Cybersecurity in digital business emerges as the focal point of CIO strategy

Communications connectivity September 1, 2000
Sunil Gupta, president and chief operating officer of Paladion Networks, says our conversations and social interactions have moved largely onto a digital platform.

Most of our shopping is done through clicks and taps on an app or a website. Information seeking, service provision and consumption, financial transactions, even business functioning – these are but a few of the various aspects that are going digital.

This is where a Chief Information Office, or a CIO, comes into picture. Not only are they playing an important role in keeping the business infrastructure up and running, but are also functioning as enablers and facilitators of the transition to more technologically-equipped systems. Equipped with knowledge of the latest trends and technological advancements, CIOs can help organisations unlock greater business benefits by integrating digital capabilities such as cloud, big data, mobile, and social media.

So what are the IT strategies that the new-age CIOs need to look into? Listed below are a few tips that can help in bringing about beneficial digital transformation for organisations:

Mobility to lead the way: India is currently home to the second largest smartphone user base in the world. Given the rate at which the digital adoption is increasing, the country is pegged to have more than 700 million smartphone users by the end of this decade. This shift towards smarter digital devices is something that CIOs must pay a great deal of attention to. Businesses, be it physical or virtual, must tap into the growing demand for anytime, anywhere accessibility of services by creating consumer-centric apps that engage users and provide them with highly relevant solutions.

Creation of an integrated digital business strategy: Many organisations used to believe their IT function to be few levels detached from their business strategy. The ever-growing involvement of technology with day-to-day life, however, has shifted that position. With IT fast becoming integral to an organisation’s functioning, CIOs need to assume a more prominent role in the broader business strategy. Technology has immense scope to herald new business innovations and services, which can unlock new revenue streams for businesses whilst bolstering the existing ones.

The need for greater agility: With the consumer demands and requirements evolving with time, enterprises need to keep pace with the changes in the business environment in order to survive and grow. This quest for greater consumer relevance is something that a CIO can help an organisation with. By creating and deploying highly flexible systems across diverse functions, CIOs can help businesses to react better to consumer feedback and market trends, and rollout swift enhancements and real-time improvements in order to achieve a much higher level of accuracy.

Using IT-based tools to enhance operations and add more value to business: Developments such as cloud computing, big data analytics and social media integrations are allowing businesses to be more proactive and flexible. Product development cycles are greatly reduced, market analysis has become more impactful, and the decision-making process is more data-driven. This allows enterprises to attain greater functionality by identifying what functions are performing to optimum capability, what new verticals are generating the most traction, and what consumers actually want.

Making cybersecurity the focal point of the IT strategy: While technology has unlocked more opportunities for businesses, it has also given cybercriminals the tools to create mayhem. In order to guard their organisations against cyber threats, CIOs need to make security the focal point of all their IT strategies. Adopting a digital business framework even for cybersecurity that allows CIOs to have a single, unified and real time visibility into risks and protection will ensure success of new IT strategy.

Sunil Gupta, president and chief operating officer of Paladion Networks

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