supported by initiatives like Open Banking, where the way organisations and customers access their banking information and use it are changing. This tangible benefit of effective data sharing and interoperability between systems is slowly being realised.

Across industries in the private sector, technology companies are opening up their systems and data with Open APIs that allow quick and smooth integration with other technologies and services – allowing data to flow, powering all kinds of innovation.

In the pensions industry, new moves are being made to compel providers to share savers’ data with them through pension dashboards – a critical step towards transparency.

While other systems, such as Government Gateway, still have a way to go to use the best technology to share data, changing the perception of what can be achieved from data sharing is a huge step towards it being implemented and used more readily.

 

Overcoming the challenge

Data sharing alone is not enough however, as moving data from one place to another means the need to constantly update for the information to remain relevant and accurate. Interoperability is needed, the careful design of interconnectivity between systems to allow them to work together to power system functions.

The challenge with either is making practical use of the data, when it is not always standardised, and where the resulting differing formats can break interoperability. When it’s mission critical, there’s very low tolerance for systems misunderstanding data. This means smooth sharing requires a technical design that provides a high level of accuracy when it comes to interpreting sensitive and secure data, something CACI IIG specialise in.

Diving into the detail of each system and its fields is essential to understand the data and what it actually relates to. For example, is it a sensitive field that needs to be encrypted? This is why the technical design is so important – it’s crucial to providing accurate data interpretation.

 

The future of data sharing

Education and standardisation are key to realising the benefits of interoperability. Without this, public perception and organisational cultures will not move towards this new way of working.

Understanding what can be achieved, and how it can be done so in a technically deft, meticulous way, will allow for greater success and alleviate security worries.

While data sharing is an important step towards this, alone it is not enough for a positive impact. To avoid a siloed mentality, interoperability built around a newly educated industry and an agreed standardisation means a future that is shared, secure, and compliant.

 

If you want to discuss how to protect your data then get in touch by emailing us on info@caci.co.uk. If you'd like to find out more about CACI Information Intelligence, click on the banner below. 

 

Connection between systems is the key to ensuring data sharing has a positive impact on businesses. But with many worried about a security breach, how can perceptions change to remove resistance towards mission critical systems talking to each other?

A connected world: Successful data sharing when it’s mission critical