What makes your business tick? Changes to sales volumes, the latest gadgets, or the information customers exchange with you?
Well, brace yourself: the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will help to enforce some big commercial reprioritisations. Manny organisations are already ahead of the game, reconfiguring structures and preconceptions to embrace what many see as a powerful initiative for raising digital standards and upholding citizens’ data rights. Those treating the process as a perfunctory box-tick exercise face a decidedly less assured future.
It is easy to become mired in perceived regulatory impediments, blindly chasing compliance without heeding the bigger picture. Today’s tech-conscious consumers only want to work with the most trustworthy data handlers, and the GDPR allows them to call the shots louder and with more influence than ever before.
The GDPR is about taking ownership and showing responsibility. It elevates personal data protection as a strategic priority for organisations working with EU residents. It requires businesses to be transparent, fair and lawful. It also mandates a culture in which data privacy and security form a central part of the customer relationship.
The race for credibility
Businesses can no longer shun data transparency and accountability responsibilities when processing customer data. At every hierarchical juncture, they must be assiduous and empathetic to the trust customers place in them, as well as their duty to mitigate against an increasingly complex cybersecurity threat landscape.
Training programmes should already be in full swing, ensuring data privacy nuances are grasped and staff understands their role in keeping both their personal and customer data safe. This should be supported by substantive policies concerning data handling and customer interaction.
Sustained credibility is difficult to achieve but can ultimately serve as a launch pad for better service innovation and profit.
Mind the step-change: the GDPR’s privacy and security requirements
The GDPR is an opportunity for organisations to do better. It is a powerful prompt to forensically assess all extant data governance, collection and processing legalities, security technologies and policies. Modifications and improvements in line with the GDPR are clearly a positive step to promote notions of privacy and security by design throughout the business. Responsible data conduct is surely set to become one of the most coveted badges of corporate honour in the coming years.
While the GDPR is an evolutionary journey requiring all manner of cultural change, the key ‘must-dos’ remain the same. Organisations need to investigate the automation of technical controls and ensure they have alerts in place for attempted breaches. Remember, a breach encompasses both unauthorised access and inappropriate access, modification or loss. Meanwhile, establishing a legally compliant data inventory and governance model will help achieve the right level of protection. Wherever possible, this should include the anonymisation, pseudonymization, and encryption of data.
From a privacy perspective, data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) can help identify, assess and mitigate or miniArthur,mise privacy risks. These are particularly relevant when a new data processing system or technology is introduced. Interestingly, GDPR mandates the use of DPIAs by data controllers where there is a ‘high risk’ to a data subject. This includes the processing of sensitive data or anything systematically monitoring individuals that could result in legal or detrimental harm to the individual.
The future of the book… and of reading
Many fear that the days of the printed book are numbered. In truth, it is not so much the book that is evolving, but the very act of reading, argues ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
Let’s talk about a revolutionary technology. One that has already changed the course of civilisation. It is also a dangerous technology, one that is spreading previously hidden knowledge among people who may misuse and abuse the technology in ways we cannot imagine.
Every one reading this is a link in a chain of this dangerous and subversive technology.
I’m talking, of course, about the printed book.
To understand how the book has changed society, though, we must also understand how the book has changed reading. That, in turn, will help us understand the future of the book.
Because the future of the book is in fact the future of reading.
Let’s go back to a time some may remember as their carefree youth. The year 400.
(Go back in history with the links below.)
Wearables enter enterprise
Regardless of whether wearables lack the mobility or security capabilities to fully support the ways in which we now work – organisations remain keen and willing to unlock the potential such devices have, says RONALD RAVEL, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa.
The idea of integrating wearable technology into enterprise IT infrastructure is one which, while being mooted for several years now, has yet to take-off in earnest. The reasons behind previous false dawns vary. However, what is evident is that – regardless of whether wearables to date have lacked the mobility or security capabilities to fully support the ways in which we now work – organisations remain keen and willing to unlock the potential such devices have. According to ABI Research, global wearable device shipments will reach 154 million by 2021 – a significant jump from approximately 34 million in 2016.
This projected increase demonstrates a confidence amongst CIOs which perhaps betrays the lack of success in the market to date, but at the same time reflects a ripening of conditions which could make 2018 the year in which wearables finally take off in the enterprise. A maturing IoT market, advances in the development of Augmented Reality (AR), and the impending arrival of 5G – which is estimated to have a subscription base of half a billion by 2022 – are contributing factors which will drive the capabilities of wearable devices.
Perhaps the most significant catalyst behind wearables is the rise of Edge Computing. As the IoT market continues to thrive, so too must IT managers be able to securely and efficiently address the vast amounts of data generated by it. Edge Computing helps organisations to resolve this challenge, while at the same time enabling new methods of gathering, analysing and redistributing data and derived intelligence. Processing data at the edge reduces strain on the cloud so users can be more selective of the data they send to the network core. Such an approach also makes it easier for cyber-attacks to be identified at an early stage and restricted to a device at the edge. Data can then be scanned and encrypted before it is sent to the core.
As more and more wearable devices and applications are developed with business efficiency and enablement in mind, Edge Computing’s role will become increasingly valuable – helping organisations to achieve $2 trillion in extra benefits over the next five years, according to Equinix and IDC research.
Where will wearables have an impact?
At the same time as these technological developments are aiding the rise of wearables, so too are CIOs across various sectors recognising how they can best use these devices to enhance mobile productivity within their organisation – another factor which is helping to solidify the market. In particular it is industries with a heavy reliance on frontline and field workers – such as logistics, manufacturing, warehousing and healthcare – which are adopting solutions like AR smart glasses. The use case for each is specific to the sector, or even the organisation itself, but this flexibility is often what makes such devices so appealing. While wearables for the more traditional office worker may offer a different but no more efficient way for workers to conduct every day tasks such as checking emails and answering phone calls, for frontline and field workers they are being tailored to meet their unique demands and enhance their ability to perform specific tasks.
Take for example boiler engineers conducting an annual service, who could potentially use AR smart glasses to overlay the schematics of the boiler to enable a hands-free view of service procedures – meaning that when a fault becomes a barrier to repair, the engineer is able to use collaboration software to call for assistance from a remote expert. Elsewhere, in the healthcare sector smart eyewear may support clinicians with hands-free identification of patient records, medical procedures and information on medicines and results.
Such examples demonstrate the immediate and diverse potential of wearables across different verticals. With enterprise IT infrastructure now in the position to embrace such technologies, it is this ability to deliver bespoke functionality to mobile workers which will be the catalyst for continued uptake throughout 2018 and beyond.