No one concern fits all in the security landscape, but CIOs share many of the common concerns about enterprise security, workforce automation, and customer retention for the long haul.
The global pandemic has no clear end in sight with remote work mandates, business shutdowns, followed by a surge in cyber-attacks, business strategy disturbance, and an uncertain business future.
CIOs are facing a tremendous amount of pressure of different types, not to mention concerns raised by the reactive nature of the COVID crisis. But, the fact is, that they’re still stuck in a whack-a-mole environment, and it’s really challenging to survive through this.
The number of challenges that companies are facing, are proportionate to the degree of digital maturity that the company has witnessed during the pandemic. For a brand primarily with a cloud based infrastructure, it’s much easier to move people to remote working.
A large majority of companies are in the midst of essentially transforming their entire operating model, in order to re-emerge and modify the business to continue operations with remote working culture. But, such transformation has escalated many major concerns:
During the current uncertainty, cybersecurity topped the list of IT leaders’ challenges. They’re not just concerned about external threats, but now it’s the complexity of both modern business models and new digital channels that they weren’t prepared for, as well as re-architecting their entire mobile work. Malware and phishing threats, amongst others, have gone up exponentially.
With the attack surface expanding up to reach workers’ home network, everybody’s devices – the responsibility on the CISOs have also increased. And, it remains the shared responsibility of the employees to understand how to mitigate the threats, so they don’t inadvertently put themselves or the company at risk.
Digital strategy gaps
Even organizations that were well on their way to digital maturity are now struggling to find vital gaps in the existing digital strategies. Many law firms that promptly moved to remote work, for instance, found that critical files were still locked away in office file cabinets. Or digital trade processes that were still relying on one key process, for a courier to go across borders with paperwork to complete transactions.
The transition to remote work went smoothly for some, but for few, the quick transition has exposed several unforeseen process gaps.
New customer acquisition channels
Companies must transform to survive the crisis, and the focus should be on their application portfolios. With the right set of applications and services to engage the employees and customers, CIOs need to prioritize infrastructure, architecture, and service delivery, models.
CIOs operating in essential businesses focus on the quickest recovery possible, so they won’t experiment in new channels but instead commit to the existing digital channels they’ve been working on. They are looking to protect their customers from those surge companies that are thriving to invest in new markets. The CIOs need to primarily focus on customer-centricity, with a digital-first mindset, backed by the resiliency and business continuity.
AI and automation
AI and automation have been on the radar for years, but the pandemic has accelerated the adoption efforts, as companies struggle to continue production regardless of employee absence.
Companies that have moved beyond piloting of automation deployments, will find it easy to fight and survive, while there will be a significant drop for firms that hadn’t reached small-scale adoption.
Automation adoption can reduce the divide between winners and losers for successful business operations.
The future of businesses
CIOs need to bridge both the new and the old worlds together, going forward. Customers will expect digital experiences that could really help them move to the new normal seamlessly. They should expect a long-term hybrid workforce, with a large majority of employees working remotely full time, and others returning to the workplace in phases.
The main struggle for CISOs is to pivot through the existing market uncertainty – to strategize futuristically in order to mitigate losses and maximize ROI.