In this week’s WineDown, Scott and Nick invite special guest Stephen Parker, an expert Business Transformation Advisor at 1visionOT. The three discuss what’s going on in today’s tech world, how businesses are impacted, and where to go from here.
IT & Economy: Where are businesses now?
We’re living in interesting times where the global economy really is driving everything! There are multiple challenges that we’re all too familiar with by now…
Some political, some economic.
Rising interest rates, rising inflation.
Rising housing prices leave us asking ourselves, “will it ever stabilise?”.
Longer-term attempts to redress the social imbalances.
What an interesting environment to run a business in!
Pure investment start-ups are finding it harder to find capital. These investments are slowing down – or perhaps are at least being considered a little more. It was easier to get funds a while ago. Speculative start-ups have been paying very high salaries for talent. This model is not sustainable.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Where is the economy heading? What will be the impact on businesses?
Incredible business opportunities are created during downturns as it forces businesses to think differently. IT is certainly coming in on the ground floor this way.
There seems to be a move toward valuing companies for the money they are currently making, as opposed to what they may make in the future.
Online Threats: Why are they so successful?
In this episode, Stephen brought up an interesting point that in order for society to function properly, there must be a certain level of “trust” involved.
Cybercriminals are modern-day con artists who take advantage of that existing trust by creating those “click here and enter your password” emails. Having organised crime being moved online has made it much easier to scam people.
We need to improve our security – including education – to help prevent this.
Malware and ransomware products are now available by subscription. Despite the amount of media attention and training, they are still able to generate material results.
Cyber Insurance: Hot topic or fizzer?
Both. Insurers have not had a lot of experience in this area. Early policies were fairly broad and open, so claims were generally paid. Now that the insurance companies have had a few years of losing significant money, you can see how the policies have tightened up – a lot!
Now, there are many additional compliance steps required. You cannot just take out a policy and “delegate” the risk to the insurer. You need to show you have appropriate protections in place to help “protect” the insurer from a claim.
Otherwise, you’ll be surprised when you get hit with a cyber-attack, go to claim it, and find out that the insurance company refuses to pay because you didn’t have the proper security measures in place.
Regardless, in Australia, we are a little way behind where there’s still so much room for this space to evolve. Cyber insurance is here but has not taken off the way it has in the US. That will likely change over time.
IT Security: Are businesses really thinking about it?
Yes, but they’re not necessarily doing much about it. Installing anti-virus on your machine is not enough. A common pattern of behaviour is that people only act and pay attention once they’ve been negatively impacted.
Remember: You don’t need to put all of your focus on being 100% compliant with every single security standard from day one. Begin with the basics, such as enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), then look back to make continual improvements.
We have seen massive drops in bitcoin recently. It’s worth about half of what it was a month ago!
There are lots of people involved in it – but most of them don’t really understand it. The technology (and mathematics) behind it is seriously complex. This is stuff that advanced academics need to study in detail to be able to even begin to wrap their heads around it.
So…is it all just speculation?
It does seem that the smart institutional investors get onboard early. They are very good at “reading the tea leaves” and working out when to get out. This means it’s the mum and dad retail investors that are taking the losses.
IT: Do businesses *really* understand IT?
IT has come a long way over the past 10 years – but are businesses actually taking advantage of what it can do? Do boards understand what is possible with technology?
Tools – both software and hardware – exist to allow tasks to be performed not only faster, but with far more accuracy. These types of solutions take work but produce significant gains. The results are truly incredible and make a huge difference in the ways in which businesses operate, saving businesses time, money, people, and a lot of headaches.
So, what’s stopping things?
We know there are not enough resources to do some of these projects. The shortage is not necessarily with IT people, but with business analysts and project managers.
This will change over time – more as a matter of necessity – as competitors pave the way to show what success looks like (to the disadvantage of whoever is left behind).
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), or Machine-Learning, is everywhere in our everyday lives, and it’s just going to grow. This incredible technology is prevalent in advertising (E.g., customisation), content creation, phone systems, assistants/bots, and so much more.
It’s changed the way businesses operate and have changed the jobs available! As we engage with computers more, jobs will diminish. However, new jobs will be created as well, leading us into the future.
All in all, technology is incredible. There are amazing opportunities, despite the challenges that we face and fears that we sometimes have. We need to use it wisely to protect our businesses and work smarter. Talk to us today if you'd like to take advantage of what technology has to offer.