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The Digital Transformation Mandate

According to Oracle, the number one strategic priority for CIOs is to “Lead your company’s digital transformation, don’t just facilitate it.”

We live in the information age today, and as capabilities evolve with advances in technology, communication channels and collaboration, innovation and speed are critical. Organizations are driven by consumerization and the need to put relevant data and information decisions in the hands of consumers in real time.

A hundred years ago, inventors leveraged capability from the industrial revolution to create automobiles from raw iron, wood and rubber. In today’s information age, entrepreneurs use a new set of building blocks to deliver value: information, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), micro services and open APIs that can deliver capability continuously whenever and wherever it is needed. For consumers:

  • No need to buy a newspaper - news comes to you in real time via smartphone or email
  • No need to develop a photo and mail it - it’s on social media in minutes
  • No need for a Wealth Advisor; a robo-adviser is waiting to provide you with guidance
  • No need to go to the store - you can shop without even logging on to a computer with voice recognition technology in your home
  • If you actually go to the store, ads and coupons pop up on your phone as you enter

Digital transformation is an evolution of business and organizational models to focus on fully leveraging evolving data analytics and pervasive technologies to deliver capabilities where and how the customer can best realize value.

An effective digital transformation can significantly improve a company’s speed to market and improve user productivity while delivering enhanced customer value. A digital transformation strategy doesn’t start with the end in mind; it’s a strategy that assumes continuous innovation and adaptation of products, services and delivery channels.

For new companies, the barrier to entry is very low as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platforms as a service (PaaS) enable very rapid deployment of new capabilities in the cloud. For those in a CISO or similar role, enabling your organization’s adoption of new business models and new technologies is the new norm, and is a base requirement for your role.

So what can CISOs do to enable their organizations to leverage the latest technology and business models of today? Invest in security platforms that are highly flexible and scalable. To compete today, collaboration needs to happen in real time from across the globe, and with individuals that may or may not be part of your organization. Security in such a fast-paced, innovative environment needs to just work, without substantial overhead and without user friction. Security solutions that interfere with rapid business development will be eliminated.

What are the properties of such security solutions? Here are some core required capabilities that will help enable your organization to innovate and be a leader, not a laggard.

  1. Cloud First - As rapid advances are more often cloud-based, your security platforms should be cloud-native.
  2. Integration - Delivering new capability is all about the integration of ideas, applications and data platforms that work from any device, anywhere in the world. Your security platforms need to be able to protect any application, anywhere, and feed intelligence to existing tools.
  3. Speed - With the barrier to entry being so low for new startups, time to market is more important than ever, so security solutions need to be able to move at the speed of business. Protecting a new SaaS application should take minutes, not weeks or months.
  4. Faster Value from Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) - As organizations acquire new entities, how quickly the capabilities of those entities are leveraged by the acquirer often determines the perceived success or failure of that effort in the marketplace. Security tools should help drive faster value from M&A and not get in the way of realizing the desired benefits.
  5. Lower Cost - CISOs can’t afford to add solutions that increase demands on their staff or drive up cost for the organization. Security solutions need to be easy to adopt by users, and easy to manage by security teams. Tools that can’t lower TCO won’t survive.

“In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” - Charles Darwin

To survive and succeed in the age of information, organizations need to adapt faster than ever before and they need security and privacy platforms that can protect at the speed of business. CISOs, give your business leaders the gift of speed. Enable the rapid digital transformations necessary for business innovation and success with a security platform that moves as fast as they do.

Doug Copley

Principal Security Strategist

Doug Copley is a Principal Security Strategist with Duo Security. A former CISO in Healthcare and Chief Privacy Officer in Financial Services, Doug is a 25 years veteran of IT, information security and data privacy. Doug is a passionate advocate and evangelist for effective information security and data privacy risk management for both organizations and individuals. Doug is the co-founder and past Chairman of the Michigan Healthcare Cybersecurity Council and remains active in various industry activities and workgroups. Doug can frequently be found speaking or blogging on information security, data privacy and leadership topics for everyone’s benefit.