Information Technology: Towards a permanent state of emergency?

According to the Gartner study published in February 2017, digitalisation is among the top 3 priorities in half of all companies. It will be supported by significant investments in new tools and services to remain competitive. According to the same study, 30% of funding will be allocated to measures supporting digitalisation. At the same time, this transformation is accompanied by an increase in security budgets for 60% of companies, whereas they decrease in only 3%.

More than ever before, companies are faced with the imperative of adaptation and performance related to the digital economy, and in particular the mass migration of data to the Cloud, while having to deal with the issue of the security of their information. By making cybersecurity a key success factor in their transformation, companies are reaching digital maturity.

Security, the cornerstone of the digital transformation

The past few months have shown that cyberattacks are occurring in increasingly frequent waves with disastrous financial and organisational consequences for companies that are unprepared. The latest attacks target the same flaws and weaknesses that affect businesses of all sizes, proving thereby that fundamental work in terms of security strategy still remains to be done. Reacting and containing damage is no longer enough, we have to prepare ourselves based on the model: identify, protect, detect, respond and recover.

Yet, companies are still at a big disadvantage. According to CIOs, the obstacles to achieving their goals in terms of security include a lack of talents in 37% of companies, and the absence of best practices and organisation in 19% of them (Gartner February 2017).

The GDPR: a state of emergency inside companies

Furthermore, the regulatory context is evolving with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will enter into force in May 2018. This European regulation deeply modifies the processing chain for personal data. Ten months before the deadline, companies are still at the stage of creating inventories. The company's functional entities such as marketing, sales and human resources, which are the most data-intensive, will have to comply with the regulation in record time.

It will take a new form of digital companies with the necessary culture and skills to be able to support this transition. This will involve setting up operational and control processes to ensure the security and quality of the service. Similarly, outsourcing will only take place towards cloud services that respect by design all the constraints in terms of security and regulation.

The protection and management of sensitive information are major challenges in the 21st century. Combining safety and flexibility is a priority. And this happens at the risk of entering a spiralling and permanent state of emergency that could reduce the agility of companies, their capacity to innovate and thus threaten their survival.


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