Data, the new oil of the digital era, is deeply transforming entire ecosystems and business models. Cybersecurity has therefore become a key issue for the development of companies and economies. A few weeks ago, EBRC – European Business Reliance Centre – announced a strategic alliance with Digora, a French data management expert, which strengthens EBRC’s competencies and international presence. In a world where digital transformation impacts any sector, data is more than ever considered as the oil of the 21st century. BEAST met with Yves Reding, CEO of EBRC, to discuss data’s added value, management and protection.

«Today, digitalization is increasing in an exponential way. It impacts all professional sectors: banking, finance, health, law firms, and many more. This wave of disruption can be found literally everywhere» states Yves Reding. According to the CEO of EBRC, digitalization echoes with specialized experts. As a matter of fact, «ICT is nowadays vital. Businesses capitalize on competencies and skills from digital transformation to cybersecurity». Beyond this general trend, called digitalization, uncertainties and cyberattack risks are growing. While tech giants offer global – and therefore standardized - solutions, EBRC focuses on clients proximity and in particular on understanding their specific needs. «EBRC’s vision is to become a trusted excellence centre in Europe» adds Yves Reding.

 

Towards the creation of a single digital European market?

If Europe remains the biggest market in terms of number of consumers, the five continents still show significant differences on values, targets and positions, notably regarding data privacy. With the recently voted GDPR (General Data Privacy Regulation), to be enforced in Europe in May 2018, «we will witness a true change of paradigm», underlines Yves Reding. He adds: «Just a few years ago, it was nearly impossible to modify or to delete personal information posted on the Internet. The right to be forgotten, now imposed by the EU, is a major modification, moreover as the GDPR renders compulsory the user’s explicit agreement for the management of its personal data.» Yet, there is still no single European digital market. Yves Reding also perceives the discussions around the Cloud Initiative as crucial, as it aims to see the emergence of European players who share the same values and who highlight data as the “new oil” which is currently not being valued and used enough in Europe.

«A main objective for the EU, as it does not only concern politics and culture, but also macroeconomics» analyzes the CEO of EBRC. Since its creation 17 years ago, his company focuses on data protection and capitalizes on its European values. «With more than 400 clients all over the world, EBRC’s wingspan is huge, yet our operations centre remains located in Luxembourg. We have therefore chosen a strategy of external growth, and have been seeking for partners sharing a common European vision, and the same views on sustainable development and human capital. In this context our first partner is Digora» explains Yves Reding. The French company’s headquarters is located in Strasbourg, with offices in Paris, Lille, Rennes, Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux and is also present in Rabat (Morocco) and in Luxembourg.

 

Mastering data, the key to success

«Efficient collection and management of data is vital for companies, as it is the foundation of databases supporting applications. Databases are hypersensitive and thus must be secured. Therefore, adequate organization and infrastructures have to be offered to our clients, so that they may use it and get the added value from data» highlights Yves Reding. Thanks to a partnership with a data management specialist such as Digora, ERBC considerably reinforces its offer and adds new local duly certified competencies. It also contributes to the enhancement of the specific services offered by the EBRC Luxembourg brand. Big Data, the Internet of Things and the advent of Artificial Intelligence are the many markets opening to this strategic alliance, whether it regards their data storage, data processing and data protection. Furthermore, considering the multiplication of cyberattacks, data management is crucial more than ever.

«Nowadays, the real added value is the proximity and the relationship with the client, in order to fully integrate and understand its business and its main challenges. To get there, it is necessary to hire new profiles with new skills, and not only technological ones» underlines Yves Reding. In an ever-changing market, it can be challenging to anticipate these transformations. According to the CEO of EBRC, «we need to be curious, proactive and to demonstrate an analytical spirit to listen to the market in order to catch new opportunities». His wish? Being the only player able to serve the client thanks to these internal skills, but also through partnerships such as the one signed with Digora.

 

Luxembourg: leading the way to data protection

According to Yves Reding, the future of digitalization lies in capitalizing on this know-how and in delivering IT services with agility. «I believe it is important to benefit from skills within our country. Luxembourg remains a strong financial place – ranked number 1 in the euro zone and number 2, right after the United States, when it comes to investment funds – and the ICT sector strongly depends on it» analyses Yves Reding. Luxembourg’s recognition has been established thanks to its ICT expertise dedicated to the European institutions, the banking industry and many more sectors. Hence, to maintain a relevant attraction, it is crucial to keep these forefront ICT centres in the Grand Duchy: «Luxembourg is at a turning point and must use its strengths: its financial sector, its creativity, its ability to legislate in a short period of time, and mostly its expertise in dealing with sensitive and confidential data».

In this transition period at the dawn of the digital era, we still have an edge: the Luxembourgish know-how in data confidentiality, data protection and security. In today’s digital world, which country could better prevent and manage risks than Luxembourg?

 

Alexandre Keilmann

This article was already published in BEAST Magazine #7 / www.beastmagazine.lu