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).

If user experience sucks – and the user is a customer – the company's revenues are negatively impacted.

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

February 20, 2020

Over 70% of C-Suite decision makers believe business innovation and staff retention are driven by improved visibility into network and application performance, according to Rethink Possible: Visibility and Network Performance – The Pillars of Business Success, a survey
conducted by Riverbed ...

February 19, 2020

Modern enterprises rely upon their IT departments to deliver a seamless digital customer experience. Performance and availability are the foundational stepping stones to delivering that customer experience. Along those lines, this month we released a new research study titled the IT Downtime Detection and Mitigation Report that contains recommendations on how to best prevent, detect or mitigate brownouts and outages, given the context of today’s IT transformation trends ...

February 18, 2020

While Application Performance Management (APM) has become mainstream, with a majority of tech pros using APM tools regularly, there's work to be done to move beyond troubleshooting ...

February 13, 2020

Over the last few decades, IT departments have decreased budgets in part because of recession. As a result, they have are being asked to do more with less. The increase in work has amplified the need for automation ...

February 12, 2020

Many variables must align for optimum APM, and security is certainly among them. I offer the following APM predictions for 2020, which revolve around the reality that we will definitely begin to see much deeper integration of WAN technology on the security front. Look for this integration to take shape in the following ways ...

February 11, 2020

When it comes to growing a successful company, research shows it isn't about getting the most out of employees, but delivering an experience that empowers them to be and do their best. And according to Priming a New Era of Digital Wellness, a new study conducted by Quartz Insights in partnership with Citrix Systems, technology is the secret to doing so ...

February 10, 2020

Only 11% of website decision-makers feel that they have complete insight into the scripts that they use on their websites. However, industry estimates state that about 70% of the code on a website comes from a third-party library or service. Research highlights a clear need to raise awareness of the potential threats associated with the vulnerabilities inherent in third-party code ...

February 06, 2020

The ever-increasing access and speeds offered by today's modern networks offer many advantages to businesses and consumers, but also make the integrity of their performance and security more paramount than ever before. Organizations are struggling to manage the constant fluctuations in network conditions and security threats. This has prompted many to explore how automation can help to streamline network management and security processes ...

February 05, 2020

The demand to deliver a consistently positive and innovative customer experience is something that many companies — more specifically, their DevOps teams — are currently grappling with. While the ability to push out multiple features a week may appear as a great accomplishment for DevOps teams, our survey showed that 82% commonly discover bugs in production ...

February 04, 2020

Ensuring reliable data security is a critical part of Application Performance Management (APM) — or at least it should be. The fact is, as a result of our need for speed, increasingly development teams are confronted with the problem of releasing applications faster without compromising security ...