The role of data and technology in unlocking interoperability

In many of its use cases, achieving interoperability will require data, technology and people working together to achieve outcomes.

Data and technology can help bring together disparate systems, but creating a common platform is more complex. For systems to become interoperable, data and technology need to be successfully managed, protected, structured and available to the various user groups. Each step will come with its own challenges and risks.

Successfully Managing Data

Successful data management means collecting, cleaning, aggregating, structuring and anonymising organisational data. It involves key steps such as:

  1. Data governance
  2. Data quality management
  3. Data integration
  4. Security and privacy
  5. Data storage
  6. Analytics and insights
  7. Continuous monitoring and improvement.

Effective data management will unlock the immediate benefits of interoperability, such as smarter real-time decision-making, streamlined information sharing, asset tracking and resource management. It will assist those who interact with, manage, and maintain the complex networks of today and in the future.

Moreover, as each organisation opens, shares and integrates data into the broader IoT ecosystem, this will empower the entire transport industry to achieve its full potential. We will see further innovations and technological advancements, including new services to improve customer journeys, modern asset-management practices—such as predictive maintenance, improved planning, responses to disruptions— and giving greater transparency and consistency over network operations. This, in turn, will improve safety.

Navigating Emerging Cyber Security Risks

With data and technology integral to interoperability, the ever-growing number of IoT-powered devices will leave organisations vulnerable to cyber threats. Navigating cyber risk in critical infrastructure will be essential to safeguarding the integrity of vital systems and protecting the privacy and safety of customers.

To counter risks, organisations will need to build many layers of protection and detection into the design and operations of their various systems and will need to utilise a wide selection of products and services developed by a range of different cyber security suppliers.

Organisations will need to implement a cyber security and data protection strategy that covers people, process, and technology. Such a strategy will help provide multiple levels of protection across:

  • Security: infrastructure, network, application, information, and cloud.
  • Employee awareness and security training.
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

To implement a successful cyber strategy, organisations should consider bringing in subject matter experts to establish processes and provide ongoing assistance.

In addition, organisations must also comply with several industry and international cyber security standards. These include ISO27001 & IEC62443 and state and federal legislation such as the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (SOCI Act) and relevant privacy legislation.

Want to learn more about Interoperability?

The Fast Track to a seamless, safer railway system

In this publication, we delve into the benefits and challenges that will come with interoperability, and focus on the critical role data, technology and people will play in ensuring the journey is as smooth as possible. We also explore a selection of compelling case studies, provide insight into some of the long-term opportunities interoperable rail networks will present, and offer practical guidance on the best way to make a common platform a reality.