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Data management and protection is paramount in a volatile environment

OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight: Data Governance 2.0: Managing and protecting your data assets in a volatile environment!

Data is the new currency.

All can unanimously agree to this statement. Managing and protecting data then, becomes a priority for organisations.

On 9 June 2020, OpenGov Asia had its second OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight with 30 delegates from 19 different organisations from Singapore and Thailand in attendance.

The Data Governance 2.0 session covered a range of relevant topics around the need and importance of governing data, especially in the current VUCA environment.

Mohit Sagar: people produce volumes of data at their fingertips

Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in- chief for OpenGov Asia, opened the session with an insightful presentation on the challenges and solutions of Data Governance.

In a digital environment, people produce vast volumes of data at their fingertips – while shopping, banking or through a plethora of online activities.

As a result, there is a data deluge with only about 10% of that data being regulated by modern privacy regulations.

In order to stay afloat, it is imperative to strike the right balance between access and control. Data should not be open to all access nor should it be completely hidden under the pretext of privacy.

That is clearly easier said than done. When Europe rolled out the General Data Protection Regulation, over 78% organisations resolved to comply with it but till today only 28% of them have actually done so.

In conclusion, Mohit said that in order to stay ahead, companies must understand the process of data governance and establish trust with their customers.

Kalliopi Spyridaki on the challenges and opportunities of Data Governance

The stage was then taken by Kalliopi Spyridaki, Chief Privacy Strategist, Europe and Asia Pacific for SAS.

She discussed the challenges in privacy compliance and how organisations can convert them into opportunities if viewed through the lens of data governance.

Her presentation covered these 2 focus areas – challenges and opportunities:

Major challenges for organisations to ensure data privacy compliance

  • Requirements for handling specific and large categories of Data
  • Rules governing personal data within organisations
  • Data privacy similar to changing tyres of a moving truck
  • ASEAN region, currently the most active in the world in terms of privacy laws

Opportunities for organisations in data privacy compliance

  • Personal data protection is essentially a data governance project
  • Personal data a highly valuable asset for the organisations
  • Improvement in organisation culture
  • The future is going to be more reliant on regulation; investment in privacy compliance will last for a long time
Dondi quoted: Culture eats strategy for breakfast!

The second speaker for the day was Damian Mapa (Dondi), Regional Chief Privacy Officer in APAC for Citigroup.

Dondi began by talking privacy as a fundamental right. Organisations need to make privacy a part of organisational culture to earn the trust of their customers.

He also expounded on how organisations can manifest policy compliance. His presentations covered 6 key issues:

  • Emphasizing customer’s right to privacy and organisations must respect it
  • Abiding to the data privacy laws is not enough, one needs to manifest and communicate it as well
  • Paper compliance is organisation is one important aspect, but it must be in consistency with operational compliance within the organisation.
  • The main components for building a culture of compliance in an organisation
  • Key personnel involved in the compliance process
  • Importance of Privacy Impact Assessment for an organisation

After Dondi’s presentation, Jason Tan and Mark from SAS shared a video demonstration to walk everyone through an ideal personal data privacy framework and its working within an organisation.

After the insightful demonstration, the event shifted to an interactive mode for the live audience.

A series of 8 questions related to various aspects of organisational data was shared with the audience to generate thought-provoking discussion.

On being asked about how they rate their organisation’s level of governing and protecting data, 59% of the audience voted that they are on track. Most felt their key enterprise data was properly governed and they are working to extend their governance.

One delegate shared that his organisation has a very comprehensive data privacy and governance process. Most of their key initiatives in the last 1-2 years are already complete.

On the question of challenges in implementing data governance, these was a clear leaning towards organisation data culture as 87% of delegates voted for it.

A participant explained that making governance a part of DNA of every individual in a big organisation is a challenge.

They further said striking the ideal balance between performing as a business and protecting information is critical yet, at the same time, challenging there are many different factors are involved.

The last questions was what is most important when defining the roles for data governance ownership. Almost 85% voted for responsibility and accountability to ensure that information within the domain is governed across systems and lines of business.

A data analytics and business intelligence professional shared his observation that people tend to pass the blame in case of a data leakage which creates unnecessary chaos and delays in organisation response.

Thus, responsibility and accountability have to be clearly defined in the organisation’s structure.

The session was concluded by closing remarks from Kalliopi. She emphasized the importance of Data culture and how technology can play a part in its growth.

She agreed with Dondi on his phrase, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Kalliopi emphasised that compliance for the sake of it is not enough. Organisations need to understand its benefits and the value it creates to enable the growth of the organisations.

The audience was not only deeply and thoroughly informed about various aspects of data governance in a VUCA environment but also got to see real-time implementation of an ideal data protection framework in an organisation.


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