FEATURE: 2020, THE CIO’S PRIORITY
Security and innovation
partly due to recent well-publicised local
Cybersecurity must keep pace with all
these changes and become reflective
of the completely connected business
environment. This means CIOs will have
to focus on adopting an intrinsic security
approach as Digital Transformation
initiatives start maturing.
This is not only about having network
edge protection from the outside, but an
integrated cybersecurity strategy throughout
the IT infrastructure. It will factor in every
connected device, every data access point,
as well as the link between the organisation
and the cloud provider(s).
Providing the peace of mind that data is
protected will further enable the CIO to
examine other innovative ways of unlocking
business value. The expectation is that
things such as Machine Learning, Artificial
Intelligence and Blockchain will finally gain
the momentum needed to change Digital
Transformation initiatives in the country.
The coming months will be eventful for
CIOs irrespective of industry sector they are
working in. Becoming digitally empowered
and linking that to solid business principles
will grow the competitive environment and
position organisations for continued growth.
INDI SIRINIWASA, VP
AT TREND MICRO SUB
Digital Transformation has become a
customer experience strategy as much as it
signifies an evolution that requires
organisations to embrace more innovative
We have also seen Artificial Intelligence (AI)
having a big impact on the cybersecurity
industry. This technology empowers users
to more proactively detect attack surfaces.
AI and Machine Learning are becoming
increasingly prevalent in cybersecurity
solutions. And while it is still early days, their
effectiveness will grow as the technology
becomes more mature.
Indi Siriniwasa, VP at Trend Micro Sub
technologies. Driving this change is the
CIO who must ensure business operations
more accurately reflect changing
To do this, data needs to be leveraged in new
ways to not only extract its maximum value
but also identify opportunities for growth.
Research shows that more than 40% of all
data analytics projects will relate to customer
experience by 2020. Furthermore, two-thirds
of these initiatives will use IT by 2022, up
from half in 2017.
Consequently, business operations must
become digital if they are to operate
efficiently and be quickly available to serve
customer demands. This requires CIOs to
understand what is needed to successfully
digitise their organisational environment
while not forgetting the all-important
security aspects during this transition.
AI has also impacted on how users interact
with their devices and data. Chat bots
and voice assistants are common practice
while smart home speakers will be a trend
to watch in the coming months. All these
contribute to the level of user sophistication
in the digital environment.
Fundamentally, a business must embrace
this cultural shift while being cognisant of
keeping data safe. CIOs must therefore walk
a tightrope between leveraging AI and other
technologies, delivering shareholder value,
and not opening data up to compromise.
However, this is essential if they are to
future-proof their businesses.
Gone with tradition
Giving further impetus to adopting more
sophisticated cybersecurity solutions and
analysing data more effectively, is how the
traditional ways of working have changed.
Many companies are shifting from an
on-site ‘nine–five’ approach into one that
sees employees work from anywhere and
at any time.
Security imperative Cybersecurity policies must therefore
reflect how these increasingly mobile
ways to access the corporate back-end is
safeguarded. From protecting the mobile
devices of employees to being able to
remotely wipe data should a device get
lost or stolen are just two examples of the
business basics that are required in the
However, with data driving decision-making
in businesses, traditional cyber-defences are
no longer good enough. The focus simply
cannot remain only around protecting end
points, but rather integrating cybersecurity
in all aspects of the business. Fortunately,
corporate culture around this is maturing The constrained way of working is being
replaced with a more agile framework
where business operations must move
faster than ever. CIOs will be the glue that
link the organisational strategy with a
more sophisticated, technology-led,
mobile environment. n
If data is compromised, the company faces
not only significant financial damage, but
also a loss in customer’s confidence in the
brand. In an ultra-competitive environment,
this could prove to be crippling.