Another Cloud Podcast
A podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business, and learn how they're using Cloud Technology to improve business and the customer experience.
Blockchain, Big Data and Security with Ken Knapton
with Alex McBratney and Jeff Young
Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.
Hello, and welcome to another cloud podcast, a podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in it, operations and business and learn how they're using cloud technology to improve business and customer experience. All right, well, welcome to another cloud podcast today's guests, and we're excited to have him from Merrick bank is Ken napton. Ken, how's it going this morning?
Wonderful. How are you doing today?
I'm doing great. Doing great. Absolutely. Thanks for asking. And of course, I've got my co pilot partner in crime, Jeff young. Jeff, how are things cooking out there?
Everything's fine. in the Midwest. Everything's good here. Looking forward, this discussion.
Very good. Well, the weather's warming up in the mountains, and then the Midwest. And even out here in Southern California, it's warming up a little bit. So it'll be a good podcast, we're looking forward to learning more about what you're doing over there, American bank can and just to start us off and let people get an idea of you know, who you are, where you're at? What, obviously your bank, people know what banks do. But how about you take a couple minutes and just talk about your journey and how you ended up a CIO over at Merrick bank and got into it.
Yeah, you know, first of all, thanks for having me here. Today, I'm excited to spend a few minutes with you guys just talking about it. It's so you know, one of the most interesting topics in the world, I think I would love to. Yeah, so, you know, my, my story is probably not too different from many others. I started out as a software programmer, I remember getting my first job as a programmer, and, you know, I had the headphones on my ears, I had the, the lights turned off, and my hands on the keyboard, and I thought that's it, this is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. And, of course, you know, things don't turn out the way that the way that you you expect. So I kind of worked my way up through the the development, kind of, you know, chain of command and served as CTO for a couple of companies working primarily in the high tech arena. So working in companies where what we develop is what keeps the company in business, right? We sell that to, to consumers and other entities. And most of the software that I worked on was going to CIOs, it was management, you know, management, software, security software, that kind of stuff. So that's kind of where I, where I cut my teeth in the IT world, eventually ended up kind of moving from the CTO role into the CIO see taking on more of the operations activities. And, and since that transition, I've really been able to work in a lot of different industries. So I've worked in finance, I've worked in healthcare, I've worked in nonprofit. So really, it's been kind of a circuitous route to Merrick bank. But now I'm here at Merrick bank, and, you know, we're one of the top 20, issuers of credit cards in the US. So we're on that that subprime market, you know, helping people to either rebuild or establish their credit, and it's just, it's a great place to be it's a company with with a good mission, and, and I'm just excited to be here, you know, helping them move forward.
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, it's interesting to get a you get a mixed bag, right, some it executives, we talked to have that Securitas route that you've had, right going from different industries, different areas. And then you have the Jeff Young's of the world where Haynes international for 30 years, just found a good a good company to work for, and he was there the whole time. And so it's it's interesting to see, everyone's got a little bit different way of getting there to lead an organization on the it front. What do you see as just nowadays, there's been a lot of changes, obviously pandemics been talked about ad nauseum, as far as you know, how people dealt with that change. Beyond the pandemic, what do you see just, in general, like some big changes that you see happening, the mindset of a CIO and what they're having to look look out for in the next two to three years?
Well, you know, I think so speaking specifically from kind of the finance world, obviously, you know, the the big kind of elephant in the room for for traditional financial institutions are the fintechs. Right there. There are these entities that are that are popping up for various reasons, either they kind of started coming into coming onto the scene after the financial downturn because they wanted to create better ways of getting access to money, or they're just trying to fill a gap in the traditional services, but but FinTech as far as financial services, CIOs in the fit in the financial services world, really need to Be aware of the gap that fintechs are starting to fill. And you know, the they're either going to be, you know, disintermediated, or they're going to partner with the fintechs. Because the fintechs are solving problems that we, as the CIOs of these institutions should be solving. And their real problems that, you know, we've always done it this way. This is how it's always been. And so, you know, there are people that are finding better ways. And so that that's, that's kind of as I look out on the horizon, that's kind of the thing we need to be focused on. And again, that that's speaking specifically from the financial services world, not not just generally from from, you know, a CIO perspective in any industry.
You know, Ken, for our listeners, can you could you give a specific example of one of the tools or functions, if you will, that the fintechs have brought to bear that has made a difference here, just just so people can understand better?
Yeah, so you know, what, I think one of the one of the big kind of underlying technologies that fintechs are making use of that's really making a difference is blockchain. Now, I think a lot of people tend to confuse blockchain with Bitcoin. Right? Make sure everybody's on the same page. You know, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency blockchain is the technology on which Bitcoin was was written. So there are two separate things. Right block is a technology I think, is highly transformational, especially in the financial services world. And to specifically answer your question, I think that I just ran across a company not long ago, that is, putting so let me let me step back for a second in the mortgage world, I worked in mortgages for a little while America, we don't do mortgages, but I worked in that, that world for a little bit. And just as a as a homeowner, people probably recognize that their mortgages get sold, right, they'll they'll originate a loan with someone. And in fact, some originators will say, look, we sell 100% of our loans, all we want to do is originate, we don't want to service it. And then over the course of the lifetime of that loan course, it's a 30 year loan, it will get sold to different entities. And traditionally, that's a bit of a challenge to take that package that up, send it over to the new entity, get all the paperwork and all that. So this company has now built a technology, where they are putting all of the loan information for the mortgage on the blockchain. And now it's much easier to simply transition that from one owner to another, the loan stays on the blockchain. And so that's that's one example of, you know, looking for some friction, I think, right in the industry friction in how things are done. And, and this is a FinTech, that's that solve that problem. Of course, now we've got to get adoption. And there's all the same problems with startups. But I think that's one example, right of a place where there was a problem they came in, they saw it there they're solving it. And again, I think there's lots of other applications of blockchain, in the financial services world that are going to be similar to that.
Yeah, you know, it's great. It's interesting, because you look at banking, and it's been around for a long time, centuries, if not millennia, right? As far as that goes. And so like, you have this old way of doing things, and it's very hard to move that take them off one path and move them into another. But then you have, you know, these FinTech companies that are coming out of nowhere that like their whole job is to disrupt industries, right, find those friction spots, and say, can we create a better way a better process? You mentioned before, when we had a conversation before this podcast about, you know, you went, you had this course at Harvard that you took, talk a little bit about what you learn from that, and how you're able to apply that to what you're doing over at Merrick?
Yeah, so so there's, I want to touch first on on the comment you made the the banking industry is a very old industry a long time. And so here are the challenges. As these fintechs pop up to solve a problem. There's two main challenges that I see that that really cause and I hate to use the same term again, but because friction between kind of the fintechs and the traditional banking world, and that is regular, the regulatory environment and security, right, so one of the reasons why banking in tech hasn't really changed very quickly, because banks are not, you know, trying to adopt a technology very quickly is because of security. Right? We we have to be extremely cautious about securing that information that That all the financial data that we that we are responsible for. And then of course, there's the regulatory environment. And so that's one of the reasons why I wanted to dive into this course was to find out, you know, first of all, what's happening with the FinTech world? You know, who's popping up? And what are they doing? And, and really, I wanted to kind of understand whether fintechs are really we know they're disruptive. But are they going to displace and disintermediate? The traditional system? Or are they going to partner with, right? what's what's kind of the long term view? Right? What if 10 years from now? What will we look back and say, Well, this is what FinTech did to the traditional financial services industry. And so that's one of the things that I kind of look for, as I went through that class, as we studied the various, you know, there's, there's payments, there's personal lending peer to peer lending, you know, you kind of look at the path that some of these fintechs have taken, as they enter the market. And then as they kind of grow, and all of a sudden, you know, they have to be worried about access to capital, just like a bank does. And regulatory, you know, the regulators are starting to kind of take note as well and say, Well, hey, if these, these entrants into the market, right, are starting to actually participate in this in this value chain, we need to make sure that they're doing it in a safe and secure way. And so all of a sudden, the regulatory environment is now starting to, you know, kind of impose, as they should, right impose themselves on that that FinTech world. So it was all of those kinds of things. were some of the things I was I was looking for, as I went, of course,
we feel partnerships will be the end result. Is that where your mind is? Or do you do you see it otherwise?
Yeah, I mean, I, I hope so. So, but I think it also really depends on the the bank, or if it's not a bank, maybe it's a servicing or mortgage or whatever. Right. But I think it's, it really relies on how that entity responds as well. I think that as traditional financial services entities, we need to be seeking out those opportunities and say, Well, what are they doing? And? And are there places where we can partner? So I'll give you one example. One of the kinds of things that popped up in FinTech is this, this peer to peer lending. So if, as a small business owner, traditionally, I would go to a bank and say, give me some money, so I can start a business. Well, late, you know, after the after the debt downturn, 2009 2010 kind of era, we started to have some of these fintechs popping up that said, Hey, forget about the bank, right? Let's, let's find borrowers, and let's find lenders, and let's match them up. And let's just do peer to peer lending. And you don't have to, you know, worry about your credit score, you know, we'll kind of do a risk assessment, and we'll kind of figure these things out. And so it and that actually took off and started to grow. Because at that time, the banks, of course, weren't lending. Well, now we're back to a more traditional environment. And one of the problems that these fintechs run into is they don't always have enough money to lend. They don't have enough potential lenders, for the demand for all the borrowers. And so what are they doing? Well, they're either establishing their own bank charter, or they're partnering with a pink as a traditional, you know, bank, right, what we need to be looking for those opportunities and say, Hey, let us let us come help you with that problem you have with capital. Right? So it could be either, I hope it's the partner. Right. But but I think we all have to participate in that and look for those opportunities. Because if not, they're going to go get their own charter, and they're going to become a bank, and then they are going to displace Oh, sure. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's interesting, right? To see how these have popped up and how much it's changed. And with technology changing so fast, it's almost like blockchain seems like it came out of nowhere. I'm sure people that were following that technology from the get go are very, oh, yeah, this is this was this was coming, we knew this was going to happen. And then with Bitcoin kind of brought it to the forefront for everybody on how this thing works. But even with the regulations, and that's, you know, the volatility of Bitcoin has been around, is it going to get regulated? Is it gonna get banned? Are they going to be able to use it as a real currency and so you see that that volatility so I imagine that's a big a big risk. A big challenge for the industry is like, what's going to happen with all these cryptocurrencies as well? And how's how's that gonna look for the banking world? Is there much talk just in the industry that with the other CIOs or just in general around What's gonna happen with crypto and? And how that's looking just the the landscape of that?
Yeah, you know, I think so. So my personal opinion I think there's there's a lot more to be concerned or not concerned about there's there's a lot more to think about with regard to blockchain then then about cryptocurrency, you know, right now, I think you nailed it. Right. It's the volatility that the problem is that cryptocurrency is so volatile right now that you really, it's hard to consider it money. currency is in the name right cryptocurrency,
I mean, there is a formal definition of money. And part of that definition is that it has value that it holds value, you can price something, and you know that, you know, this is $5, and it's gonna cost $5 to buy this thing. And, you know, there's the famous, the famous example with Bitcoin, where, you know, the guy went out early on, right, the very first person to use Bitcoin to buy something, bought two pizzas with his Bitcoin and four years later that that same amount of Bitcoin was the formula, right, three $4 million for two pizzas. That volatility, and it doesn't take four years anymore, right. You look look at just look at the last six months. Yeah. The value of the cryptocurrencies is changing so quickly. It's it's hard right now anyway, to consider that officially money. Right. It's an investment. It's, it's it's a it's a way of you know, it's almost bartering. But it's hard to look at it and say this is this is true, real, you know, money today. Now, 510 years from now, obviously, I think that's going to be different. But but it's it's not going to happen.
Yeah, be interesting to see where the value lands. That's very speculative at this point. Yeah. Extremely. Yeah. But I enjoy the conversation
when it changes so fast, because Ilan musk tweets, right. Right.
Yeah, they're not gonna let him on Saturday Night Live anymore, right? Yeah. The blockchain though. And a lot of people don't understand that with blockchain being an underlying technology, you know, security, focused technology that becomes an enabler. So like you said, You know, I think you're right. I think some people, I'm glad we're having this conversation, because I believe some people equate the two together, and they're completely not, as you already mentioned. And, you know, blockchain becomes the, the enabler, you know, that new technology that that is going to allow things to change, ie your example of the mortgage packet, you'll be moved from A to B. So I don't know. I don't know how many people understand that there's, there's lots of things, you know, blockchain, you think I've been talking a lot lately about RPA, you know, repetitive process automation, which I think affects, you know, as well can be a big impact on the banking industry for you, potentially. And I think they're, you know, there's everybody's heard the words, and everybody understands, a little bit, but doesn't understand enough, you know, just say, Oh, boy, sounds like something I probably need to get involved in, but I'm not sure how yet. So, so to that end, you know, blockchain or RPA I'm sure that's part of your you know, it's obviously part of your role to decide when to pull in these technologies and how to do that, right.
Yeah, it is. And we've actually just started leveraging the blockchain at Merrick and we're doing that from a from a fraud prevention perspective, which is which is the the really intriguing thing about blockchain in my mind, there's two aspects to blockchain that really make it very interesting. The one of course, is that it's, it's secure. If you look at it, and again, people equate blockchain with Bitcoin. So we'll talk about Bitcoin, you know, as the the initial technology, but Bitcoin itself has been hacked, people have stole stolen, Bitcoin, you know, transferred money that they shouldn't have gained access to money that, you know, I guess I shouldn't call them money because I just said it's not access to bitcoins, that they you know, that they that weren't theirs. But, but the blockchain technology itself has never been hacked. The blockchain technology is very secure and part of the reason for that is because it's not centralized right that and that's the other aspect to to blockchain that's intriguing. It's decentralized. It's it There's no central authority that is responsible for the blockchain. And so get a take those two things. It's very secure, it's decentralized. And that all of a sudden becomes very intriguing. And of course, you know, it's immutable, right? If you once once a link is added to the blockchain, that's it. It is there forever. And so that's why it's so intriguing. You have this ledger that is always accurate. It's always it's always there. And again, so far hasn't been hacked.
So very, very point. Yeah,
yeah, it makes an interesting, an interesting topic towards the security part and security being such a big, you know, I guess, a big rock to consider in, in baking and in financial services, or anything that has to do with less moving money around about security. And we've talked about how, you know, banking there, they're more advanced as far as putting money towards security protocols and putting money towards security to make sure things don't get hacked, and whatnot. And blockchain just seems to be like that next evolution, adding another layer of some sort of security, like you said, like fraud prevention, it could be many other things as well. What do you see as far just the security in banking? And is that changing much? Or is are people just constantly adding more and more services to try to, you know, for any attacks? Or how do you see security playing out and banking right now?
Yeah, I mean, as I said, I've worked in a lot of industries. And one of the really nice things about working in the financial services industry is I really don't have to fight too hard for security dollars. Every year you it's been a fight, right? Because nobody wants to pay insurance. Right. Nobody wants to pay until you've been hacked. And in the financial services industry, you know, obviously, the thought process is very, very different. So yeah, security, I mean, security itself, I don't see is is really changing. Its security is all about, are you who you say you are. And do you have authority to access what you're trying to access? That's it? Right. That's all the security is? It's those two questions. And those are, those are fundamental. And that's that part of security is not changing, how we do that, how we go about that, and, and how we detect when the wrong people are trying to access things that they shouldn't or, or when people are not who they say they are. That's that's changing, that's evolving. But, but I don't think there's anything different about the banking industry or the financial services industry, that that does that differently than anyone else.
Yeah, I think the rest of the world is running behind you. First off, x years ago, they didn't care what you cared about was with regard to regulations, compliance, security, they've grown to care. They're way behind you on knowledge, and, and probably still abilities. But I think the world's running to try to catch up with, with where you are today with your industry. So I love how you said that, though. You know, are you who you say you are? And should you have access to what you're trying to get? And it is It is that fundamental? If only was that simple? That's I made a sound very simple. Can I like that?
If only it were that simple. Yeah, exactly. Well, I think it's interesting, though, because the nice part is that companies are outside of banking, if they're looking to increase their security stackers increase, like their ability to work, you know, thought those attacks, there's at least people that have led the way, I'm sure you did, great, you know, peer to talk to and like having a peer group, obviously, is always a great thing to have. So people that can look to you, and say, Well, how did you do? Like, where do you start? Where are the what are the building blocks of creating good, you know, security around the organization?
Yeah, and it really does, it comes down to having a what I refer to as a security program, you can be secure and not know that you're secure. You can be secure and not really understand how secure you are. So it again, the fundamentals extremely, you know, simplistic, it's those two questions, right. But all of the activities that go around understanding who's trying to access what what are they trying to access, you know, are they authorize, it really comes down to a lot of different questions around, you know, identity, right? identity management, then there's your response, right? And how do you respond when something alerts you to say, hey, maybe this activity isn't right, and all the logging that goes along with that, and the monitoring, and so you have to kind of wrap all of that into a security program. So that you can then easily say, Okay, this is what we're doing to determine that we are secure, this is what we're doing. In our response, this is what we're doing in our reaction, this is what we're doing in our prevention, this is what we're doing in our security awareness. And, you know, you create these pillars, and then, and then you have your program established in each of those pillars, and you can easily, you know, monitor your progress. And very clearly state, here's why we know, we're secure. Because these are the pillars that we're following. And these are the activities we're doing in each of those.
We wouldn't want you to share, obviously, any of your secret sauce, but I think one of the areas that I found to be really insightful in the last few years has been some of the intelligence systems that are able to know say, okay, that's kin, he's gone log on his computer every morning, and he's gonna go to MSN at eight o'clock, at a 15 he's gonna do this, and these systems that are actually learning that, you know, learning to users and learning their, you know, their mannerisms. And, and that's the level, that's awesome, that those kind of capabilities are coming out. I know, when you look at phishing email, some of the phishing mail has become so good. You're so sophisticated, yet only you know that your CEO would never send a note to Johnny and say, go get a gift card. For me. Yeah, you have to understand the people. So so I think I will only assume that you're you know, including some of that technology that's coming out without you sharing the details. But that's a that's another level to really help. Because as we get more sophisticated to protect, as you do, obviously, the attackers become more sophisticated, same time.
There. Yeah. You know, you make a great point. I mean, we, the, the, the old thing and security, right, is that the hackers only have to be right, once we have to be right every time. Right? They only have to that's it. And, you know, the unfortunate truth is that the weakest link is always going to be people. Because hackers, they're not trying to break into systems anymore, what they're trying to do is get people to give them their passwords. And if they can get your password, then it's much harder for us to say, should that person have access to that right now we have to go to is that person who they say they are? Right? And that's a more difficult question to answer sometimes. So. So yes, Jeff, I think you bring up a great point. It's that AI that says, you know, how do we know that this person is who they say they are? Well, it's because these are their normal habits. This is what they do. This is how they behave, when they come to work, they usually access, you know, their computer, from this location, not from this other location. And so you look for those anomalies, and AI, pull out those anomalies, and raise the awareness right to your to your, your any people very quickly and say, hey, go take a look at this. Because this isn't normal. And sometimes it's okay. Sometimes a person is on vacation, and that's where they're accessing it from, and everything's fine. But again, the hackers only have to be right, once
we have, and they solved your real number one, because they're able to say they are who they aren't. So right now you have that problem. Yeah, that's, that's interesting.
I want to shift gears a second, I don't leave about to say about 10 minutes or so left, and we talked a little bit before about big data, you know, data, privacy and whatnot. And he had a lot of experience in that and, you know, going for doctorate work in big data. And I thought it was interesting, one of the things you said that, you know, most companies only you utilize about 5% of their data. And I always kind of equated that to like, they always say, oh, you'll use 10% of your brain, right. But what do you, let's just kind of just know, it's a very broad subject, but I just want to jump in there. Just say, Where do you see like big data being used and begging and just in general, as it's changing, and people are starting to mine that data and find value from that?
Yeah, it's, that is a fascinating topic to me. And again, I I'm, I've delved into that quite a bit. But yeah, that is that's an actual. I mean, the stat is a couple years old, but it's it's an app A statistic 5% companies only use 5% of the information that they have access to. And and one example is what we were just talking about, we have all kinds of information about what people do what our employees do, what are they access? What are their habits, what are their behaviors. And if we're not using that information for the security purposes, like we were talking about just a minute ago, then what's the value of having that, right, it's just sitting there waiting for us to use it. The same thing can be said, for our customers, we have customer data, we have customer behaviors, that when we gather all of this information and store it, it's not doing us any good sitting in a database waiting for Sunday that, you know, we might want to go look for one piece of information. So so big data is really starting to kind of come into its own right now, with the analytics that are looking through, how do our customers behave? What what what is it that they're doing? What What do we see just before they hit the purchase button? Or what? What are these? What do we see it even even better, when they don't hit the purchase button, why we can see their behavior on our website, and then they don't get that loan, or they don't, you know, buy this, this this item. So analyzing that information, looking for those behaviors can then help us to go and you know, recognize that, hey, it's it's this one little, you know, piece of information that we have on our website that's worded incorrectly, if we change the wording, you know, that's scaring people away, let's change the wording. So it's more clear. It's that kind of thing that that big data can really help us with, where we can then really start to utilize that information and change how we operate. That's that's the value of big data to drive change.
How do you see because I love is knowing what questions to ask, right? Because you have all this data. And then it's like, well, how do you create your own like, you know, algorithm to ask that right question to pull out the answers that you want. How do you see that like, to me, that would be a challenge? How do you solve for that like to make sure you're asking the right questions, and learning how to ask the right questions.
Yeah, exactly. That that is one of the big challenges. And in my, in my doctoral study, that was one of the things that came out was that historically, and we are I hate to talk about the business and it because we're not separate. So it's one, right, we are part of the business. But in that context, the business people wouldn't know what questions to ask, they would say, hey, we've gathered all this information. But you know, we want to know more about our customers, they would come and ask the the business analysts or the or the the DBAs, hey, go and run this query for me get this information. And they didn't really know what they had access to. And so they just had a specific question. I want to answer this one question. Because we're thinking about this new product, we want to go develop. And, and the the, the data analysts were saying, Hey, wait a minute, if you ask this question, instead, there's a whole richer information that you can get about something you're not even thinking about. So I answer your question, how do we get there? It's it's that partnership. It's where business people look to the data folks, not as the doorway into the data. But partners in Hey, this is where we're trying to go with our business. Here are the goals we're trying to get to not not, we want to build this product. It's, here's we want a company right? Now, help us to figure out what information we already have that can answer some of these questions help us to figure out how to get there. Help us to figure out what product we want to go build. Right? Where before it was, hey, where the business guys, we're gonna figure out all the all the direction, everything, we're just going to come ask you these specific questions, we'll get involved sooner, and make it a partnership that I think is when we start to really exercise the value that we have in that pile of that, that that lake, the crate of information that's available. And it's right, they know they know intimately what's in there. Sorry,
what No, I'm just saying what what you just said, I hope people rewind and listen to that three times. Because it's so powerful. It really is. If you think about that it person that knows all of that data in many organizations has zero idea of what the business Persons trying to do solve, develop, etc. So they are in zero position to help that that business person succeed. The business person has no idea that does it guys sitting on this mound of information that that could make them successful. So so you're absolutely right. And that's why people should rewind, this is that partnership. You know, that fact that it isn't another department, it's the fabric and in the end the business and to establish that to that two way highway their companies to figure that out are successful period. It's great, great points you bring up i think it's uh, I'm glad we got to there on the on the podcast, because Alex, that's a huge point Ken's making people should listen to.
Yeah, absolutely. I think we've talked to a lot of people on outside of it on the podcast that are in customer success, you know, this customer success managers and directors that have no looking at the same thing, how do we use data to X to crease that experience? Make the customer experience better? How do we, where our customers leaving us? Where are they becoming more loyal? In the big piece was always like, do they have one to even have a data analyst on staff, because if they're not big enough, it's a big expense to have, and then finding a good data analysts that can go in there and, you know, read through and essentially write how to get get all that data out of the lake and make something of it. I think that's a big piece. And I think baking is probably further a lot further ahead, you know, in that realm on the data side than then a lot of industries are.
Yeah, I firmly agree with your 5% estimate. I think you're spot on. I've read those studies. And you're absolutely right.
Yeah, it's, it's, there's a pile of information there that we just don't even know that we have. And one of the companies that I that I talked to, in my study, I talked to the data analysts, and they said, you know, we've got and this is a, this is a fairly good sized entity. And, and they said, you know, we get questions about, Hey, can you go gather this information? Can you go get more data? And they said, our answer right now is we don't need more data. We've got so weak, we haven't even analyzed the information that we have. Just ask us questions, you know, and help us help us. Help you define the questions. And we can give you the answers, you know, very quickly, because we don't have to go gather anything. It's already. Right. We have it.
Right. Yeah. Such such good information. I
know, like, some of the other challenges with big data is, are you able to collect it? Right? And then with the compliance involved, and how there's some good information out there, but there's certain lines you can't cross to get certain data that you want, right?
Yeah. So So that gets to that gets to my other passion. So we talked about security, right? The two questions in security, which is are you who you say you are? And should you be accessing? Or do you have authority to access what you're trying to access? The other big question is, and this is where information governance comes in. The other big question is, should you be accessing that information? Right, as an entity, as an organization, should we have this information? We've collected a lot of personal information about our consumers about our customers? Should we have that? And what what should and shouldn't we use that information for and this was another thing that came out in my in my study was that, that ethical behavior and the responsibility now that is falling on companies, from an ethical perspective, they have gathered so much information, but what should we be using that information for just because we can mind that? Should we be mining should our that's not our data, right? And the sooner and this I actually actually wrote a blog post on this recently about, you know, the sooner we get to the sooner we realize as as a company that we don't own that information, we are stewards of personal information, then we'll start to get to where we can actually achieve the real or realize the benefit of big data. Because the benefit of big data is that I as a consumer can have things that I want, marketed to me a sale on something that I really want to buy, pops up and says, hey, can look, this is on sale, you know, go buy it. But if it's not something I want, then I don't want someone mining my information and sending me an ad for for something that I don't want to buy. And so, you know, the companies have all this data, but in some cases, you know, should they be mining it? Should they be using it and that's a whole different question from the security.
Right, that's good point. Absolutely, it's been great, Alex, this is super,
no, this I, we can go down any of these paths a lot further. And I love the topic of big data because it covers so many silos within an organization, not just it, that's where, typically where it's mined and where it's gathered. But there's so many business units that can benefit from it. In smaller companies, like, you know, in the mid market space that maybe 100 employees, 200 employees, there's some great data there that they can get and utilize to keep to grow. But a lot of times, it just comes down to resources and not having the resources to, to be able to mine the data and then ask those right questions. So it's definitely I think, a challenge for a lot of organizations because you hear about it, everyone sees you, everyone knows the social media platforms have like started that the boom right of gathering big deal big data and everyone's social behaviors and utilizing that, and I think ethics is a huge piece of it, and the morality behind it, like where do we go in society and as a as you for humanity, like with all this data that you gather, and like, Where's that? Where's that line? That delineation between too much versus not enough? So, but Ken, it's been it's been an absolute pleasure having you on I think we're gonna have to definitely have you on again, this has been a blast. And thank you. Yeah, thank you.
This has been a whole lot of fun. I can't, it's surprising to me that, you know, 40 minutes or so. It's Yeah, it's
amazing how fast it goes.
It goes quick. Yeah, especially on topics that are, you know, we're all passionate about and we all like to, you know, talk about so it's great. And there's so many avenues to go down. But, and Jeff good having you on again, of course, helped me co pilot this and really appreciate you guys taking the time and jumping on. Sounds great.
Thank you Have a good one.
Well, that wraps up the show for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to join us next week as we bring another guest in to talk about the trends around cloud contact center and customer experience. Also, you can find us at Adler, advisors.com, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on another cloud podcast.