Digital Transformation and Security Culture

Francois Rodriguez, CMO, Adeya

Francois Rodriguez, CMO, Adeya

As the generational shift from Baby Boomers to Millennials and Generation Z grips our workforce, our communication patterns are changing. In 2010, Plantronics’ How We Work study proclaimed that 83% of respondents considered email to be “critical to (their) overall success and productivity.” Only 38% thought the same about messaging. By 2016, we were 13% more likely to check our SMS and chat applications first thing in the morning than our email according to Deloitte.

For governments and enterprises, embracing this technologically driven change promises increased efficiency, additional revenue streams, engaged customers, and happier employees. At least, that’s what the marketers promise. In reality, digital transformation requires altering the organization’s overall strategy, as well as changing their workplace culture. Given the intense pressures to remain competitive in their given market and attract and retain new employees without alienating retiring Baby Boomers, cybersecurity mistakes will happen.

For example, on 4 July 2018, Singapore’s SingHealth, whose hospitals include the world-renowned Singapore General Health, discovered a data breach involving the personal and medical data of about 160,000 patients. Over the course of twenty-two hearings, details emerged that inadequate employee training, weak passwords, and non-enforcement of two-factor authentication for administrators were all significant contributors to the incident. SingHealth’s digital security culture exacerbated a bad situation.

For governments and enterprises in regions focused on overcoming the digital divide, adopting mobile-first technologies presents a unique opportunity to build a robust digital security culture by focusing on critical factors during the digital transformation and eliminating shadow IT before it gains a foothold in their workplace.

Mobile-First Digital Transformation Critical Factors

Mobile-first digital transformation requires radical changes in how you interact with your employees, customers, and partners. Over time, these interactions will create new expectations, including quicker customer service responses. While meeting and exceeding these expectations, your organization will improve its efficiency and explore new business models.

Understand why digital transformations fail.

1. Failure to document and communicate.

According to Insight’s “The Challenge of Change: IT in Transition,” 62% of organizations surveyed failed to document and communicate their overall IT strategy. Documenting a strategy is meaningless if half of your organization doesn’t even know you have one.

2. Ignoring technological change.

Realigning skillsets, acquiring new skills, and reorganizing business units, including creating new roles and responsibilities, are all parts of achieving digital transformation. However, the keyword here is “digital.” New skills are only useful if they’re applied. You can only use them if you also have the technology.

3. Not rising to challenges.

Over half of the organization’s surveyed by Insight stalled or abandoned an IT transformation initiative after they encountered difficulties. Like any change, digital transformation requires leadership, communication, collaboration, open-mindedness, and—above all—commitment. When an organization walks away from a digital transformation initiative, they just wasted their time and money.

Foster a Sense of Urgency and Purpose

Before investing in mobile-first digital transformation, hold a meeting with your stakeholders. Keep in mind that digital transformation stakeholders include whoever will use the system most often like analysts, secretaries, and help desk personnel. They are your advocates.

Together, create a story about your initiative, why you’re doing it, and how it will change things. Then, imagine what your work lives might look like after it’s successful.

As a word of warning, do not fall into the urgency equals speed trap. You do not want immediate change that reverts to the status quo after three months. You want a gradual change that becomes part of your organization’s culture. Remember, these changes are only urgent because they will improve your operations.

Keep Employees Engaged

Management must lead from the front by incorporating the new technology into their daily workflow and using it to communicate and collaborate with others throughout the organization.

Throughout the adoption period, management should strive to remember that creating lasting change takes time. Management’s job is to communicate the overall vision to their employees. Employee resistance means that management needs to keep telling the story.

If an employee or manager objects to the new system, start by asking them why. If you cannot address their concerns, reassign them to a less critical role. Organizations that do not reassign objectors are less likely to succeed with their digital transformation.

Include New Technology in Standard Operating Procedures

Before adopting any new technology, review your standard operating procedures, and identify the following:

1. outdated procedures the new technology replaces,
2. possible substitutions like exchanging documents via a cloud drive instead of email, and
3. new procedures that weren’t possible using old technology.
4. When in doubt about items one or three, ask a secretary or customer service representative. Letting the people who use the procedure suggest changes to it builds buy-in.

Build a Digital Security Culture

As nations bridge the digital divide, they create a golden opportunity for both their agencies and private enterprises. Firstly, these entities have fewer legacy systems demanding their resources., which means they can devote more time, attention, and money to achieving their mobile digital transformation. Secondly, their employees haven’t learned as many bad habits.

Start building good habits on day one by fostering a security-first mindset.

Teach your employees about strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and common cyber-attack warning signs like unrequested password reset emails. Then, ban shadow IT apps like WhatsApp and Slack before they get a foothold in your organization because WhatsApp should not profit off your critical data.

Achieving Digital Transformation without Shadow IT

Adeya is now partnering with IT integrators and telecom operators throughout Asia to provide you with a secure communication and collaboration app. This app lets you send text and group messages, call, share files, take notes, and create organization-wide contact lists. An intuitive dashboard keeps you in control of your entire organization. All communications, files, notes, and contacts are protected by military-grade in transit and at rest encryption.

Let us help you achieve your mobile digital transformation without compromising your security.

Check this out: Top Managed Security Service Companies in APAC

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