On September 28th, more than 270 IT and Digital professionals from Luxembourg gathered at the Crystal Park to discuss the latest trends of the data sector. Through a series of conferences, workshops and during the traditional networking cocktail, experts tried to answer the question asked by Kamel Amroune and the organizers: "How to build, explore, analyse, secure and trust your data?"
Circular 17/654: a must-needed clarification by the CSSF
The first speaker of the day was none other than David Hagen, Head of IT Supervision and Support PFS, CSSF. The goal of his speech was to help Luxemburgish companies to be compliant with the 17/654 circular which deals with data being put in the cloud. "We get many files of financial institution who wanted to go to the cloud and use specific products. We therefore needed to clarify the situation: the new circular came out" explained David Hagen. Its main objectives are: taking into account cloud specificities in the context of an outsourcing, distinguishing the provisioning of a cloud from the notion of operating in the sense of Support PFS, maintaining the latter's particularities and staying compatible as far as possible with the work done at EBA level.
David Hagen then shared specific examples with the audience: direct outsourcing to CSP, the use of a Support PFS and even indirect outsourcing to CSP through a non-regulated entity. He also highlighted the fact that the circular differs from previous ones in the sense that confidentiality is now based on technology and processes by applying key security principles, namely the "need to know" and "least privilege". David Hagen also addressed the topic of competencies and more specifically the need to have a cloud officer, who is notably responsible for the use of the cloud computing services and guarantees the competences of the teams. Before ending his presentation, he gave the audience recommendations and good practices on how to write a correct notification to the CSSF. "Cloud computing seems to be unavoidable, and so is trust. More EU regulation might be expected within the next five to ten years" he concluded.
Data: the oil of the 21st century?
Candi Carrera, Country Manager, Microsoft Luxembourg, then took the stage and started his presentation asking whether there was a correlation between actual oil and economic growth…and then compared it with the link between the digital universe and economic growth. "The landscape of data is growing exponentially. Will it drive economic growth? I do not have the answer yet" added Candi Carrera.
He then shared the example of a project led in India: in 2009, 50% of the inhabitants had no identification, as only traditional solutions for birth registrations were used. "The government decided to act and launch a biometric 12-digit digital identity authenticated by prints and retina scans. It fueled changed" explained Candi Carrera. "What has changed over the last years? Quantity can now be seen as a quality. Komorowski's law on storage costs allows data abundancy. Today, any activity creates a digital trace and AI techniques such as machine learning extract more value from data abundance than a human. Therefore, is data the new innovation fuel?". Yet, there are still some issues: the time to adapt to change is decreasing and we have not yet reached digital readiness for the most part. Candi ended his presentation by wondering if companies have the right mindset to embrace new technology as it will help attract new talent and help Luxembourg compete globally.
Data in the cloud era: finding the right mix between humans and technology
His presentation was followed by a round table discussion moderated by Todd Hildebrant (Cloud and Infrastructure Technology Leader, PwC Luxembourg) on the topic of data in the cloud era. He started by asking a couple of questions: "With a trust issue, how can data be secured, and how can the cloud be leveraged?".
According to Wojciech Stoltysiak, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at CHAMP Cargosystems, "Data is now at the heart of operation. And if data is nowadays seen as oil, analytics is therefore the engine". He then shared several examples showing the evolution of e-commerce, creating for instance new purchasing experiences but mostly highlighted the change in business models, which is now possible thanks to the increasing an ever-growing number of data.
Benoit Fortemps, Technology Strategist at Microsoft Luxembourg, insisted on the fact that the cloud now provides companies with technology in a simple and extremely fast way. "Moreover, technology is transparent: if you want it you can have it. But how can we make sense of it?" he added. He highlighted the fact that one of the hardest part was architecting and using these new technologies in the future. Finally, he insisted on the digital transformation of skills, as his colleague Candi previously stated, with the importance of taking care of humanity in a time of many transformations and innovation.
"Evolution is much faster than most people can follow" started Christophe Buschmann, Commissioner at the CNPD, who added that putting people at the center of the evolution will be the key of success. He also praised the GDPR and the fact that more trust will allow companies to move forward. "Yet, we need much more transparency and communication to get to the next stage" he concluded.
Then, Olivier Beaujean, Chief Digital Officer at IEE Luxembourg, addressed the topic of digital agility: "The right mix between minds and machine is needed to achieve this digital agility, which is composed of several stages: hype awareness, informed decision making and fast execution". The digital expert also told the audience about the ring of knowledge applied to data: gather, clean, create information then insights, deliver them to the right person at the right time, and share it.