3. Digital Transformation:
The paradigm shift to digital transformation can be heard in almost all the corner executive offices but reality is a different matter.
The digital economy will disintermediate every industry over the next few years in every geography. However, the phrase “digital transformation” means different things to different people.
Some see it as just an add-on to what they are doing today – with the hope that minor changes will vastly improve their business opportunities.
Others see it as a problem for IT to address with no impact to the lines of business. The third group – the visionaries – see it as a business transformation driven in part by IT.
Those that provide leadership with digital business transformations will garner market share from the laggards, who do not realize their enterprises are in jeopardy.
2019 will see further examples of visionary firms gaining market momentum while firms sticking to business as usual (with or without IT only enhancements) struggle to compete. Furthermore, as the new year enfolds companies will realize that to really address the digital business transformation, they must also undergo security and workforce transformations.
The use of AI, analytics, and machine learning will help improve real-time analysis, but security issues will still be major challenges in 2019.
The Facebook and Marriott breaches continue to demonstrate that companies (and governments) still have significant holes in their cybersecurity structures. Moreover, the successful ransomware attacks have emboldened more attacks. 2019 will produce more of the same.
On top of that, most users are oblivious to the impacts caused by poor email practices, use of insecure mobile apps, and insecure IoT devices. It is evident from examining the breaches that organizations have less of a technology problem than people and process failures (including the application of configurations, encryption, and patches).
Companies need to re-imagine their security practices from all angles and clean up their technical debt. Furthermore, the lack of CSP transparency will remain an issue and an exposure in 2019, especially since the CSPs feel the breaches are customer issues to address.
The paradigm shift to a digital economy is not a technology issue – it is a business model transformation.
Small business owners cannot leave these decisions to IT executives or business/technology consultants. Owners need to determine what businesses they wish to be in, create the strategies, and then have the processes and applications designed and implemented.
This is a multi-year initiative with a lot of moving parts.
Thus, 2019 will be another challenging year for small business owners and IT executives. Small business owners and their IT departments need to work harder to integrate itself with the business and work collaboratively to enhance operations (whether onsite or in the cloud) and innovate new, simpler approaches to doing business.
Additionally, small business owners and IT executives will need to invest in DevSecOps and other process improvements to help contain costs, enhance compliance, increase flexibility and responsiveness, minimize risks, and improve resource utilization.
Small business owners should collaborate with business and financial executives so that IT budgets, plans and strategies dovetail with the business and remain tightly integrated with the business throughout the year.