World Backup Day is March 31st: Here Are 3 Steps to Better Backups
March 31 is World Backup Day, created to remind people to backup and protect their personal data.
Personal data has grown one million times in the past 25 years and most computer users agree that the data held on a device is far more valuable than the device itself. Yet, according to a US survey conducted by Acronis, more than 50 per cent of consumers fail to backup their data at all, while only one-third protect their entire computer system as opposed to some selected files.
Lincoln Goldsmith, General Manager ANZ, Acronis, said, “These numbers are worrying because the ramifications of losing data can be far more devastating and wide-reaching than simply losing a device. Theft is not the only concern; there are plenty of other ways to lose your data and once it’s gone, it’s gone, unless it’s backed up.”
There are a number of ways to lose data, including: hardware failure; user error; device loss or theft; natural disaster; accidents; software errors; and problems from upgrading or updating software.
Lincoln said, “It’s important to remember that 100 per cent of hard drives will fail eventually, which puts data at risk. Any backup is better than no backup at all but it is easy and inexpensive to safeguard your digital data.”
Acronis has identified three key elements to effective backups, known as the ‘3-2-1 backup rule’. It means that people should have three copies of everything they care about, in two different formats, and one copy offsite:
Step 1: This can be as simple as backing up to an external hard drive.
Step 2: Use a different format such as cloud backup software, which can automatically backup all data to the cloud. It’s automated, so you don’t even have to do anything.
Step 3: Store a backup copy in a secure, offsite location. This is where using the cloud is beneficial because it can join steps two and three together.
Lincoln said, “There are easy and inexpensive ways to safeguard the digital data that people don’t want to lose, like photographs and videos. World Backup Day serves as a great reminder to protect your data but there’s no need to wait until then. Consider setting up automatic backups or reminders for your computer, smartphone and tablet.
“Regular backups will give you peace of mind and ensure that, if your device is lost or your hard drive crashes, then you can still retrieve your data.”
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.