The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation—the use of digital technology to change, optimize, or invent new business models—for organizations worldwide. To meet the evolving needs and demands of customers and employees, businesses are investing heavily in digital tools that enhance customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX).
New data from ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab, which surveyed 900 C-level executives across 13 countries, finds that all major industries are on the fast track to digitize CX and EX. Furthermore, many firms are starting to think beyond improving CX and EX in isolation; rather, they’re bridging the two disciplines with workflows, teams, and technologies to multiply their improvements. In fact, businesses see the most benefits when they integrate CX and EX into a unified “total experience” (TX), creating a virtuous cycle of benefits from customers and staff experience.
Many business leaders believe Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors are critical for digitizing TX. IoT devices enable businesses to predict technical problems before they surface, collect data from customers and suppliers, and connect devices in the company’s network. Of the C-level executives surveyed, 73% say they’re prioritizing adoption of IoT and sensors over the next one to two years.
At the same time, businesses are taking steps to protect their customers and assets from cyberattacks, which have increased 300% since the start of the pandemic. In healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, and the public sector, about half of all C-level executives say they plan to make further investment in data privacy and security over the next two years.
Businesses rely on IoT to digitize
Businesses are working diligently to digitize EX and CX. For customers, that means everything from telehealth to online courses to augmented-reality shopping experiences. According to the ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab survey, 30% of firms have made “high or very high” progress in customer experience over the past year. Over the next one to two years, that percentage is projected to increase by more than two-thirds. Organizations are prioritizing tools that help them unify customer service operations, create intuitive customer experiences, and leverage a single digital platform through which customers can resolve issues.
Desiloing digital transformation
In the gap between digitization and cybersecurity, hackers are innovating. Since the start of the pandemic, about 20% of cyberattacks used previously unseen malware, tools, or methods. That figure has since risen to 35%, according to Deloitte.
To meet this evolving challenge, Taylor says organizations must rethink their approach to risk.
“Risk isn’t just an IT problem,” he says. “It’s a business problem.” For successful businesses, Taylor says “digital transformation goes hand-in-hand with cybersecurity.”
As more businesses digitize to improve total experience, Taylor says they should leave behind the legacy approach to cybersecurity. He is seeing successful companies embrace an approach he calls “digital cybersecurity,” in which a security-first culture permeates the entire business. Workflows, teams, and processes connect cybersecurity to other teams and functions.
“It’s about making risk-based, data-driven decisions,” says Taylor, “and collaborating across the enterprise. It’s a business enabler.”
As they embark on digital transformation, businesses that take a “digital cybersecurity” approach unlock several key advantages. Taylor says they’re better at “know[ing] their assets” by gaining clear visibility into their supply chain and securing their critical systems.
Once they have visibility, organizations can then attempt to protect their employees’, suppliers’, and affiliates’ data. That means supplier risk management, supplier access management, and identity management—in other words, working to mitigate supply chain disruptions, limiting suppliers’ access to mission-critical assets, and controlling users’ access to information.
If security and digitization are de-siloed in this way, Taylor says businesses can better secure their digital perimeter. Since IT and security teams are interfacing with the rest of the organization, teams are less likely to go rogue and install unauthorized software and hardware.
Similar to embracing total experience for employees and customers, business leaders would do well to embrace this “total cybersecurity” approach, in which business leaders and front-line employees make decisions in consultation and connection with the cybersecurity function.
If digital transformation is an all-out effort for companies, then security must be as well.
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