Want my data? What will you pay?
The author's shorthand for Happiness Index, Infrastructure, Talent, Regulations, Access and Capital. The six pillars that make UAE a strong business destination. This week, the focus is on capital and the ADGM's role in creating an international market for entrepreneurial talent.
The inexorable march away from the existing industrial age model is changing business fundamentally. The carbon-based global warming model is yielding to a silicon based data-driven model.
Which is why data is the new oil. On this planet, our species alone has the ability to record, control and manipulate abstract information represented by symbols and operators. What has made data so central to the future of our economy is the combination of extreme computing power combined with massive 'pipes' that enable its flow. This will inevitably kill the commute-to-work model which within the next decade will pretty much change how and where we live, what we wear, the food we consume as well as our social milieu.
All this rides on the back of the Internet.
The Internet was born as an open platform. Attempts to control it are met with fierce resistance from the same kind of minds that built it. Open source operating systems as well as hacker attacks remind us that the Net is not truly controllable. In this new ecosystem, the key to the data economy is identity. Without the authentication of the individuals, businesses, machines, devices and robots participating in the ecosystem, the exchange of value will not be possible.
By the numbers - In November 2015 Gartner predicted that the number of connected devices would reach 20.8 billion by 2020. IDC further estimated that the total revenues of the Big Data and Business Analytics industry would be upwards of $187 billion in 2019.
Given the size of the prize, power structures will inevitably be formed to concentrate control. However, in the knowledge-based economy individuals will seek to control their own information. We are wary of what we share. Ideally individuals would demand a quid-pro-quo for every bit of information that they permit to be shared with governments, health industry entities, financial institutions and other services.
Cindy Warner, chief executive and founder of 360ofme (www.360ofme.com) is empowering individuals with that bargaining power by collaborating with some of the biggest names in the data and identity business. Warner was the managing partner of IBM's Cloud Strategy, Solutions as well as Global Lead for Salesforce.com till mid-2016. Prior to that she had lead responsibility for IT and Analytics functions for PwC, AlixPartners as well Salesforce.com.
Tapping in to her vast and deep experience, Warner has worked with leading players like RSA, Amazon and Savanture to build a multi-factor authenticated, federated data model. This model distributes content relating to social benefits, healthcare, automotive history, financial information and demographics safely and securely over multiple distributed databases. In simple terms, what this means for the individual is that his or her identity and related data is kept securely away from enterprises that would usually want it for free. At the same time its easily accessible by the individual.
What is the "so-what' of this initiative? Warner describes the millennial who would ideally want to stop in any place "just long enough to do the laundry" and would then move on to the next experience or assignment. For this generation, data and identity mobility is a hygiene factor. Another example is that Individuals will be able to limit what healthcare enterprises and insurance providers can access and this will be based on permission.
The applications of this permission-based information sharing are deep and wide. Individuals can build their own data profiles based on a combination of verticals and horizontals. For example, they can search out spend patterns across multiple credit cards. They can determine whom and how they share this rich data with and benefit from it too.
Warner responded to the question about the willingness of enterprises to give up control by pointing out to the power of public opinion. Negative impressions are quickly formed in the Twitter-era. Legislation is also playing a role in empowering individuals. Wouldn't it be great if your social media service provider handed over all the information gathered about you so that you could put it away to your own repository?
The business model for 360ofme is elegant and simple. Typically, individuals would pay a small monthly fee to create their own repository. However, 360ofme distributes its services via entities that would want their customers to get on to the platform. A major US city is one such B2B2C partner. About two-and-a-half million city-dwellers will get on-boarded to the 360ofme platform. This will help the city obtain permission-based information relating to the services they use and the benefits that they want. Similar examples include work being done with Defense and Veteran services. What's more, this model is not restricted only to developed Western economies. India's Aadhar identity programme is an example of an identifier on which 1.3 billion citizens can build their own rich data repositories.
As a concept and a practice, 360ofme comes as a refreshing challenge to the perceived concentration of information with the digital world's Big Five. Everyone would want to create our own keys and locks to our own data vaults. Wishing Warner success in making this a reality for us.
Thanks to the ADGM and the Citi T4I Challenge for creating a platform to bring in cutting-edge and highly practical innovation to the UAE.
The writer is a Partner at BridgeDFS, a bespoke financial advisory firm (www.bridgeto.us). He's a digital banking and digital banking financial services evangelist, practitioner, advisor and consultant. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Cindy Warner is empowering individuals by working with the biggest names in the data and identity business.
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