IBM Reduces Rising Risks As Data Flows Between Partners With New Hybrid Cloud Data Protection

Last week, IBM unveiled a new solution — IBM z15 — that provides data privacy passports and helps clients manage who gets access to data via policy-based controls. As Forrester’s security research has shown, one of the biggest risks in data protection is data’s movement between partners and third parties. This situation is growing in complexity as organizations shift to hybrid/multicloud architectures. These z15 services leverage over 3,000 IBM patents and are based off feedback from CIOs of over 100 IBM enterprise and government clients. Services like these help leaders across an organization build out secure adaptive intelligence, which is key to driving customer obsession and ecosystem empowerment.

CenturyLink Extends Edge Computing Innovation With Disruptive Startup Acquisition

To empower its commitment to innovation in content delivery network (CDN) and edge compute services, CenturyLink acquired Streamroot Inc., which enables consumer devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, set-top consoles, and smart TVs to serve premium content through a secure and private mesh delivery model. By incorporating consumer devices into its edge delivery architecture, CenturyLink believes its customers will achieve dramatically higher customer experience and engagement performance, otherwise not feasible with conventional CDN and internet-of-things edge methods — dramatically better than traditional hybrid cloud-based engagements, as well. Forrester clients can connect with CIO analysts James Staten and/or Brian Hopkins via inquiry to discuss the value of edge engagement and how it might affect your own business.

The Climate Strike Puts Corporations On Blast

An estimated 4 million took part in what is considered the largest strike ever to protest government inaction in the face of climate change. In addition to students, employees from corporations such as Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter joined in. The participation of consumers and employees makes this topic a mandatory boardroom priority. Organizations must craft climate action plans to assess and address climate-related risks that include reputational risk, talent and recruiting impact, and operational risks. As global warming accelerates, traditional business risks are multiplied: Severe weather and droughts threaten supply chains, cut off workers, and disrupt demand cycles. A climate action plan considers both the physical and transition risks associated with the climate crisis. Such a plan prepares your organization for a future in which Category 5 hurricanes are the norm. It helps you identify unforeseen risks and opportunities and positions you as a leader. Stakeholders increasingly demand it. If the recent Business Roundtable statement carries any weight, companies that prioritize all stakeholders, instead of just shareholders, will actively adapt to a changing climate and in doing so will be better fit to win, serve, and retain customers in the long run.

VW’s Software Spending Spree Demonstrates That Every Company Is In the Software Business

Automotive giant Volkswagen AG announced this week that it will invest $9 billion in reenergizing its internal software development efforts over the next three to five years. With the creation of its “Car.Software” organization, VW will shift the proportion of its software development that takes place in-house from 10% today to at least 60% by 2025. This news feeds our mantra: “Every company is in the software business.” Whether it’s metal benders like VW, pharma distributors like McKesson, or conglomerates like GE, every enterprise relies on software as the primary medium for engaging customers. VW’s shift to internal creation of software mirrors what we see at many clients — software is too critical for business differentiation to be bought off the shelf or to be built by outside contractors. What it means: 1) Software will continue to spread to every corner of corporate operations, as well as to the products or services that they sell and 2) every company needs a software strategy that comes right from the top. CEOs and their boards need to set a disciplined approach to software. Proactively empower your company’s board of directors now — not after they start asking questions.

Automation Initiatives: A Human Problem First, Technology Problem Second

This week in Chicago, we assembled marketing and technology leader clients across industries for a day of sessions on the future of work. We encouraged clients to discuss the human dimension of their automation investments. In one financial services company, automating what leaders thought were rote tasks left employees responsible for those tasks unmotivated because they could no longer apply their initiative to getting the tasks done. A technology leader at a large automaker shared that they were only seeing 40% of the projected financial value of their automation investments — not because the tech didn’t work but because the unanticipated human impact added time and required crafting new job tasks to compensate. This leader admitted that in one case they “had to stop an automation project in its tracks” because once they calculated the downstream human effects, they saw that if they did it wrong, it could create as many problems as it solved. Their next step: Work through the human impact first, get feedback and input, then release the more transparent automation tool into a work environment more prepared for it.

Last Week, Attendees Of Security & Risk 2019 Converged On Washington, D.C. And Left With . . . Hope?

This year’s event focused on hope, eschewing the readily available fear, uncertainty, and doubt that pervades the cybersecurity industry. Attendees learned that 87% of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to safeguard personal information and that 82% will spend more when they trust a company. Security leaders play a vital role in earning and preserving customer trust by helping to defend the personal information consumers choose to share. With that mission in mind, sessions included: 1) Zero Trust in the real world; 2) The CISO lens: how to successfully lead change; 3) Dispel security’s staffing shortage myth with recruiting, diversity, and automation; 4) The future of cybersecurity and privacy: defeat the data economy’s demons; 5) Protecting the brand and the mission; 6) Secure what you sell; and 7) Hackers vs. executives, which featured security leaders and practitioners in a simulated ransomware attack. Forrester broadcasted a call to action for security and risk pros to step up and help fight for the future they want to live in by helping the companies they work for understand the ramifications and consequences of ethical failures due to widespread data collection, privacy violations, and unintended consequences from not understanding how innovative technologies can be misused by attackers.