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Security in the era of Experience Management

 

At the beginning of a new year, I often ask myself what will be new this year. In reflection of the last decade at SAP, new technology themes would pop up as we set our strategic priorities. If you had been following SAP, you would have seen themes like business intelligence, in-memory, enterprise analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and internet-of-things over the years.

The latest and greatest is perhaps our renewed focus on experience management.

SAP is not alone. Increasingly, organizations are using customer experience (CX) to its competitive advantage. Customers now focus on their end-to-end experience when technology features are more-or-less the same among competing products. A quick internet search will yield to many articles and discussions on how millennials value experience over things. I am not a marketing expert and not pretending to be one. Nevertheless, I agree CX will fundamentally shift our technology world as well. CX will now shape technology development, with impacts to how we manage security in the near future.

My perspective in inspired by insights published by our field colleagues last December. Our ‘frontline’ colleagues are observing changes to our competitive landscape with the emergence of 5G, enabling new connections and experience to come to existence, thus accelerating digital transformation to give rise to the experience economy.

Good experience depends on good security. Digital transformation may impact many aspects of a business, above all security would be transformed along with renewing customer experience. In my opinion, there ought to be renewal in the following three areas:

  • Build security as part of agile product development is to build-in security from the beginning. Software developers have practiced SSDLC for a while now, and I believe we are getting better at it. There are many tools and guidelines for good development practice. The goal is to build security by default. Good customer experience means customers do not need to care about security configurations, and can trust their data and assets are in good hands.
  • Obtain intelligence and insights via compounded data analysis is very important in experience economy security operations. When the business focus has switched to creating the best experience for customers, security is assumed to ‘be there’ running in the background. There are many interception points available for log collection and analysis, as part of sustaining customer experience. The ability to generate intelligence and insights via compounding all data available will differentiate successful security operations in CX.
  • Tactical automation will lead the way in enhancing the experience journey with security in mind. AI may increase its influence in predicting threats and proactively reacting to them. Something similar is already seen in different security tools such as SIEM. CX will likely deepens such automation by providing a holistic control to allow experience and security be integrated seamlessly.

2020 will turn out to be an interesting year for security. CX will definitely lead the way in defining where technology will take us. It will be interesting to observe how security vendors will react to CX in this year’s RSA Conference or BlackHat. Which vendor will rise and which will fall behind? Incremental technology innovations over the last decade have enabled us to build CX that customers- especially millennials who will be the primary spender for the next decade, have expected businesses to deliver.

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