Don’t rely (solely) on your external provider

Something incredible occurred last week in France…

Most mass media companies in France lost their subscribers database in seconds.

Actually the main provider for subscriptions management lost all of their data, from production data to source code and backups. The cause still remains to be determined.

The event points out a strong need for control over companies’ data. More and more companies put their data in the cloud and outsource data management. However, (client) data is the single biggest asset of a company. Since data are now a kind of capital, highly strategic and monetizable, companies should become aware that they must keep control over their data.

Data loss occurs so easily and data breaches are so abundant that you put your company at risk by relying exclusively on a few providers and not to keep control over your data. Any company should keep dedicated teams of specialists when outsourcing or putting critical systems in the cloud. I have heard about companies that had to pay huge amounts of money to pursue their activity after another company service failure or conflict.

There is also a need of intense negotiation to obtain good agreements (especially regarding service-level agreements). But only after wide concertation between IT decision makers and not only business decision makers… but also data specialists. By the way, remember that every big companies must have true data specialists (data manager, data scientist, data analyst, …) lead by a chief data officer if they want conduct efficient and effective data projects and have a data-driven activity.

Think about it next time.

Picture credits: Newspapers B&W by Jon S

First mammal species wiped out by global warming

I recently heard of very bad news.

A mammal species (Bramble Cay melomys, Melomys rubicola) discovered in 1845, which was the only one to be endemic to Great Barrier Reef, has been wiped out… because of human-induced climate change.

It was estimated there were several hundred on the small island of Bramble Cay, an uninhabited one which belongs to the Torres Strait Islands. These islands are a group of 274+ small islands located in the waterway separating far northern continental Australia’s Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea.

The species used to live in a 3.62-hectare (8.9-acre) sand cay which is predominately grassland and populated by seabirds and green turtles.

Since 2007 it was not seen, despite a search by a team of scientists. A report has recommended the animal’s status be changed from “endangered” to “extinct” in 2014. An extensive search has then been conducted without success.

In their report, Natalie Waller and Luke Leung from the University of Queensland, recently concluded that the root cause of the extinction was sea-level rise and extreme climate events.

« According to our predictions, 10,000 island will be under water by the end of the century. »

– Franck Courchamp, CNRS Senior researcher

Picture credits: Bramble Cay melomys by State of Queensland