Secure UX Strategy for CEOs and CFOs
September 21, 2017

Gabriel Lowy
TechTonics

Share this

CEOs are usually externally focused. They meet with customers and speak at conferences to drive business growth. Conversely, CFOs are more internally focused. They look for process improvements to generate cost efficiencies and manage risks.

CEOs and CFOs like to talk about digital transformation. It follows then that secure user experience (UX) – for both customers and employees – would resonate with each of them.

Both C-levels are well aware of concepts such as big data and cloud. They have some idea about how these and related technologies might help their company achieve business objectives. In fact, it hasn't been uncommon in recent years for CEOs to ask their CIOs, "What's our big data strategy?" or "What's our cloud strategy?"

But when has a CEO asked their CIO, "What's our UX strategy?"? Probably never. Because they expect that applications, the network, and the underlying infrastructure will work – even if some of these systems are not under the CIO's purview.

The increased complexity of new computing architectures coupled with new application development methodologies – especially in the face of time-to-market and security threat pressures – should make secure UX the first strategic decision for CEOs and CFOs on the path to digital transformation.

Truth or Consequences

The principle purpose of a unified network, application, and infrastructure performance management (NAIPM) platform is to detect and diagnose anomalies so that IT teams can assure uptime and service-level commitments. Data collected by a NAIPM platform can also be used to detect breaches and position the company for faster incident response. In this capacity, the behavioral intelligence provided by a secure UX platform not only helps improve operational performance, but it also serves as an early warning system.

In language that CEOs and CFOs can understand, it's about using IT operations metrics to facilitate ROI (return on investment) and risk management objectives for the business. They will certainly appreciate the undeniable correlation between secure UX and financial outcomes and market valuation (public or private).

Quite simply, if user experience sucks – and the user is a customer – the company's revenues are negatively impacted. Customer satisfaction plummets and loyalty follows. Brand reputation is tarnished. These cut right to the heart of the CEO's growth strategy.

If the user is an employee, engagement suffers, killing productivity and the ROI on computing resources. Adherence with GRC (governance, risk, compliance) requirements becomes challenged. Recruitment and retention may also suffer, driving up costs. These all undermine the CFO's initiatives.

If the user is a supply chain partner, the cost of materials or distribution could rise. Relationships could suffer. No one wants exposure to a partner with poor UX or security vulnerabilities that could infect their own systems.

Finally, if the user is a machine – an increasing likelihood in the IoT (Internet of Things) era – the absence of secure UX could have catastrophic results. Any number of accidents or breaches can occur with consumer products or services ranging from home monitoring devices to autonomous cars, or with industrial equipment to transmission pipelines. The potential damage to the company can far exceed lost revenue, fines for compliance violations, or lawsuits. They can put a company out of business.

Getting the Buy-In

Armed with the intelligence gained from such a unified platform, the CIO can appeal to the priorities of both the CEO and CFO. The company cannot capitalize on the benefits of big data analytics or cloud services if the IT team does not have visibility into the UX of these apps – regardless of where they reside. An inability to rapidly detect anomalies and respond to incidents can expose the company to undue risks, particularly in hybrid computing environments.

These all impede successful digital transformation. It is why a secure UX strategy should come first.

Many vendors in these consolidating spaces don't capitalize on this opportunity. Marketing and sales teams churn out lots of jargon and misinformation about capabilities and competitors (a.k.a. content) that only serve to confuse customers. This confusion raises more questions and objections that elongate sales cycles and hurt close rates.

Instead, vendors should appeal to the strategic priorities of CEOs and CFOs. They must educate, demonstrate and validate to CIOs through tangible use cases, PoCs (proof of concepts) and ROI/TCO (total cost of ownership) analyses.

I've suggested in the past that next to database, no software is more strategic to organizations than a secure UX platform. Never has it been more critical for CEOs and CFOs to understand this – and buy into it.

Gabriel Lowy is the founder of TechTonics Advisors, a research-first investor relations consultancy that helps technology companies maximize value for all stakeholders by bridging vision, strategy, product portfolio and markets with analysts and investors
Share this

The Latest

October 16, 2017
Hurricane season is in full swing. With the latest incoming cases of mega-storms devastating the Southeastern shoreline, communities are struggling to restore daily normalcy. People have been stepping up and showing remarkable strength and leadership in helping those affected. However, there is another area that we need to remember in these trying times – and that is businesses continuity ...
October 12, 2017

Gartner highlighted the top strategic technology trends that will impact most organizations in 2018. The next trends focus on blending the digital and physical worlds to create an immersive, digitally enhanced environment. The last three refer to exploiting connections between an expanding set of people and businesses, as well as devices, content and services to deliver digital business outcomes ...

October 11, 2017

Gartner highlighted the top strategic technology trends that will impact most organizations in 2018. The first three strategic technology trends explore how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are seeping into virtually everything and represent a major battleground for technology providers over the next five years ...

October 10, 2017
This is the sixth in my series of blogs inspired by EMA's AIA buyer's guide — directed at helping IT invest in Advanced IT Analytics (AIA), what the industry more commonly calls "Operational Analytics." In this blog, I examine scenario-related shopping cart objectives for AIA. At EMA, we evaluated seven unique scenarios relevant to AIA adoptions. Our scenarios included agile/DevOps, Integrated security, change impact awareness, capacity optimization, business impact, business alignment and unifying IT ...
October 06, 2017

In the Riverbed Future of Networking Global Survey, more than half of the respondents acknowledged that achieving operational agility is critical to the success of a modern enterprise, and next-generation networks as well as the technology to support them are key to reaching this goal ...

October 05, 2017

Legacy infrastructures are holding back their cloud and digital strategies, according to the Riverbed Future of Networking Global Survey 2017. Nearly all survey respondents agree that legacy network infrastructure will have difficulty keeping pace with the changing demands of the cloud and hybrid networks ...

October 04, 2017

Digital disruptors are emerging in all industries, and the need for CIOs to embrace digital transformation is urgent, according to Gartner ...

October 02, 2017

Environments indicate "where" the AIA solutions we investigated can be applied. All 13 of the solutions we investigated support cloud for performance, core infrastructure, and application performance and availability. Mainframe had the support of six of our respondents, and IoT and cloud for change and capacity were not yet prime areas of focus for most of the vendors in our AIA buyer's guide ...

September 29, 2017

Cost, overhead, and time to value are often key challenges in adopting AIA solutions. In the past, these factors have often been especially onerous. But we saw strong levels of improvement among many vendors, and surprising areas of innovation among others ...

September 28, 2017
Most senior executives recognize that unified communications and collaboration (UC) are integral applications on the digital transformation path. As a result, many companies are in the process of replacing legacy voice and video infrastructure and disparate messaging and collaboration tools with next-generation UC systems, including cloud-based unified communication as a service (UCaaS). With UC, companies can accelerate time-to-revenue, improve productivity and reduce capex and opex – the three pillars of return on investment (ROI) that drive corporate strategy ...