Security Experts:

Three Signs You're on the Road to a Successful Digital Transformation

Cybersecurity Concerns Can Hold Back Innovation and Hinder Business Growth

If you’re a typical driver, then you think about brakes as the way to stop the car. However, race car drivers think about brakes differently. For them, brakes help cars go faster securely, giving them the confidence and control to accelerate towards the finish line. There’s a similar dynamic at play when it comes to cybersecurity.

Most C-suite leaders think about cybersecurity as a way to stop threats. But in today’s intensely competitive digital economy they should be thinking about cybersecurity as a strategic advantage that can provide the confidence to move quickly, and take advantage of new opportunities that set them apart from their competition.

The prevailing focus on threats isn’t surprising due to the dynamic threat landscape.  According to PwC’s 2016 Global State of Information Security Survey, 38 percent more incidents were detected in 2015 than in 2014 and theft of “hard” intellectual property increased 56 percent. We must continue to work diligently to protect valuable data and assets while increasing business uptime to preserve business reputation. But to achieve growth, the biggest opportunity comes from building cybersecurity into the foundation of your digital strategies so you can confidently move forward and capture value for your organization. Organizations that have doubts about their cybersecurity capabilities delay important digital initiatives and risk falling behind.

How can you tell if your organization is well-positioned to take advantage of the tangible growth that digital transformation makes possible? You know you’re on the road to successful digital transformation if:

1. You recognize that cybersecurity concerns can hold back innovation and hinder growth. In fact, these concerns have a cost that you can quantify by looking at the digital value at stake – the value organizations leave on the table by ceding digital innovation to more nimble competitors. Digital value at stake is based on two components: entirely new sources of value emanating from digital investments and innovations, and value shifting among organizations based on their ability, or inability, to harness digital capabilities.

2. As a business leader, you are much more engaged in cybersecurity issues than your typical peers. The CEO, corporate board, and other key stakeholders likely hold you responsible for cybersecurity issues, even if you don’t hold an IT or technical role. That’s because the success of digital programs that are shaping the future of the business, is predicated upon strong security practices. As business leaders develop digital initiatives they proactively collaborate with IT to ensure that security is included in plans from the earliest stages.

3. You believe your organization is prepared to address cybersecurity challenges in three key digital capabilities – Big data/analytics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These capabilities are critical to digital growth strategies that depend on connectivity. The level of confidence you have in incorporating these digital technologies into your business processes and offerings allows you to accelerate innovation and time-to-market and capture a greater share of digital value at stake.

The digital era is here. Those who embrace it will have a competitive edge, but not without a secure foundation that allows innovation with speed and confidence. If your organization understands the value of cybersecurity to digital programs and is actively building cybersecurity into business process right from the start, then you will be able to securely accelerate on your digital transformation journey.

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Ashley Arbuckle, Cisco’s VP of Security Services, is responsible for the oversight and global delivery of the Cisco portfolio of Advisory, Implementation, and Managed Services, bringing a pragmatic approach to helping Cisco’s clients solve their most complex security challenges. Arbuckle started his career in security consulting at PwC working with Fortune 500 customers. After PwC he joined PepsiCo where he led enterprise security and the strategic planning process for PepsiCo’s IT budget of over $2 billion. He has a BBA in MIS and Accounting from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, is a CPA, and holds a CISSP and CISM.