Security and Culture are Key to Digital Transformation

With digital business initiatives accelerating across nearly every industry, Gartner projects worldwide IT spending to reach a whopping $4.1 trillion by the end of the year. This data reflects something every forward-looking business leader already knows–digital transformation (DX) is the key to remaining competitive in 2021 and beyond.

However, to fully reap the benefits of digital transformation, organizations must first develop a solid understanding of the critical elements that enable success. So, whether it’s their first digital transformation effort or they’re riding the DX 2.0 wave, below are some action items every organization must prioritize before beginning their journey.

Empower Employees with Technology Skills

When it comes to transformation projects, most business leaders focus on how new technology will help their organizations meet specific goals, but may neglect to also assess how it might impact day-to-day operations. Through strategic planning, executives can gain a deeper understanding of not only how to use the new technology, but also how a transformation will impact business processes and those interacting with the new technology firsthand–their employees.

One of the first things to consider before launching a digital transformation initiative is the level of digital readiness within the organization. C-suite executives should ask themselves, “Is my workforce ready to adopt new digital systems and processes?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to get employees up to speed. To do so, digital leaders must clearly communicate to employees how daily operations will be impacted and upskill workers to empower them so they can leverage the new technology and processes effectively.

Furthermore, like any full-scale disruption, digital transformation requires companies to rethink their approach to everything–including security. And, while people are the most vital asset in a digital transformation project, they’re also the number one liability, making security a critical component of the upskilling process.

Establish Airtight InfoSec Best Practices

Digital transformation enables organizations to generate more data than they ever thought possible, unlocking innovation and driving intelligent operations. However, without the right security in place, large amounts of vulnerable data can lead to massive–and costly–attacks. To mitigate risk, companies must equip their employees with the knowledge necessary to improve cybersecurity hygiene and identify security threats, such as recognizing phishing emails, updating weak passwords and incorporating two-factor authentication.

Digital transformation and enhanced security measures can significantly alter most workers’ roles and responsibilities. For traditional companies that have operated the same way for years, these changes can be incredibly disruptive and challenging for employees to overcome. In this case, it’s imperative to appoint an experienced digital leader who can anticipate these challenges and support employees throughout the transformation.

By baking security into the transformation, companies can mitigate risk and ensure their strategic planning efforts (which may include competitive differentiators, proprietary information and sensitive data) are secure from the very beginning.

To validate data management, companies should consider achieving certification from an international standards association such as ISO 27000, especially those dealing with sensitive data. This not only demonstrates that the company adheres to and upholds the highest industry standards for security best practices, but also conveys the organization’s unwavering commitment to protecting customer data.

An Ongoing Battle

Those that create comprehensive plans to enhance security and digital culture before undergoing digital transformation will boost efficiency, ROI and customer experience.

However, just like digital transformation, honing employees’ digital and security expertise is not a one-time commitment; rather, it is an ongoing process. To navigate future business challenges, digital leaders must create a continuous learning environment that empowers employees to upskill and adapt to new cultural expectations, best practices and procedures.

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Kevin McCaffrey

Kevin McCaffrey is the founder and CEO of Tr3Dent, the industry’s leading provider of business ecosystem modeling software that empowers digital transformation in the enterprise. In this role, he is responsible for spearheading the company’s strategic growth worldwide and achieving its mission of enabling enterprises to plan, build and manage the complex ecosystems and business models required to deliver new digital services. A successful serial entrepreneur, McCaffrey has more than 25 years of experience in consulting and delivering enterprise solutions to communication and technology companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.    Prior to founding Tr3Dent, McCaffrey owned a successful consulting company in Cape Town, South Africa called Kiltartan Consulting, which provided keystone business analysis and program management services to telecommunications operators, operations support system (OSS)/business support system (BSS) vendors and system integrators in the African market. After moving from Cape Town to Ireland, McCaffrey founded Tr3Dent in 2014 after recognizing the massive growth in data and the inability for enterprises to organize and analyze it in meaningful ways and adapt to the challenges of digital transformation.    Throughout his career, McCaffrey held project and program manager positions with numerous organizations, including MTN Group, Cell C, Atos Origin and Intec (currently CSG International) where he rose to the position of consulting manager, responsible for the delivery of all projects for the sub-Saharan region.    McCaffrey is an active member of the TM Forum, the global industry association that drives digital transformation of the communications industry through collaboration. A business graduate from the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, McCaffrey currently resides in Galway, Ireland. 

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