How a CISO can impress the board
A CISO can shine in 2016 by bringing new and innovative ideas into the boardroom with them. Check out our round-up of top tips:
Wieland Alge, VP & GM EMEA, Barracuda Networks
“For a CISO to make an impact in the boardroom, they should sell themselves as ‘The Cloud Enabler’ – both proactively supporting the usage of cloud-based applications and guiding the way to a smooth, secure migration.
“Business leaders are now well aware of the operational benefits of migrating to cloud-based applications and are eager to embrace new ways of working in a mobile, flexible and user-centric environment. While applications such as Office 365 provide a number of benefits, security concerns continue to act as barrier to their adoption. The keystone of this process will be to replace old firewalls with true next generation devices that can deliver both comprehensive, in-depth security and enhanced application performance in the cloud environment.”
Richard Beck, Head of Cyber Security at QA:
“Every CISO is potentially one data breach away from being fired. Putting in place clearly defined plans and rules should help protect the organisation from cyber attacks. A key element of this plan should be to ensure that all staff, at whatever level, receive cyber security training – above the basic hygiene level. Why? In almost all reported security incidents, the actions - either intentional or accidental – were by staff in the compromised organisations, which led to the security breach in the first place.”
Perry Correll, Principal Technologist at Xirrus Networks:
“It is hard to believe that there are so few public Wi-Fi networks capable of serving our needs outside of the home securely—particularly when you consider that as of today, nearly everyone owns a smart phone, 91% use a laptop, and 80% have a tablet.
“Public Wi-Fi offers the convenience of accessibility, but typically doesn’t encrypt data, leaving passwords exposed and sensitive data vulnerable to the possibility of capture by those with malicious intentions.
“It’s bad enough worrying that while sipping a latte, cyber criminals might be trying to steal your credit card data and bank account numbers, but even more daunting to know that corporate espionage is on the rise. Public Wi-Fi networks offer hackers little challenge when it comes to intercepting private or classified information accessed by executives who stay in hotels on business.
"Now more than ever, large and small enterprises must upgrade their networks to provide better security for their customers."
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”