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A major data breach would likely shut down half of SMBs permanently, according to an AppRiver report.
More than half of cybersecurity executives at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) (58%) fear a major data breach more than a flood, fire, transit strike, or even a physical break-in of their office, according to the inaugural AppRiver Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey released Tuesday.
The concern is rooted in a stark business reality: Nearly half of the 1,059 SMB cybersecurity decision-makers surveyed (48%) said a major data breach would likely shut down their business permanently, the report found. This percentage increased significantly for financial services and insurance SMBs (71%) and healthcare SMBs (62%), according to the report.
“In today’s digital age, businesses rely on their intellectual property and use automated business processes more than ever before – bringing cybersecurity to the forefront,” said Dave Wagner, CEO of Zix Corporation, parent company of AppRiver.
SMBs are more concerned that these attacks could come from disgruntled ex-employees (24%) than from rogue hacktivist groups (21%), lone-wolf hackers (19%), competitors targeting corporate intellectual property (18%), or nation state-sponsored hackers (18%).
The reason for this fear of an ex-employee breach is well founded: Some 20% of organizations said they have experienced data breaches by former employees, according to a OneLogin report. Companies can increase their chances of avoiding such an attack by removing employees’ access to all accounts immediately after they leave the company.
SMBs can follow these tips from Kaspersky Lab to improve their security practices:
Create a list of assets your employees use
Make a list of the online services your organization uses, and analyze which of them is critical for your business process.
Audit critical services and their settings
Set clear guidelines for which data can be moved to the cloud and which must stay internal
Set guidelines for which data can be accessed by which employees
Arrange security awareness training to teach staff how to handle critical data safely
Use a reliable security solution
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
58% of cybersecurity leaders fear a major data breach more than a flood, fire, transit strike, or even a physical break-in of their office. — AppRiver, 2019
48% of cybersecurity leaders said a major data breach would likely shut down their business permanently. — AppRiver, 2019
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Gartner Surveys 600 Marketing Champions Across the US and the UK to Uncover Industry Trends for Enterprises to Prioritize Their Budgets and Allocate Funding
Innovation emerges as the loudest thought in a CMO’s cognizance! About 16 percent of Chief Marketing Officers have confirmed that they spent the maximum on innovation in 2018 — two-thirds confirmed that spending on innovation will grow next year. The irony here is that marketing leaders admitted they are not very confident about how to innovate or exactly where to spend — although beaming of huge ambition about being innovative.
MarTech Series runs down Gartner’s findings and talks about eight trends for 2019 and beyond where marketing leaders are most likely to spend.
1. Digital Marketing
The winds of change have begun to flow! Businesses are going digital by the hordes and the pursuit to make businesses successful on digital mediums has now gotten the eyeballs of the entire C-suite. 57 percent of marketing leaders are confirming now that they would be inclined to spend on digital marketing endeavors.
“I actually think marketers are going to have to spend on technology to help with the first two bullets (better targeting and better measuring progress). Most activity-oriented systems today don’t help with where we point the resources and how we measure success.
As far as my team goes — tech aside from Terminus tech (which we are using for segment identification and measurement) — we are excited about Vidyard because it helps us focus on creating great connections with key accounts and stakeholders.”
However, CMOs need to work in conjunction with CFOs. Convincing financial officers to invest for methodologies not yet in the limelight can be extremely hard for the CMO. More so, even if they agree, the CMO is accountable for ROMI.
Marketing Technology is on the radar of CMOs for investment. MarTech spend has increased when compared to the percentage spend last year (29% in 2018 as against 22% in 2017). Evidently then, MarTech is the crux of CMO spend because it serves as the paramount source of marketing resources and initiatives.
As per Gartner’s survey, CMOs will be spending the most on the below mentioned ‘big three’ technologies:
Email Marketing platforms
Web Content Management
Digital Marketing Analytics platforms
Although, Ewan McIntyre, who is the lead author of the report, asks CMOs to practice caution. MarTech is extremely effective but can be costly. Marketing leaders need to think this through in order to avoid financial disasters.
The survey reflects the CMO’s annual spend for 2018 was capped at 21 percent for advertising. This is for both offline and online (digital) models of advertising. However, as per the first trend of this report, CMOs now prefer to spend a lot more (two-thirds out of the 21 percent budget) on digital advertising. Paid advertising on digital channels such as search engines, social mediums, et al. are the focus areas of digital advertisement spending.
“Well, ABM is still super-hot, so I see people continuing to spend on various ABM tactics. At our recent client summit, everyone was buzzing around how to use data in the best ways, so data sources and solutions should be in most marketers’ budgets.
Personally, I’m looking at AI tools such as Drift and Conversica so that I can do more with less (because we all have to do more with less, right?). These tools help us drive contacts to a more “ready” state before we have to get a more expensive human being involved.”
GDPR and the current atmosphere of user privacy and data security is the worst nightmare for owners of digital mediums. Even when red flags are being raised for brands as huge as Facebook, marketing leaders choose to continue ingesting a substantial chunk of dollars for paid advertising. Main reasons? Increasing revenues and proving to stakeholders that marketing is a critical cog to aid the enterprise’s engine to run smoothly. Other reasons are bolstering brand value gaining new business.
Tech watchers are going gaga over emerging technologies such as ABM, AI, ML, Programmatic and Native among many others. Even then, CMOs spend a whopping 25% on workhorse technologies such as email, organic search, paid search, etc. So why do marketing leaders continue to invest in these technologies that belong to a prior phase of MarTech evolution? Here are the reasons:
These channels are easy to measure for ROI
Easier to groom in-house talent to operate workhorse technologies
Easier to prove the effectiveness of these channels to stakeholders compared to newer, impactful but complex technologies
Workhorse technologies still work, and really well!
Innovation is a major focus area for the CMO. According to 9 percent of the CMOs surveyed, innovation will be vital in enterprise growth over the coming 18 months. And they are right — the business eco-system overall is flux. Disruptions, changing consumer behaviors, M&As, and so many other factors are ensuring that it is difficult for enterprises to run their business. Hence, innovation automatically becomes the fallback element of every enterprise.
“Modern marketing is increasingly centered on data science, and if we accept that premise, CMOs will spend big on AI. The underlying neural networks are services now. It is the training model and ability to ingest massive amounts of data, which is generated by your systems but increasingly purchased from other vendors, that is the critical element in these initiatives. I am in a B2B market, so what I’m looking at are technologies that give me deep perspective on funnel and pipeline. I want to be able to look at my demand gen activities holistically but then down to increasing granular cohorts that I can gauge for the probability to close, or not.
This is important for me because this will give me insight into where I should be focused, which then guides strategy and tactics. Where existing analytics solutions come up short is that they start with a premise of “this is good, do more of it,” which leads to unnatural bias that gets increasingly narrow in scope, and then misses the opportunities that emerge that are outside of the static scoring models. Basically, I need a really intelligent system that is capable of generating human insights on data across a portfolio of groupings and metrics.”
Marketers nowadays employ a hybrid marketing strategy for their campaigns. Here the hybrid model will mean sticking to the core marketing tactics and methods while embracing and applying newer technologies. But as discussed before, Chief Marketing Officers’ abilities do not really match up to their ability to innovate. The survey is indicative though marketers want to change and be more matured and absorb innovation.
6. Customer Experience
The start-up culture is going full throttle. Newer companies that offer innovative, cutting-edge and problem-solving technical capabilities are being founded in multitudes. This has given rise to stringent competition and made it harder for businesses to better serve their existing customers and gain newer ones. From a customer standpoint, their expectation from a brand about how they want to be treated has skyrocketed.
Spending on Customer Experience (CX) has been picking up speed from the past several years. According to the survey concluded, it will see a good amount of CMO spend over the coming one and a half years. CMOs that were a part of the survey have declared that they will be spending 18% of their budget on Customer Experience.
Personalization is an extension of existing enterprise efforts towards providing a maximum positive customer experience. CMOs are spending an average of 14.2 % of their budgets on personalization efforts. The interesting element here is that double-digit spends are common across industries. The spending is critically invested in gaining deeper insights into the accumulated customer data.
“I think brand CMOs will continue to increase their spend on the media that actually works. These days, mobile is no longer a place to test; it’s where a brand has to be because consumers have their devices with them all day long. Eyeballs are always on mobile.
So, smart CMOs will look for tech that helps them optimize and maximize the impact of mobile dollars so they reach people when they are most receptive to marketing messages. AI developments will help there. And, of course, video can make mobile creative even more impactful. OTT is another area that I see spend increasing with better and better content coming through and more eyeballs heading that way.”
Considering GDPR, marketers need to be careful about not pushing too much in their efforts to obtain data. This might just completely drive away consumers. Marketers may have dollars and data but there is an atmosphere of uncertainty pertaining, where marketers must tread cautiously. Marketing leaders need to develop fool-proof strategies taking into account the current market and consumer complexities.
Clearly, 2019 seems to be the year for innovation and customer experience with statistics pointing at a maximum spending in these spheres. The survey also speaks of changing patterns of marketers towards their perspective on the whole marketing operations stream. Typically, to gauge marketing performance, businesses have a fixed set of KPIs that are crafted around ROI and customer satisfaction. However, marketers are adamant that they would want to design their campaigning around brand awareness.
“I think they’ll spend on technology. But I wish they’d spend on headcount and training. Marketing teams, regardless of size, are missing core and important skill sets. We have not educated marketers well at the collegiate level in a decade. The pace of change in marketing is too fast to go to a conference or webinar here or there and maintain the ability to be “good” at your job.
Technologies I’m looking at… I’m obsessed with B2B data right now, or the lack of great data. I want someone to fix the buyer insights data problem for me.”
5G will be popularized via telecom carriers and the marketing of wire-cutting services, but the biggest impact and returns will come from connecting the Internet of things, edge computing and analytics infrastructure with minimal latency.
Part 2 of a ZDNet Special Feature: How 5G Will Transform Business
Survey: Professionals eager and ready to deploy 5G
In a recent Tech Pro Research survey, 85 percent of respondents either already use 5G technology or plan to adopt it in the future.
5G technology holds promises of enabling never-used-before technology, improving worker productivity and customer service, cutting costs, and more. Does 5G remain a pipe dream for businesses or an actual reality? Throughout December 2018 and January 2019, ZDNet’s sister site, Tech Pro Research surveyed 164 professionals to find out.
The results demonstrate the enterprise’s enthusiasm for this new technology. The majority of respondents (85%) are, in fact, already using 5G technology or have plans to adopt it sometime in the future. Survey respondents list introducing new technology such as analytics and IoT (54%), faster mobile transfers for more productivity (50%), and the potential for reduced data spending (27%) as reasons why their companies will use 5G.
Additional reasons for introducing 5G run the gamut from faster mobile transfers to the enjoyment of being on the ‘cutting edge’ of technology. Thanks to 5G, more than 56 percent of survey respondents will enable new technology that they could not use before. Better connections for IoT applications, improving content delivery and controlling remote devices top the list of upcoming plans for 5G. Nearly half of respondents (47%) expect to deliver better customer service, while 37 percent of respondents believe 5G will increase employee productivity on the road. A smaller number of respondents (18%) expect 5G to reduce data plan spending or other costs related to communications.
Roadblocks: What may hinder 5G adoption?
Enthusiasm for 5G does not necessarily translate to 5G deployment for all respondents. A slim margin of survey takers (10%) are not preparing or planning to adopt this new technology. According to those respondents, 36 percent are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach regarding 5G implementation, and 28 percent remain satisfied with 4G and see no reason to upgrade.
Further, many respondents share concerns about 5G availability. More than half (61%) said that the simple lack of 5G service to their area may hinder adoption. Another apprehension about 5G is that 67 percent of respondents don’t believe their existing infrastructure can handle the technology. This makes sense since many organizations still rely on on-premises legacy applications.
The above-mentioned roadblocks will not slow down the inevitability of 5G. Most organizations recognize the need to upgrade their infrastructure. More than 57% are looking at ways 5G can improve upon their existing technology. One-third (36%) are setting aside integration concerns and re-platforming legacy applications and cloud-based access. Only, 21 percent of respondents are not preparing for this new technology at all.
No matter what state of deployment your company is in regarding 5G, it’s here, and it’s ready to transform the enterprise.
Special report: How 5G will transform business [free PDF]
By Tim Scannell, Director of Strategic Content, CIO Executive Council | NOV 29, 2018 2:30 AM PT
Innovation remains one of the key drivers of digital transformation, but today’s initiatives may be smaller and more targeted.
While corporate-wide innovation labs and blue-sky hack-a-thons were all the rage over the past few years, the coming trend for many companies might be innovation with intent and smaller, more pragmatic projects that have significantly less glitz and glamour but a better chance of success.
Innovation plays a key role in driving digital transformation in business today. Everyone knows that, right?
Nearly 90 percent of the IT leaders who took part in the 2018 State of the CIO Survey, released earlier this year, admit the CIO role is becoming more focused on both digital initiatives and innovation. Dig a little deeper into the study, and you’ll find that 37 percent of the top IT heads point to innovation as a way to identify which parts of the business can be transformed using digital technologies.
No doubt the results of the coming 2019 State of the CIO research, to be presented in a January CIO Executive Council webcast, will show similar and more supportive figures when it comes to the adoption and use of innovative technologies and tactics in the enterprise. Clearly, innovation is a top line item when it comes to technology and business investments.
Before you carve out a piece of your 2019 budget for innovative activities, however, you should be aware of one thing: The definitions for innovation, as well as the scale of projects, have changed considerably over the past couple of years. Those show-stopping company-wide epics that were exemplified by such companies as Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and its hack-a-thons, internal competitions, and dedicated innovation lab have shifted somewhat south in favor of smaller single-spotlight productions.
Where before the effort was to innovate to the max, today’s initiatives are more likely to be more modest and lean toward innovating with intent. In short, a lot of the smart budget money will be spent on projects that are framed with a more thoughtful and even surgical approach to innovation.
“I tend to take a more pragmatic view and try not to get bogged down in big initiatives that get your name in the paper, but nothing ever happens,” notes Ed Winfield, who has been the CIO for Maricopa County, Arizona, for little less than a year and is a passionate advocate for small and more meaningful approaches to innovation.
While he may sound a bit folksy at times, Winfield is no rube when it comes to digital transformation and the ins and outs of championing IT initiatives in state and local governments. Previously, he was CIO for Wayne County, Michigan, the 19th-most populous county in the nation that includes the city of Detroit. While there, Winfield orchestrated an upgrade from an aging legacy system to cloud-based systems and deployed more data analytics to help state services run more efficiently — all under the cloud of tight budgets and economically challenged environment. In fact, these efforts and results were acknowledged when Winfield was recognized as a 2016 Top 25 Doer, Dreamer and Driver by a respected government IT online publication.
The challenges at his new post are no less daunting, since Maricopa County is the fourth largest U.S. county by population and one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. Rather than jumping on the smart cities bandwagon and pitching high-speed fiber and pervasive wireless connections for every nook and cranny of the county, Winfield prefers to take a breath, listen closely to his constituents, and focus on small projects that are scaled to deliver positive but sometimes less dramatic results.
“I don’t view what we’re trying to do in becoming a digital county as some type of massive endeavor,” Winfield explains. “We can make significant forward progress with small innovation projects.”
However, the county does have a range of ongoing projects that look at such things as smart highways, smart traffic light management, and other smart initiatives that are interesting. There is a group called the Institute for Digital Progress that looks at innovation from a regional business perspective as it tries to position the county and surrounding areas as a “smart region.”
Even before the ink had a chance to dry on his new business cards, Winfield mapped out a plan for an all-digital county that serves as an umbrella over a series of small and more-targeted projects that will be rolled out over the next few years that will collectively move the entire county from the restrictions of paper-based tangibility to a more flexible digital world.
“At the end of a three-year period, I would rather look back and say we knocked out a lot of small projects that really made a difference to the way we operate and potentially the way people interact with the county via web services or mobile tools,” he says.
That is exactly what Winfield is doing as he connects with different departments to plan for internal productivity improvements that include eliminating paper forms and moving toward digital signatures and online approvals. He also wants to improve the online services available to the residents of Maricopa County. In addition, plans are in the works to revamp the court system, both to eliminate paper and create an online dispute resolution system and totally automate case management.
The trend toward more practical innovation is apparently catching on. In its 2019 predictions for enterprise digital transformation, Forrester Research notes that while business leaders championed large-scale initiatives in 2018, many of which focused on customer experience, efforts this coming year will shift to more pragmatic and smaller surgical initiatives. Purpose will become strategic priority, given the complexity and cost of larger and more expansive projects.
IT organizations and business stakeholders should strive to embrace the minimum viable product when it comes to innovation projects, says Mihai Strusievici, director of information technology, North America for Colliers International, a global real estate services company, in an earlier Digital Divide column. He advises other leaders not to pitch one or two large and expensive innovation initiatives that typically eat up a significant chunk of a budget due to their complexity and scope. Instead, spend money on a variety of smaller innovation efforts that are more focused and may have a higher chance for success or conversely have far less of a negative impact should one or two fail.
“Don’t only look for the big idea,” adds Pradip Sitaram, senior vice president and CIO at Enterprise Community Partners, an organization that brings together people and resources to create affordable housing and thriving communities for low- and moderate-income people. Instead of always looking for the home run, he says, making use of a baseball analogy, “you keep hitting a bunch of singles and doubles, and with the runs you get from those, you can achieve the amazing results.”
A few years ago, for example, the business team and Pradip decided to automate the way people in the organization checked the performance parameters in their real estate portfolio to ensure compliance and efficiency. The tools used were able to quickly identify exceptions to the established parameters that fell outside established business rules that dictated a certain level of risk tolerance and boil the results down to a much more manageable subset of properties. While a great innovative first step, Pradip and team decided to piggyback on that success and take it a step further to see what innovation possibilities might be lurking outside the fancy technology and algorithms.
The solution was to empower the business stakeholders to proactively change the rules used by the tools to check against the parameters, without having to rely on IT to field suggestions and then make the changes. To do this, a system was designed that allowed business to insert rule updates into the system, which then created new logic to check against performance parameters across the company’s real estate portfolio.
“We didn’t set out to do something innovative,” explains Pradip. “All we did was empower people to use these tools more efficiently, with a different mindset.”
While he doesn’t see anything wrong with large-scale innovation labs from a culture-building and even a marketing standpoint, Pradip does not think highly visible efforts like this really drive grassroots innovation. For him, the recipe is simple: When things get tough, the tough get innovative.
The key to innovation is your mindset, he adds. It’s your willingness to think differently, to take a risk and try some new process or technology, and to see the world differently and not simply conform to established practices.
“I think some of the great motivating factors for innovation are constraints,” Pradip points out. “When you have budget constraints, when you have resource constraints, when you have time constraints.”
Constraints are not restrictions or barriers, but a gift, he says. “If you have constraints, you’re forced to think out of the box, to think innovatively and say, ‘How can I best make use of the limited resources that I have in time, money, and people to come up with good solutions?’”
To encourage, foster, and sustain an innovation culture, organizations and executives must understand and accept that every experiment will not succeed; every innovation exercise will not result in a revenue generating product or operating efficiencies, Pradip points out, adding that you will likely fail more than you succeed. Every exercise will deliver valuable learnings.
“As long as there is a culture that accepts that it’s OK to test and learn — to fail fast and learn quick — then teams will be more likely to venture out of their safe zone and the magic can happen,” he says.
Technology and the changing business and consumer cultures
While more restrictive budgets and the push to do more with less has a lot to do with the emphasis on more surgical and pragmatic approaches to innovation, the shift in business and consumer cultures due to the pervasive use of technology has also played a key role.
People, in general, have a different posture and cultural understanding of technology and what it can do, since it saturates their public and private lives, explains Winfield. Years ago, conversations on technology adoption and use around the topic might center on the impact — good or bad — on a person’s life or continued employment. Today, it is all about leveraging technology in small and incremental ways — whether it is cyber banking, online shopping, or eliminating a tedious task in the office.
“People are able to converse and maybe see how something might work and I think that’s the spirit of it,” Winfield says.
In this new world of practical “baby steps,” is there still some wiggle room for larger-scale projects and maybe a hack-a-thon or two as part of the overall innovation effort? Absolutely, says Winfield.
“We’re just getting underway, and I’m starting on the fringes, so we’ve got enough to do here in the short-term,” he says. However, “I’m not close-minded about the idea of some type of gathering or larger effort, but we’ve got to consider how it would move us forward.”
Pradip agrees, noting that hack-a-thons are useful because they usually establish constraints in time and the number of team members, which are great motivators. However, you won’t find more-structured corporate-led innovation labs and internal think tanks on his to-do list.
Android phone makers will have a hard time winning iPhone buyers over with their new 5G phones, according to a new survey.
American consumers think Apple is the leading phone vendor when it comes to 5G, by a crushing margin over Samsung. That’s a little shocking, because most observers believe Apple is going to introduce 5G phones a full year later than Android phone vendors.
The result from an exclusive PCMag survey of 2,500 US consumers shows Apple’s unstoppable brand power in the US. Even as Apple sales have cratered in China, the company’s reputation appears to be intact in its home market. Only 11 percent of iPhone owners surveyed said they would switch away from the iPhone for 5G.
Samsung is anticipated to be the first into the US market with a 5G phone when it announces the 5G version of its Galaxy S10 in late February. It got the No. 2 spot as to which company will lead in 5G in the survey. The No. 3 position went to Google, whose Pixel phones are currently exclusive to Verizon.
Apple’s anticipated delay in 5G comes from a few sources. Right now, Qualcomm has the only US-compatible 5G modem chips, and Apple is at war with Qualcomm. Apple has switched its modem provider to Intel, which has said it won’t have 5G modems before the end of the year.
But delaying on new wireless networks hasn’t hurt Apple in the past. The first iPhone was 2G in a 3G era, and Apple came to 4G two years later than many other manufacturers. Apple tends to like to wait for networks to become more fully rolled out before jumping on board, so iPhone users can have a consistent experience wherever they live.