Organizations Must Invest in Professionals Needed to Ensure Successful Digital Transformation
As technology becomes an increasingly essential driver of business success for enterprises around the world, determining how to effectively and securely pursue digital transformation is of critical importance. Organizations must strike the appropriate balance of proactively seeking to deploy new and emerging technologies while still taking care to address the new risks and threats that these technologies may introduce.
Organizations across the world are understandably eager to capitalize on new technologies capable of enabling the digital transformation needed to thrive in today’s global economy. While embracing innovation and investing accordingly is an admirable approach, enterprise leaders must adopt a holistic mindset before calculating the best way for their organizations to transform.
As a starting point, organizations pursuing digital transformation should evaluate their business data and their customer data, and make sure they have the right talent in their organizations to securely leverage the resulting opportunities. That includes highly skilled and well-trained governance, risk management, audit and cybersecurity professionals. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can scale up their basic security services by going to managed security services, while large enterprises can continue to build talent and enhance their technology governance.
This is a critical step for which organizations cannot afford to take shortcuts. Deploying new technologies without the appropriate controls in place – and the personnel who know how to configure, implement and evaluate them – can result in unforeseen security and compliance risks that would leave the enterprise in damage control, rather than moving forward on its intended path of digital transformation.
By no means should these considerations deter enterprises from pursuing digital transformation. There is an exciting array of new and emerging technologies that organizations can leverage for business impact. ISACA’s new research on digital transformation shows big data analytics as the leading technology that respondents view as being capable of delivering transformational value to organizations. Data analytics provides a prime example of how organizations must be conscientious in determining how to integrate technology into their business.
Many people understand the benefits of big data analytics, but not necessarily the risks and regulatory requirements. Potential challenges include the data used being invalid and leading to false conclusions, as well as an increasingly complicated regulatory landscape for data privacy around the world (including the coming enforcement of GDPR). Conducting pilot tests and investing in research and development are important steps that can prevent major difficulties from arising.
While the vast majority of respondents in ISACA’s digital transformation research are concerned about the risk of deploying IoT devices, connected devices are here to stay, so organizations should identify the potential business benefits, the level of risk to their organization and work toward strategies for mitigating risks to acceptable levels. Organizations should evaluate the maturity level of new technologies on a quarterly basis, especially for fast-moving areas like IoT, to make sure they are well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities.
Ultimately, organizations with digitally literate leadership will be best positioned to succeed in their digital transformation journeys. However, only slightly more than half of global respondents (53%) expressed confidence that their organization’s leadership is digitally literate, and in Latin America, only four in 10 organizations were said to have digitally literate leadership. This is a concern because the data shows that organizations with less digitally literate leaders are less likely to explore and implement emerging technologies.
Those organizations that have begun their digital transformation journeys are understandably energized. Enterprise leaders talk of digital transformation in terms such as “a key driver of our strategy,” and an opportunity to “leapfrog and improve the customer experience.”
Today’s enterprises cannot thrive when tethered to outmoded business models. Organizational leaders would be well-served to familiarize themselves with the technology-driven opportunities that exist to strengthen their enterprise’s position in the marketplace and provide the resources and direction needed to set their organization on a prosperous path of digital transformation.