Is Data a Commodity? Maybe not, but it is an Asset
“New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.” This enlightening quote from esteemed American author Kurt Vonnegut continues to hold true today, especially in our data-driven world. It is this new knowledge – in the form of data – that is becoming an essential asset, a valuable commodity, powering both individual and organizational growth.
The 21st Century Business Paradigm
The dawn of the 21st century has seen an exponential surge in data creation and collection, catalyzed by the rapid expansion of the Internet. As businesses began to proliferate online, they found themselves privy to an unprecedented amount of information about their customers. This shift in business paradigm brought along an emerging player in the commercial landscape – the data brokers. Acting as the middlemen of the digital world, data brokers collect, analyze, and sell data, bridging the gap between businesses and their potential customers. These data brokers are capitalizing on this surge of information, turning the 21st-century businesses into powerhouses of data-driven decision-making.
Influence of Data Brokers
Companies like Google, Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Verizon, Facebook, and Microsoft have taken the mantle of being leading data brokers in today’s digital economy. They have successfully leveraged data to curate services that are highly valued by advertisers. These personalized services, created from the wealth of information these companies have at their disposal, provide a detailed insight into consumers’ behavior. This allows advertisers to tailor their strategies with high precision, thus increasing the effectiveness of their campaigns. Indeed, in our current data-centric era, these tech giants are not just manufacturers of computer-based goods and services, but they are also influential data brokers shaping the advertising landscape.
Profitability from Data
Harnessing data isn’t just about improving services; it’s a multi-billion-dollar source of revenue. Facebook, for instance, dramatically underscores this point. In 2017 alone, its primary revenue stream – selling advertising – netted nearly $16 billion. But why is data so profitable? Simply put, data offers a window into people’s hopes, fears, and dreams. This intimate knowledge of consumers’ behavior and desires enables businesses to strategically tailor their offerings, making them more appealing to the target audience. It’s a compelling testament to the profitability and potential of data-driven strategies in our increasingly connected world.
The Role of Data in Small Businesses
Data plays a different yet equally significant role in the operations of small businesses. Unlike tech behemoths that harvest a multitude of personal information, small businesses often struggle to even gather basic contact details. Their primary focus is the essential data needed to facilitate their operations, not to monetize for advertising. While small businesses may not be raking in billions by selling consumer profiles, data collection is still an integral part of their daily operations. It’s the lifeblood that keeps their business functioning effectively and efficiently. This puts a spotlight on the challenge they often face – securing this valuable information.
The importance of data security in our contemporary business landscape cannot be overstated. Whether it’s protecting financial details, sensitive customer information, or business-critical data, every piece of information holds immense value – not just to your business but also to those looking to exploit it maliciously. Thus, securing this data should be at the forefront of every organization’s agenda, big or small. The safety and integrity of this business data not only helps in preventing financial loss but also in maintaining customer trust and brand reputation. Protecting data isn’t merely a technical measure; it’s a vital business strategy for survival and success in today’s digital economy.
The Commodity Debate
While we’ve established that data is a vital asset, a heated debate continues to simmer: can data be classified as a commodity? Strictly speaking, a commodity’s value typically hinges on its scarcity and the amount of capital required to generate it, considering both resources and labor. Under this traditional lens, data may not fit snugly into the commodity category. However, the dissolution of U.S. Net Neutrality laws has sparked arguments suggesting that telecommunication companies could tier or throttle data consumption, treating data more like a commodity. This debate showcases the evolving perception of data in our contemporary socio-economic structures.
Securing Your Organization’s Data
Regardless of where you stand in the commodity debate, the importance of data as a crucial resource for your organization is indisputable. Protecting this valuable asset demands utmost attention and robust strategies. Here at Wolfe Systems IT, we specialize in safeguarding your business data with an array of comprehensive solutions.
Backup and Disaster Recovery: With an extensive backup and disaster recovery plan, your organization’s data remains secure, redundant, and restorable on demand.
Proactive Monitoring and Management: Through constant vigilance on your network and infrastructure, our technicians can preempt and mitigate potential threats.
Patch Management: By regularly updating your organization’s software with the latest threat definitions, we help ensure your software is not a liability.
Access Control and Threat Detection: Through strict access control and vigilant threat detection, we ensure only authorized individuals can access sensitive information.
Training: We offer training to your staff on the identification and avoidance of potential data breaches and malware, enhancing your internal security mechanisms.
Around the Clock Support: With an ever-present support and help desk, we can swiftly resolve security issues, minimizing downtime and disruption.
Data is undeniably a driving force in today’s business world. Ensuring that you have the right data security measures in place is essential to face any data-related challenge confidently. With Wolfe Systems IT, you’re assured of comprehensive data protection strategies that equip your business for success in the digital era. For more information, feel free to call us at 1300 958 923.
Secure your data, secure your future.