Data recovery experts are the “fourth emergency service” in the modern era, according to the CEO of Manchester-based hosting and colocation firm UKFast.
Speaking during BBC Radio 4’s Bottom Line programme on “Big Data”, Lawrence Jones described the fundamental importance of technology firms always being readily available to offer a lifeline to customers when their whole business is at stake.
Jones said: “We’re a managed hosting company, so fundamentally it’s about being able to pick up the phone to receive support in times of need. Technology firms like UKFast are the fourth emergency service. We’re the people you really don’t want to have to call but if you have to, we’re there for you.
“Businesses need to know that they can rely on the firm that is looking after its critical data, in the same way they can rely on emergency services for personal times of need. Data recovery teams give the peace of mind that businesses need if their hard drive completely fails and their critical business data is lost.
“You have to have the right firewalls, intrusion detection and anomaly detectors. It’s about getting the basics in place as well as going the extra mile – for example at UKFast, we spot the traffic you don’t want, because we’ve got 40 people looking at monitors 24-hours a day and we can begin data recovery immediately as we have an on-site clean room in the data centre, the only one in the UK.”
Joining Jones on the panel were three technology experts – Conrad Feldman, CEO of digital adversity company Quantcast, Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer and Director of Search, Microsoft UK – along with host Evan Davies. They discussed how the creation and storage of data is changing businesses across the world as the ‘Big Data’ trend evolves.
Feldman described how harnessing and assessing online data can provide a useful insight into trends and demographics. He said: “We help website owners and advertisers understand who the audiences are that are consuming online digital media.
“We amass data from a lot of different websites, and then we apply sophisticated software based on mathematical modelling to help us understand and estimate the characteristics of the audience, which could be standard graphics such as age and income, or more lifestyle information such as what they’re interested in.”
Coplin referred to the change in storage of data, saying: “In the old days your server would probably be under your desk and people would kick the cable walking past.
“The issue is not the data itself; it’s what you’re doing with it. The power of big data… is going to change how think about what it means to be humans. It’s going to give us so much insight, and will enable humans to take much more control over their lives.”