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Digital transformation not a finite process, says Martin Kuppinger

Security, privacy and identity are key to digital transformation, which is an evolutionary process, according to Martin Kuppinger

Digital transformation is not a process that will see the world move from one state to another and then be over with, according to Martin Kuppinger, principal analyst at KuppingerCole.

“Every industry is likely to undergo Digital transformation, but it is a continuous process of evolution to doing things differently in a digital era,” he told the Eema ISSE 2016 security conference in Paris.

Kuppinger said digital transformation is inevitable because it is being driven by a wide variety of things linked to three areas of capability: innovation, agility and organisational flexibility.

Ever-increasing cyber attacks demand greater organisational flexibility, as does the ever-changing regulatory landscape and the advent of ubiquitous connectivity.

“If you look at security, we still have IT divisions. In many cases, the CIO is the boss of the CISO, but the CISO should never be in the CIO’s line of management. That is fundamentally wrong,” said Kuppinger.

“At the same time, IT is still siloed. But in reality, we have IT everywhere in the business. There is no way a siloed 1980s-style IT organisation will work in a 2020-ready organisation,” he said.

According to Kuppinger, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will bring about a lot of organisational changes to anyone doing business in Europe.

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“The GDPR brings into scope a lot of things that have been previously overlooked, such as how decisions are actually made based on automatic profiling processes, which means that the GDPR will become critical to everything not based on deterministic rules,” he said.

The need for innovation capability is also linked to ubiquitous connectivity, as well as the transition from products to services and the changing competitive landscape.

But changes in the competitive landscape, together with the trend towards more dynamic business partnerships, are creating the need for greater agility.

“Old-school organisations which move very slowly are under pressure because they tend to be unwilling to innovate, and even some carmakers lack the willingness to innovate,” said Kuppinger. “They are used to having petrol or diesel engines and moving away from that is tough for them.”

On the broadest level, he said digital transformation is also being driven by the emergence of the internet of things (IoT), smart manufacturing and the need for improved business interactions with customers.

“There are good reasons why consumer identity management is currently a very hot topic,” said Kuppinger.

“In general, we need to improve our handling of customers, our identity and privacy, and our abilty to retain customer relationships in an increasingly competitive market,” he said.

According to Kuppinger, there are seven key enabling technologies for digital transformation:

  • Ubiquitous sensors
  • Security and privacy
  • Identity
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data
  • Robotics
  • Blockchain

“Security and privacy are central technologies in which we must have digital transformation, but there is also identity and big data, which are related to security and privacy,” said Kuppinger.

“But while we have a lot of tools for creating data, we do not have sufficient tools for the governance of big data to control what happens with it,” he said.

The major topics in digital transformation, said Kuppinger, are consumer identity and security and privacy, which must be included in everything by design.

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