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The sports industry is the poster child of what it takes to encapsulate digital-transformation success. After all, these organizations have a business to run, a team to manage, and fans to protect, which results in the consumerization of information technology, security issues for customers, and analytics for a competitive edge.

Data center backup and recovery solutions company Acronis International GmbH has moved into the sports market with success, assisting teams with software for backup, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share and data access.

“We have 40 teams now that are using our technology for competitive advantage on the field,” said Dan Havens (pictured), chief growth officer of Acronis. “We got triple-digit growth in the sporting category.”

Havens spoke with John Furrier (@furrier), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Acronis Global Cyber Summit event in Miami Beach, Florida. They discussed the sports industry, the digital transformation, and data protection and recovery (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

Sports industry embraces digital transformation

What are the key digital transformation takeaways from the sports industry? Sports teams are looking for competitive advantage, according to Havens. They also have a lot of data they are working with: fan data, system data, ticket data. In baseball, they’re studying every single pitch a pitcher’s ever thrown. They have video on everything, according to Havens.

“This is heavy-lift data … so a place to put it can save money,” Havens said. “A place to protect it, a place to access it so that all of my scouts that are out in the field with a mobile device have the ability to upload or evaluate a player while they’re out, still on the field somewhere, maybe in another country.”

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Another crucial component is artificial intelligence. Now a sports franchise can analyze data with machine learning, and Acronis works with baseball teams and car racing teams alike that are using data to become more competitive. But AI comes into play with data security and protection, which are also a huge issue within the sports industry.

“I have … two that are actually rolling out … facial recognition just for security of fans entering their stadium,” Havens explained. “So they’re taking the ownership of the safety of their fans to a level of doing visual or facial recognition coming into their stadium. They owe their fans a safe experience.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Acronis Global Cyber Summit event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Acronis Global Cyber Summit. Neither Acronis International GmbH, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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