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As AI impacts data management, channel needs to offer privacy and security

Findings from an AvePoint survey have underlined the opportunity for partners to help users with their information management needs

There is an increasing opportunity for the channel to add value around data privacy as artificial intelligence (AI) makes more of an impact in the information management world.

Avepoint has shared the findings from its inaugural AI and information management report, that was produced in collaboration with the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) and the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (CIPL), indicating that many customers are concerned about their ability to embrace new technology.

The headline findings included the revelation that half of the organisations questioned felt confident that they could use AI safely right now, and 71% were concerned about the consequences for privacy and security.

Not too many users have reached the stage where they have established an AI acceptable use policy, even though the technology is already cropping up across their networks and being used by staff keen to exploit the apparent benefits from tools such as ChatGPT and Google Gemini.

The survey showed that users were right to have suspicions about AI, with 45% of organisations encountering unintended data exposure as a result of the technology being deployed.

“Unsurprisingly, data privacy and security were among the top concerns for organisations before implementing AI,” said Dana Simberkoff, chief risk, privacy and information security officer at AvePoint. “The reality is that not enough organisations have the proper policies in place today, which exposes them to risks that could be mitigated, if they better protect and govern their data and educate their employees on the safe usage of this technology.”

That situation left the door open for channel partners to educate, safely deploy and provide privacy and security tools for users.

“Our survey reveals that many organisations struggle with information management and data privacy, and these problems are only going to get worse as reliance on AI increases and more data is produced,” said Chris Shaw, UKI&SA country channel manager at AvePoint.

“Working with AvePoint, channel partners can provide a comprehensive data privacy and management strategy to their customers so they can continue to thrive in the digital workplace,” he added.

The survey found that many customers had gaps in their state of readiness for AI and that there were clear areas where partners could deliver support.

Although the vast majority of those quizzed (88%) had an information management strategy in place, half of those lacked the tools to back that up, including archiving and retention policies and lifecycle management solutions.

Very few were using automation to help with information management, despite data volumes growing leaving 64% of organisations managing at least 1 petabyte of data and 41% dealing with 500 petabytes.

“As organisations increase their investment in AI, a comprehensive and holistic accountability programme for both data privacy management and AI governance is even more critical,” said Bojana Bellamy, president of Centre for Information Policy Leadership.

“In addition, good data management and AI governance must extend beyond legal compliance; it is essential for achieving long-term, sustainable business success and competitiveness, as well as for building public trust and maximising the beneficial impact of AI,” she added.

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