Recently, IBM Security spotlighted the growing importance of digital transformation on our enterprise customer base. In particular, we’ve focused on the importance of IT security as a facilitator for organizations’ successful digital transformation efforts.

What Is Digital Transformation?

One thing we’ve learned is that secure digital transformation is a comprehensive topic that can mean vastly different things to different people. Let’s begin with a straightforward definition so that we’re all working from the same baseline understanding.

EMPTrust defined digital transformation as “the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society.” Simple examples of digital transformation include but are not limited to:

  • Transitioning critical IT infrastructure to the cloud and analyzing your IT performance with cloud-based analytics;
  • Using big data analytics to improve organizational metrics; and
  • Incorporating smart devices into your daily IT delivery.

Security as a Facilitator for Digital Transformation

As we’ve talked with more and more of our clients about their digital transformations, it has become clear that security is a key facilitator for successful transformation. For example, if an organization churns out a series of new mobile applications that permit users to more effectively interact with the company, the initiative will backfire if the applications are also riddled with security vulnerabilities. In plain words, digital transformation needs to be completed in a secure manner.

Balancing Business Transformation and Security Protection

We’ve also learned that line-of-business (LOB) leaders and chief information security officers (CISOs) need to work collaboratively for secure digital transformation to succeed. In short, LOB leaders want to make the digital transformation leap quickly, while the CISO wants to do so more deliberately and safely.

In our experience, LOB leaders are driven by the need to:

  • Make rapid decisions based on market demand and business opportunity.
  • Empower their consumers and foster mobile, cloud and ecosystem-based collaboration.
  • Quickly and effectively release new applications to drive their business growth.

On the flip side, CISOs are driven by the need to:

  • Assess digital exposure and overall IT risk to the organization.
  • Protect critical assets across the organization, including the company’s network, endpoints, servers and cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Comply with government regulations, industry standards and IT security best practices.

Security leaders can pull off the fine balancing act between business transformation and IT security protection by clearly communicating the risks to LOB executives in business terms that they can understand.

Share Your Secure Digital Transformation Success Story!

Our clients have taught us that secure digital transformation improves the end-client experience, keeps pace with rapidly evolving market trends and even improves their financial bottom lines.

But, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to me via email or LinkedIn to share your favorite digital transformation success story. We plan to share your most compelling digital transformation success stories (without company names, for privacy purposes) in a forthcoming blog, so stay tuned.

And, to download a complimentary copy of our Ponemon Institute study, “Bridging the Digital Transformation Divide,” click here.

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