All the World’s a (Digital) Stage

All the World’s a (Digital) Stage

William Shakespeare as digital guru may be an unconventional interpretation of the poet and playwright, but his words of wisdom transcend time and place people at the heart of our digital interactions. In As You Like It, Shakespeare could have been talking about the hype surrounding new technologies: 


All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; 
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.


In 2019 the digital stage has been set — allowing us all to play our parts. From a grassroots level, a digital transformation is taking place. Not unlike the Industrial Revolution, this digital shift is changing how we live, work, communicate, share and engage. This exponential and lightning-speed digital growth has even been called The Fourth Industrial Revolution. How organizations manage their players and the parts they play will determine how successful they are in a digital world. At the heart of this success is identity and data.


So, what exactly does this mean? Consumers become more intuitive each day, driving the demand for increasingly efficient and engaging ways to live their lives. From smart refrigerators that tell us when we’re out of milk, to cost-cutting commutes via ride share apps like Uber and Lyft, to revolutionising listening experiences with Spotify, consumers are demanding rapid adoption of a purely digital landscape. Of course, we can’t forget that most people around the globe are carrying a very tiny and very powerful computer in their pocket. We can buy, reserve, cancel, comment — and so much more — with a tap of our fingers. 


As organizations today examine the impact of this digital transformation, two assets are often seen as the most critical: data and identity. Data provides organizations with digital value as it is used to make decisions, invent, formulate or create Intellectual Property (IP) to better serve customers. The more relevant and sophisticated that data is, the more value is created. And what is the cornerstone to unlocking data? Identity. Organizations value, depend on and recognize that their employees and customers have many identities. Entrust Datacard estimates that the average person has 15 identities distributed across social media accounts, applications, cloud services, mobile and physical devices. Recognizing and acting on the value of these identities puts you right in the middle of the digital transformation. And organizations that are able to link evolving data types to evolving identity usage will put themselves at an advantage over those who have not yet connected the dots. 


The impact of this transformation is global. Worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable digital transformation for business practices, products and organizations is forecast to reach $1.97 trillion in 2022. What’s more, Harvard Business Review reported that three-quarters of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027, with digital disruption as the primary catalyst. This digital revolution, and the delivery demands of consumers, is forcing organizations to evolve and to change their business models and services if they want to stay relevant. Organizations must also transition off-premises to the cloud and begin to offer as-a-Service models, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and more. Add in the context of cybersecurity and there is much to consider.


When attempting to get their hands on your data, threat actors primarily use identity to gain access. Their methods are targeted and more sophisticated than ever before, and they are motivated by everything from financial gain to political manipulation and shaping social agendas to boredom. No matter the motive, a breach can impact your financial and competitive standing, your employees and, of course, your reputation. Working through digital transformation initiatives and associated security can be daunting and complex. But it doesn’t have to be.


When it comes to protecting your customers’ and organization’s data and identities, specifically in the context of an ever-changing digital landscape, a strategic approach is imperative. No longer project-based, a comprehensive digital security strategy can help you address most security gaps, including threats, client data and IP, compliance and IoT, as well as staffing and technology management. 


Embarking on a digital transformation can be a significant challenge. This global digital revolution is positioned to disrupt — a market, service, product or process — and stimulate growth. Understanding the role identity and data play in this transformation, and how you can keep it safe and secure while adding value, is critical to your success and business growth.


Optiv can help you maximize the value of your identity programme by aligning it more strategically with your digital transformation.

Andrzej Kawalec
CTO and Head of Strategy, EMEA
Andrzej brings experience from some of the world’s largest companies. Most recently, as chief technology officer and head of strategy and innovation at Vodafone, he led the company’s enterprise vision of cybersecurity preparedness for more than 462 million users. He previously served as CTO and director of security research at Hewlett Packard.