Digital Transformation Offers Opportunities...
...But be Sure to Protect Your Data
The term digital transformation represents today’s continuous proliferation of digital technologies, and it also points to the speed with which they are being integrated into every area of activity. On a global scale, this steady acceleration is remaking human society, strongly affecting the ways we do business.
In this new environment, virtually all operations are evolving, not only to add new capabilities but also to interact with other digital functions, many of which have not been automated before. Advances range from ever more sophisticated and capable IT, hyper-convergence, massive storage, smart devices, cyber currencies, and tech-enabled commerce, as well as countless related applications that enhance and quicken existing processes. Many of these innovations come under the heading of the Internet of Things.
More than ever before, staying abreast of fast-breaking progress is not only necessary for companies that hope to thrive in a changing environment, but it is also vital to the creation of value for customers.
As technology picks up speed, the need to understand and make use of new tools and techniques grows at the same pace. Equally important is the protection of data the lifeblood of every company in the face of constant change.
Any technical alteration to a company’s systems might create an unanticipated breach that threatens critical data, either through the introduction of errors or by cyber-attacks. In the digital transformation era, data protection becomes more important and challenging than at any time in the past.
It also entails investment, but costs can be held down when companies take the time and effort to stay informed and proactive.
Managing digital transformation
This is a complex process that demands diligent attention and skillful execution. Following are key steps.
- Create a central planning document that sets concrete goals on both strategic and tactical levels. Stick with the plan, making alterations as needed.
- Inventory your hardware and software to be certain you completely understand your technical position. Do not overlook peripherals and informally introduced items such as employees’ personal devices.
- Find out what digital-transformation products and services are available, determining how they might fit into your business and support your goals.
- To the extent possible, make the project an all-employee initiative. Include your users and IT staff in planning, implementation, maintenance, and security. They know a lot about what works and what doesn’t and, most importantly, they know how to fulfill their internal customers’ requirements.
- Bring your external consultants on board early, with an on-site presence if possible. This will help get the best and fastest results, streamline the overall digital transformation effort, and avoid dead-end efforts.
- When setting priorities, place agility ahead of speed. This kind of project demands the ability to turn on a dime and quickly replace less-effective solutions.
Protecting your data in the new environment
For some time, businesses have been besieged by cyber-criminals, with technical breakdowns and human error adding to the potential damage. Gartner research indicates that 84% of organizations have been successfully attacked. Over 90% have been damaged by technical disruptions, with more than half experiencing four or more such events, and just under 40% having five or more. On top of these challenges, the addition of more devices and software raises new problems.
To a great extent, existing data protection and disaster recovery solutions will be sufficient to cope with the new challenges. In most cases that is true, but the need to implement new or revised data protection measures is inevitable.
The first step is to review your current capabilities in the areas of data protection, data retention, and disaster recovery. Be sure to identify potential threats posed by the additions of digital transformation elements.
Take a fresh look at your data. Is it what you will need in the foreseeable future? As digital transformation broadens your technical options, there will be opportunities to expand and refine your data, to sharpen your operations, and raise the value you offer your customers. These initiatives are sure to alter your landscape.
It is likely that over time, new compliance issues might arise. One reason is that digital transformation could lead to the gathering and usage of more data, which could bring about new requirements.
Digital transformation means more than simply the addition of technology and cleverer gadgets. We are entering new territory in which understanding and accommodating the new environment will be competitive advantages in every business.
Now is the time to prepare.
To find out more about digital transformation and how to take best advantage of its benefits and avoid its pitfalls, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1 877 834 3684.