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Security Takes Leading Role

With the “third platform” taking form, IT has an opportunity to progressively leverage security as an enabler.

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According to the CIO Survey, mobility, Web-scale IT and enterprise asset management surface as the top technology trends over the next few years. And these trends combine to serve as a core for the ongoing digital transformation known as the third platform.

Understandably, organizations embracing the third platform usher in a huge amount of potential—in both new revenue opportunities and cost savings. Of course, security plays a significant role in turning such opportunities into realities. For instance, when creating a new mobile version of an application, IT needs to first address the true enabler of any sensitive mobile app, which, of course, is security. Likewise, if users want to start leveraging web-scale technology or need to improve how quickly they can roll something out, security and business questions apply.

Fortunately, people care about security today, and front-page news is doing the business development for the security professional. As a result, IT has the ability and often the financial backing to secure infrastructure in ways it couldn’t in the past. The key going forward, however, is to recast cybersecurity as a way of enabling this digital transformation. For example, banks win or lose in the mobile app war through their user experience and their ability to do more-in-depth transactions. When IT is able to secure this environment more quickly and effectively than competitors, it automatically becomes an enabler.

While this new platform is taking hold, IT needs to seriously consider revising how it leverages security. If there are projects that are both high-risk and high-value and have the ability to accelerate the digital transformation, IT needs to place a higher priority on providing strategic security solutions for them.

Of course, this means that CISOs need to be plugged in and, ideally, contributing to their organization’s strategic direction. If they aren’t meeting regularly with the CMO and line-of-business leaders, they are missing the point entirely. CISOs need to begin incorporating the sales and go-to-market strategy into the risk management strategy.

Simply put, CISOs need to know how to use resources to become true enablers. They can be the wedge that opens up opportunities through improved ROI across the business. CISOs also need to focus on weighing risk against positive business impact. Just imagine: If IT can provide the best user experience while protecting customers far better than the competition, that message will most certainly resonate. Success is just a matter of evolving how IT looks at security’s role.

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