Three Tips for Santa’s Successful Data Journey this Christmas

Michael Bishop

Regional Counsel (APAC)


He’s making a list and checking it twice…electronically, that is. Santa’s data volumes have grown exponentially through the years. From collecting, storing and disclosing vast amounts of electronic data such as names, addresses, contact details to itemized wish lists, Santa continues to run a sophisticated global operation. Adopting a new digital, cloud-enabled reality is key to ensuring success amidst this complex data landscape.

Three Tips for Santa’s Successful Data Journey this Christmas

Although Santa’s headquarters are in the North Pole, his sophisticated global operations comprise of an extensive workforce of dedicated elves and reindeer, frantically working towards the critical Delivery Day in this festive season.

Here are three top tips for Santa and his team to ensure a successful data journey this Christmas:

1.Keeping a broad overview of the business approach

As Santa’s data volumes grow and more applications for his operations move to the cloud, he requires an efficient way to manage his data, storage hardware and virtual infrastructure. It is important for Santa to put in place a comprehensive data management plan that manages the flow of data throughout its life cycle: from creation and initial storage of naughty or nice lists, to the time when presents are delivered and data becomes obsolete and is deleted.

The amount of data collected is staggering. By 2020, according to IDC, the amount of high-value data worth analysing will double and 60% of information delivered to decision makers will be actionable1. And Santa is no exception. As part of any overall business approach to data management, Santa should consider holding workshops with key stakeholders across the business, from the elves in the development, logistics and marketing teams to the reindeer in the shipping and delivery team. A holistic approach to approaching data is required. From understanding how Santa’s global operation collects, prioritises, discloses, stores, accesses and destroys personal information data, there needs to be an overall data management approach, so as to minimise risks of missed deliveries or disappointed children across the world.

2.Put in place security and preventative measures

As data becomes increasingly important to Santa’s operations, so does security and encryption of both structured and unstructured data. For compliance, operational and reputational reasons, Santa should deploy technologies and strategies to protect key data from a variety of Christmas hazards. For example – with Santa increasingly being impersonated around the globe, it is just a matter of time before he becomes a victim of identity theft. To prevent fraudsters and impersonators, Santa needs to ensure that all data is kept safe.

3.Ensure business continuity with a modern Disaster Recovery plan

There’s no downtime, even for Santa. By 2020, according to Gartner, 30% of organizations will leverage backup for more than just operational recovery; such as disaster recovery, test/development, DevOps, etc., up from less than 10% at the beginning of 20162. Whether it is for Santa’s global delivery operations to a smaller business outfit, organizations are increasingly relying on their data and IT systems to operate on and service their clients.

Having a modern disaster recovery approach is not an option, it is a necessity. Even if there is human error (Santa deletes his Master List by accident), a natural disaster (heavy snows in the North Pole), or a malicious attack (hackers, suspected to have been sponsored by the Grinch), presents need to get delivered on 25th December every year.

Like any other organization, there is no rest for Santa and his team. In order to keep up in the new digital economy with continuous digital advancements, Santa will need to regroup and refresh his data infrastructure every year. With the right data management strategy, Santa can ensure that he runs a successful Christmas operation every year, and presents are always delivered to the right children, on time and without fail.