We should treat data as a natural resource. Here’s why

data

(Franki Chamaki

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Antonio Neri, President and CEO, HPE


  • We are generating unprecedented and ever-increasing amounts of data.
  • As well as its benefits, this trend is consuming energy and generating waste at unsustainable levels.
  • We need a paradigm shift in the way we use, store and analyse data if we are to realise its full potential.

While we have made some progress towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we need to work even more effectively together to create and scale approaches that address global inequalities and preserve our planet’s precious resources.

The new digital frontier

Part of being laser-focused on the SDGs means bearing in mind the transformative technologies that now underpin modern civilization and that will help drive solutions to these issues: the new digital frontier. This frontier is based on a single resource – data – and is underpinned by constant connectivity and the disruptive power of computing.

 

Data generation is exploding, and mainly at the edge; our phones, cars, fridges, factories, medical equipment, fields and satellites are generating unprecedented amounts of data. The promise of the new digital frontier lies in our ability to extract actionable insights from this information.

By leveraging data collected from connected platforms and devices, and by processing it at the edge, organizations can tap into critical insights that can inform quicker decisions – within digital classrooms, health centres or autonomous vehicles, for example – to make our world a better, safer place. Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges across medicine, climate change, space and more are buried in massive amounts of data, and the convergence of 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), high-performance computing and other emerging technologies is helping to unlock them.

Because of the power inherent in this convergence, we are poised to disrupt how we address social, economic and environmental problems. How do we rethink the way we process, manage, and protect data to improve lives, maximize resources and use less energy without sacrificing security or ethics? How can we ensure data benefits all of society in a way that is equitable and sustainable? I believe the first step is treating data like a natural resource.

Data as a natural resource

Like oil, gas and other natural resources, the extraction of data requires energy. In fact, it already consumes nearly 10% of energy globally. As the digital frontier takes hold, we need to better address how we treat data so that we mitigate the growth of so-called data landfills.

The amount of data worldwide is expected to more than triple by 2025
The amount of data worldwide is expected to more than triple by 2025
Image: IDC Data Age 20205 report

These data landfills occur when we mismanage the explosive demand for data by using too much space, materials and energy to harness and analyze it. We must innovate transformative solutions that will allow businesses to reap the benefits of connectivity in a resource-constrained world in ways that keep data waste to a minimum.

To combat this risk, HPE is investing in research and development to develop new solutions that can compute with a fraction of the energy per calculation, without sacrificing performance. We realized that the current model of IT cannot be applied to a world where literally everything computes. We’re using too much power, space, cooling, human management and cost to efficiently power a digital world.

Data landfills also accumulate when we don’t fully extract value from data before putting it to rest. What I hear from customers across industries, governments and NGOs alike is that they need help unlocking value from all of their data to provide better results for their customers and citizens.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about digital trade?

What is the World Economic Forum doing about digital trade?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution – driven by rapid technological change and digitalization – has already had a profound impact on global trade, economic growth and social progress. Cross-border e-commerce has generated trillions of dollars in economic activity continues to accelerate and the ability of data to move across borders underpins new business models, boosting global GDP by 10% in the last decade alone.

The application of emerging technologies in trade looks to increase efficiency and inclusivity in global trade by enabling more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to repeat its benefits and by closing the economic gap between developed and developing countries.

However, digital trade barriers including outdated regulations and fragmented governance of emerging technologies could potentially hamper these gains. We are leading the charge to apply 4IR technologies to make international trade more inclusive and efficient, ranging from enabling e-commerce and digital payments to designing norms and trade policies around emerging technologies (‘TradeTech’).

Convergence for good

By understanding and investing in the next digital frontier, by treating data as a natural resource and by harnessing convergence, we have the opportunity to drive progress on some of the world’s most intractable societal challenges. Actually, it’s more than an opportunity; it is an obligation to ensure that we enable technological disruption and transformation while also advancing environmental sustainability, human rights, security and equity across every aspect of our world.

The new digital frontier is here, and technological convergence is already beginning; how we adapt, govern and plan around these paradigm shifts will determine our ability to improve the world for future generations.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

Back to the Basics: Primary Healthcare

From low-earth orbit, ‘envoys’ of humanity join UN space forum

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

These cities have the best quality of life

Could this electric ferry’s success herald an era of greener shipping?

UN envoy ‘encouraged’ by latest talks on avoiding ‘worst-case scenario’ in Syria’s Idlib

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

MWC 2016 LIVE: Qualcomm looks to pick up Hamilton’s winning ways

Protecting workers from biological agents: how to classify SARS-CoV-2

OECD tells Eurozone to prepare its banks for a tsunami coming from developing countries

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

Strengthen inclusion, participation of people with autism to ‘achieve their full potential’ says UN chief

Economy on a steady rise in Latin America and Caribbean region ‘despite international turbulence’ – UN report

The US starts an intense currency war to protect its global standing

Coronavirus: EU funding for the transport of medical goods, medical teams and patients

Deadly life at sea: UN partners spotlight depths of danger in fishing industry

Commission supports Member States in their transition to a climate-neutral economy

How the US should react to the pandemic, according to Bill Gates

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

UNICEF chief hopes 2020 will be ‘a year of peace’ for Syria’s children

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

Tackling pollution and climate change in Europe will improve health and well-being, especially for the most vulnerable

Teen activist Greta Thunberg arrives in New York by boat, putting ‘climate crisis’ in spotlight

Growth is running out of steam. How do we prepare for the next crisis?

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

With human rights under attack, UN chief unveils blueprint for positive change

Why transparency in drug pricing is more complicated than it seems

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

‘We must fight terrorism together’ without sacrificing legal and human rights, declares UN chief

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

MWC 2016: IoT experts fret over fragmentation

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

Fuel crisis rapidly draining last ‘coping capacities’ of Palestinians in Gaza

Thursday’s Daily Brief: dire living conditions in Idlib, migrants at US southern border, end in sight for trachoma, Human Rights Council

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Sochi not far away from Ukraine

FROM THE FIELD: Sourcing clean water in Ghana

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

A geared turbofan at Pratt & Whitney's production hub in West Palm Beach (copyright: Pratt & Whitney - a UTC Company- 2018; Source: Pratt & Whitney's website, media center)

The EU Commission approves UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins under conditions

Uganda’s Ebola preparedness ‘will go a long way’ says WHO chief

How the world can gear up for the fight against cancer

3 ways to protect your mental health during – and after – COVID-19

EU to Turkey: No other ties than €3+3bn to upkeep refugees

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

UN humanitarian coordinator condemns Central African Republic hospital attack as ‘inhuman and unworthy’

Why did Cameron gain absolute majority? What will he do now? Will he vote ‘yes’ in Britain’s in – out EU referendum?

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

What are the real debates surrounding immigration in an increasingly globalized world?

Can medical students be prepared for Global Health ethical issues?

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EUR 400 million Special Measure on education adopted

Why AI will make healthcare personal

This Indian school accepts plastic waste instead of fees

Web Summit: EIB finances Worldsensing with €10 million to develop next-generation industrial monitoring solution

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s