HBR recently published an important article Privacy and Cybersecurity Are Converging. Here’s Why That Matters for People and for Companies by Andrew Burt. Writing from the data science/machine learning perspective, he argues that:
“…the biggest risk to our privacy and our security has become the threat of unintended inferences…” in other words, that once you give a company your data, even anonymously, it may be used forever, combined with other public and potentially private data you give them in future, to “… for example, threaten our anonymity — like when a group of researchers used machine learning techniques to identify authorship of written text”.
He goes on to detail some of the most important changes that are happening in the enterprise today – for example the blending of two formerly separate teams, one focused on privacy the other of security, and for the intense need for training on both areas plus compliance.
There’s another important angle that all CIOs should be thinking about… and that is, how making privacy and security a priority is good for the top line, as well as the bottom line. Imagine, for example, the opportunity to collaborate with new channel partners about how to increase AOV or ARPU for your products? To design a next-generation product – or adapt an existing one for their channel? To create a joint venture? An IP/licensing opportunity? Or just a bunch of new sales? What about offering customized online training for all your employees? Or automatically connecting them the latest and best open source projects?
To enable those partners to contribute their expertise, you have to share information with them. That might very well include sensitive information about your customers or employees.
Can you do it? The answer is, if you can, you have just created an advantage that will even become sustainable over time. Competitors who focus on blocking collaboration will fall behind you and suffer higher costs and slower time-to-markets.
Take Accenture, for example. They view collaboration as a key driver of innovation – and spend most of their time co-located with clients.
In Pharma, as Bruce Booth notes in Forbes “external innovation initiatives is as a force multiplier for R&D”. But the desire to control the information involve (among other aspects) can derail things: “…control-freak manifestations cap the broader value of the deal… often hinder the creation and successful execution of these models.”
Stefan Lindegaard, writing in InnovationManagement.se notes that “working with external partners to bring better products and services to market faster and/or develop better intellectual property has never been more popular…” then details a broad range of use cases going well beyond R&D and pharma, including HR, procurement, manufacturing, legal, etc.
Now a reality check: third party breaches are at an all time high in the news, according to surveys, and in terms of hard dollar fines, to say nothing of soft dollars that can be swiftly lost in the marketplace due to reputational damage. So it’s easy to understand the reluctance to share, the urge to retain control.
The trick is to find next-generation solutions that protect your entire company, including employees and the larger ecosystem, by retaining control over your data, especially the ad hoc, unstructured sort, regardless of how they access it: via collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, a custom, branded web portal, or plain old email… e-Share has products that enable secure, compliant collaboration with external partners, and we can deploy them in days. They’re already in use with many of the world’s most sophisticated and heavily regulated companies. Register for a demo and see for yourself.