digital transformation in privacy iapp | radarfirst

Transformation begins with awareness, at least that’s what yoga instructors say. Showing up on the mat is a good first step — and don’t expect to start with the difficult scorpion handstand pose as your first yoga move. The same goes for digital transformation: think big, start small. In the recent IAPP panel, Demystifying Digital Transformation in Privacy, Victor Maciel, Director, Global Data Privacy & Protection Office at Raymond James, joined Greg Sikes, Vice President of Product at RadarFirst, to discuss how to get started with the digital transformation journey.

In this informative session, Maciel and Sikes outlined why digital transformation is vital for privacy and compliance teams, offered up best practices, common pitfalls, and tips, because as Sikes states, “The pace is not going to slow down and let the world catch up, but rather the pace is going to continue to accelerate.”

Digital transformation refers to anything from IT modernization to digital optimization to the invention of new digital business models, according to Gartner. “Automation and efficiency come to mind,” says Sikes, and while digital transformation is not a new concept, automation and process efficiency have been around for decades.

Getting Your Digital Act Together Can Transform Financials (And Lighten Your Load)

Companies that have undergone digital transformation initiatives have seen their financials improve because they’re thinking about business efficiency and process improvement, according to analyst firms such as Gartner and IDC. Here are a few opportunities where you can see improvements when you embrace digital transformation:

  • Double-entry of data
  • Last-minute deadlines that were not anticipated
  • Time spent chasing important information
  • Time spent researching the status of tasks

None of these duties would be in a job req, comments Maciel. “These are things that get in the way of your primary goal, which is to mitigate risk across your organization…and take away from your ability to really address the key risks and problems that you may have in your organization…Being on the digital transformation journey primes you to be in the position to adequately address any issues that may come up,” states Maciel.

Digital transformation is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Tools and technologies can help you change what you do, how you deliver it, and what you’re delivering to the customer. However, as Maciel highlights, “organizations need to have a good understanding of scope and risks in your business…because digital transformation, if not addressed in the right way, can sideswipe you and all that work that you’ve done.”

It’s important to assess your current state and where you need to be going. Sikes concurs, “Companies that have started on the digital transformation journey are better able to deal with those kinds of interruptions.”

Leveraging Tools and Technology To Make Better Decisions Faster

Gartner states that by 2023, more than a third of large organizations will leverage decision intelligence or security incident software to make better decisions faster. In a recent session of The Privacy Collective, 72% of respondents stated that digital transformation efforts are focused on automation and embracing new tools.

“My hope is that [these individuals] are able to use these tools to cut out all the noise and all of those inefficiencies,” says Maciel. When it comes to incident response decisioning, many privacy professionals turn to Radar to guide them through privacy incident management.

As privacy and compliance teams are thinking about adding tools and technology into their departments to improve their processes, the technology element needs to augment the journey or the destination. For example, are you looking to:

  • Automate information flow, automation workflow?
  • Analyze very complicated situations?
  • Eliminate double data entry
  • Establish a repeatable, predictable process

When assessing technology solutions to integrate, privacy and compliance departments must ask how these tools can strengthen their compliance program pillars, such as written policies and procedures, control analysis, reporting, testing, and training, according to Maciel. He offers three core questions that privacy and compliance teams need to ask when evaluating solutions:

  1. How can I use this tool to give me better controls around certain risk areas?
  2. How can I use this tool to better enforce policies?
  3. How can I use this tool to get clearer, more precise, more intelligent reporting around an area?

“The Road Trip to the Grand Canyon” Analogy

What does it take to be successful with digital transformation? Big, audacious ideas! Sikes believes big ideas allow you to think about the problems you’re tackling, the challenges in front of you, and the goals and how you might achieve them differently vs. business as usual. “With digital transformation, starting small enables you to get some early wins under your belt and create some positive momentum,” urges Sikes. For example:

  • Create a regular cadence of reporting out progress
  • Develop clear KPIs (learn how KPIs improve incident response)
  • Get management and executive buy-in
  • Don’t forget the horizontal component: consensus and connections across the organization

These small, iterative steps are what’s needed to take that “road trip to the Grand Canyon.” Before starting on that journey, you’ve got to exit your driveway and you’ve got to get on the highway, urges Maciel. Sikes adds that while organizations may be eager to get going, they have to make sure that everybody’s in the car and make sure all the suitcases are packed. “Let’s keep the teams on the journey with us as we go on this digital transformation journey,” recommends Sikes.

What’s your ultimate digital transformation destination? Whether you’re going on a road trip and you start by backing out of the driveway or you’re practicing yoga and start with the breath — it’s all about starting and taking steps to buff up your incident response management system.

“If you have a good plan where you conduct analyses of where you want to go, as a compliance or as a risk team, and you maintain that level of communication with the C-suite executives, [digital transformation] can be something that is very advantageous to you and your organization. It doesn’t have to be something that you fear,” sums up Maciel.

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