10 Traits of a Secure Digitizer

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A recent study shows that 95 percent of Secure Digitizers believe that digital is very important to their growth strategies.

By Stefanie McCann, Editor, Connected Futures

There’s new competition in town. It’s the “Secure Digitizers.”

Regardless of the industry, Secure Digitizers have a major competitive advantage. They move quickly on digital strategies that generate growth. Meanwhile, competitors are often forced to shelve such projects. That’s according to the new Cisco study, “Cybersecurity as a Growth Advantage.”

Secure Digitizers show strong commitment to growth through digitization, with cybersecurity as a critical foundation.

These organizations understand that innovation, value, and growth happen when cybersecurity is built into every facet of their digital strategies.

“Security is sometimes an afterthought. We need to build security into the process so we don't make security a hindrance,” says Roy Sookhoo, vice president and chief technology officer at Ochsner Health System.

It’s not just a question of greasing the skids but setting the glide path. The study also shows that 95 percent of Secure Digitizers see digital as very important to their growth strategies.

Is your organization a Secure Digitizer? Check out these defining traits:

  1. Responsible: Key stakeholders—including the CEO and corporate board—are held responsible for cybersecurity issues.
     
  2. Reliable: Secure Digitizers rely heavily on digital business models and offerings to drive growth. While other organizations may see cybersecurity as holding back innovation and hindering growth, the Secure Digitizer does not.
     
  3. Aggressive: These organizations take strong steps to improve cybersecurity as they transform themselves.
     
  4. Proactive: They take a hands-on approach to managing cybersecurity.
     
  5. Outcome-driven: Secure Digitizers measure business impact of security across multiple fronts.
     
  6. Prepared: They are ready to tackle cybersecurity challenges.
     
  7. Confident:  They accelerate innovation and time to market because they are confident in incorporating these digital technologies into their business processes and offerings. Not only that, they are confident in the security of these same technologies:
    • Big data
    • Analytics
    • Cloud
    • Internet of things
       

These organizations also take on digital projects with greater confidence. By doing so, they innovate faster and capture a larger share of Digital Value at Stake.

In fact, 62 percent of Secure Digitizers report they are driving higher revenue from new products and services than their peers.

  1. Committed: Secure Digitizers understand that digital transformation actually improves cybersecurity. They are well positioned to deal with digital disruptors because of their commitment to growth through digital business.
     
  2. Risk takers: They take more chances.  They know the rewards outweigh the costs.
     
  3. Process-oriented: Seventy-five percent of Secure Digitizers have very detailed processes for measuring the results of cybersecurity initiatives. These processes also assess the right level of cybersecurity investment.
     

There is plenty of room to get in on the action. Only 28 percent of the more than 1000 C-suite and line-of-business executives surveyed showed characteristics of being from Secure Digitizer organizations.

“That's why I love the ones that actively are investing, see it as growth, and that it's synonymous with innovation,” says Kevin Bandy, chief digital officer at Cisco.

“We're clearly seeing those that invest in security are truly outperforming those that are doing it from an ‘ounce of prevention,’” he says.

One industry CFO, Robert Simmons, put the traits of a Secure Digitizer in perspective: “Ownership [of security] spans from the board all the way to the cleaning crews and everyone literally in between.

“This is not the domain of IT anymore,” he continues. “I think the sooner companies can come to that realization, the better position they’ll be in to put these sort of programs in place for the current digital age.