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Data-first companies: survivability from the unexpected

On June 30th and July 1st, at LuxExpo a new edition of the global tech conference ICT Spring Europe was held. The first afternoon inside the Data Room was dedicated to European sovereignty empowered by Cloud Computing and Data Management.

The business world is moving towards the Cloud for many enterprise applications, but where to store the data remains a significant issue because of compliance and security. Local and international top-notch experts have shared some insights, challenges to consider, problems to address and solutions to implement during this session at the ICT Spring, led by Alizé Nicolas, Marketing & Communication Manager at Telindus as Master of Ceremony.

 

Data intelligence, thanks to the Cloud

In a technical but exciting presentation Pascal Bouvry, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Member of the Administration Board of LuxProvide, opened the afternoon talks explaining how to bridge High-performance computing (HPC) and Cloud. LuxProvide is the national supercomputer HPC organisation in charge of the planning, installation and long-term operation of MeluXina, Luxembourg's first supercomputer. This first presentation fitted perfectly with the following speech of Ludovic Gilles, Head of Department § Enterprise Sales at POST Telecom, explaining how to embrace data intelligence to thrive your business as data analytics is the key to success. But what data? With what protection?

 

Data sovereignty despite the Cloud

The following presentation brought together Cloud & Data sovereignty with a speech by Julien Blanchez; Digital Sovereignty Solutions Lead for EMEA at Google. He explained that Cloud on Europe's terms needs to fulfil the following criteria: EU data location, access control, interoperability and supervision, and survivability from the unexpected. His presentation was followed by a speech by Mikal Netteberg, Director of SAP Regional Center of Excellence. They challenge the need to have a better approach to ensure the value and purpose of data, responding to the customer's needs. That is what Fabrice Aresu, Chief Executive Officer at LuxTrust S.A., confirmed, explaining that 63% of EU citizens want a secure single digital ID for all services meaning that they agree to have their data used but for a purpose that is serving them. We are not there yet, but "we are witnessing a shift from fragmented, local digital identities models to a fully interoperable European digital identity".


The last session before the afternoon break was dedicated to data sovereignty for Europe with a bunch of experts: Laurent Ach, CTO of Qwant; Elena Poughia, CEO of Dataconomy, Data Privacy Advocate at polypoly; Alain Herrmann, Data Protection Commissioner; Ralf Hustadt, National Gaia-X coordinator and Special Advisor at Luxinnovation and Gilles Fuchs, Project Manager New technologies and Research at the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy. Data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general. That being said, the European strategy for data chooses to focus on putting people first in developing technology and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world.

 

Exploring some concrete examples

After the break and an intense first half of the afternoon, we move to some very concrete examples of solutions to Digital Sovereignty and Data Efficiency. Maxime Dehaut, Lead Architect at Codit, opened the second part of the afternoon by presenting the "Data mesh". While technology advances, every company considers itself nowadays as a data-first company. Nevertheless, it does not mean that every company treats its data architecture with the level of democratisation and scalability it deserves. Hence the Data Mesh. Maxime explained that "the Data Mesh concept aims to build a completely different architecture for data management. The idea is to transfer the data ownership to different teams, such as those who produce it. The latter, then, will be responsible for guaranteeing the quality and relevance of the data, enriching it to ensure its proper understanding, and ensuring its use within the company."

Enriching the data and giving it its best use is what Benoît Otjacques, Head of Responsible Data Science & Analytics Unit at the LIST, is trying to do with AIDA. In a keynote, Benoît Otjacques presented LIST's AIDA platform, which includes a visualization wall, and is designed to give external partners and internal researchers the means to test projects related to artificial intelligence. AIDA platform is coupled with the computing power of the MeluXina supercomputer, providing the opportunity to offer a world-class tool for one-stop service in Luxembourg." The afternoon ended with three additional keynotes speeches:
 

   1. An Open Cloud Ecosystem as The Foundation of Digital Sovereignty by Dr Götz Brasche, CTO of Huawei Cloud Europe and Director of Intelligent Cloud Technologies Laboratory

   2. Presentation of Kyndryl, a spin-off of IBM's infrastructure services business, focusing on data sovereignty by Philippe Bovy, Chief Architect and Technology sales Leader at Kyndryl Luxembourg

   3. How can technical standardisation support the data economy? By Natalia Vinogradova-Cassagnes, Head of Standardisation Department at ANEC GIE

 

Finally, to close the afternoon session of this Data Room, Sae Hyung Jung, CEO of oVice and Uriel Ekstein, co-founder of Velotix came on stage for a flash talk of 5 minutes each. oVice is a Japanese virtual spatial platform that allows people to gather in one place, move, talk, and collaborate freely as avatars. Velox is an Israeli startup that develops a software system for managing and accessing large data sets (Big Data) in organisations.