Each quarter HP’s security experts highlight notable malware campaigns, trends and techniques identified by HP Wolf Security. By isolating threats that have evaded detection tools and made it to endpoints, HP Wolf Security gives an insight into the latest techniques used by cybercriminals, equipping security teams with the knowledge to combat emerging threats and improve their security postures.

Discover the following highlights uncovered this quarter.

Threat actors continued to thrive off living-off-the-land tactics in Q3, abusing tools built into Windows to conduct their attacks. The HP Threat Research team identified a new malware campaign that relied entirely on living-off-the-land tools. The attackers impersonated a shipping company to spread Vjw0rm and Houdini script malware.2 3 But time may be up for these malware families, given the deprecation of VBScript announced by Microsoft in October 2023. We expect threat actors will shift to tools written in other interpreted languages like Batch and PowerShell in response.

The team identified a surge in the abuse of Excel add-in (XLL) files in Q3.5 Macro-enabled Excel add-in malware rose to the 7th most popular file extension used by attackers, up from 46th place in Q2. HP Wolf Security detected attackers trying to infect devices with Parallax RAT through malicious Excel add-ins masquerading as scanned invoices.

In Q3, HP Wolf Security detected a malware campaign targeting hotels in Latin America with macro-enabled PowerPoint add-ins. The presentations, sent via email, were disguised as information from a hospitality management software vendor.

HP uncovered attackers hosting fake remote access trojans (RATs) on GitHub, attempting to trick inexperienced cybercriminals into infecting their own PCs. The code repositories claim to contain full versions of a popular malware kit called XWorm that sells for up to $500 USD, but instead downloads and runs malware on the aspiring hacker’s machine.

Click here to read the full report. To find out more about HP’s Workforce Security Solutions click here.

Cybercrime, Security

There’s no denying the fact that cloud technology is headed in many different directions, all aimed at providing rapid, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

Yet as cloud technology evolves, many organizations are becoming more thoughtful and intentional in their transformation journey as they look to close the gap between simply running on the cloud and creating enterprise-wide value, observes Cenk Ozdemir, cloud and digital leader at business consulting firm PwC. “Organizations are really focused on achieving the elusive ROI of cloud that only a minority have been able to secure,” he says.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top enterprise cloud trends that promise to lead to greater ROI through innovation and enhanced performance.

1. AI/ML takes center stage

All the major cloud providers are rolling out AI/ML features and products, many designed for use with their core cloud offerings, says Scott W. Stevenson, technology partner at national law firm Culhane Meadows. He notes that most providers are also using AI/ML to improve provisioning of their own services.

While no one wants to be left behind if the promises of AI/ML hold true, there are varying levels of concern about reliability, security, and bias, particularly on the customer side, Stevenson says.

“There’s little doubt that adoption will continue at a fast pace overall, but larger enterprise customers — particularly in highly regulated industries — will be more measured,” he observes. Yet Stevenson doesn’t expect to see many enterprises sitting on the sideline. “It may be that the lessons they learned when migrating to cloud solutions in recent years will serve as a partial road map for adoption of AI/ML technologies — although on an accelerated timeline.”

Technology-driven organizations that prioritize innovation and digital transformation will be the most likely early AI/ML adopters in the cloud, says Michael Ruttledge, CIO and head of technology services at Citizens Financial Group. “Additionally, organizations that are data-driven and rely heavily on data analysis and insights will be able to leverage the best AI/ML services from different providers to enhance decision-making, automate processes, and personalize customer experiences,” he predicts.

Ruttledge notes that his enterprise’s cloud and AI/ML transition is driving stability, resiliency, sustainability, and speed to market. “Our AI/ML capabilities are increasing our ability to stay lean and drive insights into our internal and external customer services,” he says.

2. Industry clouds fuel innovation

Industry clouds are composable building blocks — incorporating cloud services, applications, and other key tools — built for strategic use cases in specific industries. Industry clouds enable greater flexibility when allocating resources, helping adopters make strategic choices on where to differentiate, explains Brian Campbell, a principal with Deloitte Consulting. “This ecosystem is evolving rapidly, driving the need to consistently monitor what exists and what works.”

By leveraging the ever-expanding number of cloud players serving industry-specific business needs in a composable way, industry clouds provide an opportunity to accelerate growth, efficiency, and customer experience. “Allowing for further differentiation on top of these solutions forges a close collaboration between business and technology executives on where to focus differentiation and resources,” Campbell says.

Enterprises looking to lead or stay ahead of their industry peers drove the first wave of industry cloud adopters. The success experienced by those organizations generated a rapid follower wave sweeping across a broader market. “Industry clouds are also leveling the playing field, so midmarket clients now have access to advanced capabilities they no longer need to build internally from the ground up to compete against their larger global competitors,” Campbell says.

3. Modernizing core apps for the cloud

Most large enterprises have sought quick wins on their digital transformation and cloud adoption journeys. They’ve brought smaller, less critical workloads to the cloud, containerizing legacy applications to make them more cloud friendly, and have adopted a cloud-first strategy for any new application development, observes Eric Drobisewski, senior enterprise architect at Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Yet an early emphasis on quick wins has left many vital business applications and related data stuck in enterprise data centers or private cloud ecosystems still in need of eventual migration. “Often, these workloads are tightly coupled to costly hardware and software [platforms] that were built at a time when all that was available was a vertically bound architecture,” Drobisewski explains.

Drobisewski warns that continuing to maintain parallel ecosystems with applications and data splintered across data centers, private clouds, public clouds, physical infrastructures, mainframes, and virtualized infrastructure is both complex and costly. “Simplification through modernization will reduce costs, address operational complexity, and introduce horizontal scale and elasticity to dynamically scale to meet emerging business needs,” he advises.

4. Making the most of the multicloud hybrid-edge continuum

The multicloud hybrid-edge continuum marks a crucial step forward for enterprises looking to drive ongoing reinvention by leveraging the convergence of disparate technologies. “Enterprises must focus on defining their business reinvention agenda and using the cloud continuum as an operating system to bring together data, AI, applications, infrastructure, and security to optimize operations and accelerate business value,” says Nilanjan Sengupta, cloud and engineering lead with Accenture Federal Services.

This trend will enable organizations to steer clear of an overreliance on a single public-cloud provider, Sengupta says. “It satisfies a multitude of business demands while unlocking innovation advancements in data, AI, cyber, and other fields, aligning capabilities to mission and business outcomes.” Hybrid architectures are rapidly becoming the only viable option for most organizations, he notes, since they provide the flexibility, security, and agility necessary to adapt to rapidly changing business needs.

The multicloud hybrid-edge continuum will impact CIOs and their enterprises by forcing them to address several key issues holistically, such as determining the right operating model, integrating and managing different technology platforms, finding the right talent, and managing costs, Sengupta says. “CIOs will need to develop strategies and roadmaps to transition to hybrid cloud environments, while also fostering a culture of agility and continuous innovation within their organizations,” he adds.

5. Reaping the rewards of cloud maturity

After years of aggressive adoption, the cloud is now firmly embedded in the IT and enterprise mainstream. “Cloud maturity is not something an organization gains overnight, but when taken seriously, it becomes a distinct competitive advantage,” says Drew Firment, vice president of enterprise strategies and chief cloud strategist at online course and certification firm Pluralsight.

Firment believes that cloud maturity typically starts with creating a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) to establish a clear business intent, and gain experience with a single cloud before adding others. “Once an organization masters one cloud environment and is firmly established in the cloud-native maturity level, they can begin using other cloud providers for specific workloads,” he explains.

For example, Firment says, a customer service application might be built on Amazon Web Services while leveraging artificial intelligence services from Google Cloud Platform. “The goal is to align the strengths of each cloud provider to better support your specific business or customer needs.”

A purposeful and deliberate approach to a multicloud strategy gives CIOs and their organizations great power, Firment says. “While many technologists in 2023 will be focused on investments in multicloud tools like Kubernetes and Terraform, leaders will be focused on investing in the multicloud fluency of their workforce.”

6. The rise of FinOps and cloud cost optimization

Cloud FinOps offers a governance and strategic framework for organizations to manage and optimize their cloud expenditures transparently and effectively.

“By implementing a holistic FinOps strategy, an organization can drive financial accountability by increasing the visibility of cloud spending across the organization, reducing redundant services, and forecasting future cloud expenditures, allowing for more accurate planning,” says Douglas Vargo, vice president, emerging technologies practice lead at IT and business services firm CGI. “Driving more visibility and fiscal accountability around cloud costs will enable organizations to refocus that spending on innovation initiatives and realize more business value for their cloud investments.”

Organizations that effectively deploy FinOps governance and strategies will reduce cloud costs by as much as 30%, Vargo predicts, enabling them to re-invest those savings into innovation initiatives. “An effectively executed FinOps framework will improve the ROI of cloud spend and open up funding for other expenditures such as increased innovation funding,” he adds.

7. Hyperscalers adjust to slower growth

The three major hyperscalers — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform — have grown rapidly over the past few years, observes Bernie Hoecker, partner and enterprise cloud transformation leader with technology research and advisory firm ISG. Meanwhile, many enterprises have accelerated their digital transformation to meet the emerging demands created by remote work teams, as well as to provide customers with improved digital experiences.

“In many cases, however, enterprises overinvested in IT and cloud capabilities,” he notes, “and they’re now focused on optimizing the investments they’ve made rather than moving new workloads to the cloud.”

Yet enterprises weren’t the only overinvestors. “The Big Three hyperscalers also are going through some rightsizing after each of them overhired during the pandemic, and are now forced to deal with some bloat in their workforce,” Hoecker says. He reports that Amazon recently cut 9,000 more jobs in addition to the 18,000 they announced in January. Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees in January and Google, among other cost-cutting measures, has dismissed 12,000 staffers.

Cloud Computing, Cloud Management, Hybrid Cloud, Innovation, Private Cloud, Technology Industry

Digital transformation has always been a continuous journey, one that should become an organizational core competency, with the introduction of digital services an ongoing imperative to evolve the business and stave off disruption.

While this may remain the case, subtleties are emerging about how digital transformation should be thought of, impacting how it should be undertaken. Within these schools of thought, what was once called digital transformation should now be viewed as business transformation because such initiatives encompass so much of the way organizations operate, and because technology alone does not a transformation make.

It’s that latter point that may be the biggest change in our perception of digital transformations. A framework for thinking about digital initiatives today is part digital strategy (new capabilities, new markets, and new products), part technology aligned with the strategy, and an ability to adapt to and adopt new processes, resources, and ways of working, according to Deloitte.   

“If you can only do one thing, focus your efforts on technologies aligned to strategy because it drives superior market value,’’ the firm says. 

With that in mind, here are five strategies, approaches, and technologies around digital transformation that are hot and two that have gone cold.

Hot: Debate about the term ‘digital transformation’

Depending on whom you ask, the very concept of digital transformation is either still the raison d’être of IT today — or it’s becoming a thing of the past. And while the discussion around this can seem semantic or even pedantic, there are meaningful impacts arising from the debate.

At Schneider Electric, “we don’t even use the term ‘digital transformation,’” but rather, ‘business transformation,’ says senior vice president and CIO Bobby Cain, who came from the business side of the company. “In order to transform how you work, the business has to lead the transformation.”  

Bobby Cain, SVP and CIO, Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric

Melanie Kalmar, corporate vice president, CIO, and chief digital officer of Dow, agrees. Speaking in a recent Gartner webcast, Kalmar said that digital transformation goes beyond technology. Further, IT is not going to drive digital transformation on its own, she said.

“The previous perception of being digitally driven was that IT would lead all of the change and that technology would be the driver,’’ Kalmar said. “Digital transformation is really about how people do their work differently and understanding IT wasn’t going to drive this on our own.”

She referred to digital transformation as “a team sport.” At Dow, each business now owns its digital strategy, and digital leaders have been placed in the business units to ensure data quality.

But Isaac Sacolick, founder of digital consultancy StarCIO, believes business transformations are more about mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing, and that digital, AI, and analytics fall under the purview of IT, so CIOs are expected to continue leading digital transformations. Results from the State of the CIO survey concur, as 84% of IT leaders say CIOs are more involved in leading digital transformation initiatives compared to their business counterparts. Moreover, 72% of line of business leaders agree.

Jim Ruga, CIO of Fictiv, a quote-to-order manufacturing provider for mechanical parts, says a lot of businesses in the manufacturing industry struggle with digital transformation because business leaders view it in the context of buying a big ERP system and expecting it to solve a problem.

Melanie Kalmar, CVP, CIO, and chief digital officer, Dow

Dow

“It’s the threading together of these systems [and] processes where decisions are made by humans, and you have to introduce machine learning and AI and glue them together to make these things effective,’’ he says. “It’s no longer just buying the software and ‘Wow, we’re digital.’”

Instead, IT needs to take these large systems and make them smart to realize the gains and benefits of labor or cost reduction, Ruga says. “You don’t get that by implementing systems off the shelf.”

Cold: The how of hybrid work

The concept of hybrid work, new for the majority of organizations when the effects of the pandemic reached a point where people started returning to the office on a part-time basis, is far less novel of late, and as such initiatives aimed at making it work have cooled since their apex just a year or so ago.

“People have figured it out based on the resources they have and the tools they have to support it,’’ Cain says. “Honestly, it’s becoming a tiresome conversation. I think it’s losing its relevancy.”

This is not something people need to learn; employees have figured out how they work best, he says.

Future work is focused on what people are doing and how they’re providing value, whereas hybrid work is about how do we continue operating when people won’t be in the office 100% of time, adds Sacolick. Yet, “what’s interesting is over 60% of companies in the tech space remain hybrid.”

In other words, if you haven’t figured out how to make hybrid work by now, you’re still likely not ramping up solutions to address it. In fact, enhancing hybrid work technologies was the No. 1 decreasing priority for IT leaders, according to the State of the CIO survey, and many CIOs have long been unraveling the ‘pandemic debt’ incurred by investing in digital productivity solutions during the height of the pandemic.

Hot: Digital trailblazers and micro transformations

With the CIO role changing to be more business-oriented and focused on both internal and external customer needs, CIOs need more of what Sacolick calls “digital trailblazers” who can act as “lieutenants.” These are people who “understand the lane they’re working in, whether it’s apps or security.” It’s incumbent upon CIOs to groom them to become leaders with “outside-in learning,’’ through a combination of attending nontechnical industry events and finding mentors outside the organization.

The trailblazers should be branched out into the business to run smaller transformation programs, he says.

Dean Kontul, executive vice president and CIO of KeyBank, is also a proponent of implementing micro transformations alongside large-scale transformations. 

Dean Kontul, EVP and CIO, KeyBank

KeyBank

The bank uses a pilot test-and-learn approach wherever possible. Along these lines, KeyBank uses consulting and outsourcing partners to accelerate the process. 

“Our most successful transformations rely on leadership across KeyBank and on speed of delivery with multiple impactful components delivered in parallel, versus waiting on a big-bang approach delivered all at once,” Kontul says.

This may not be bleeding edge, he notes, “but we certainly are forward-thinking and adopt new tools quickly and proactivity look to apply lessons learned from small initiatives with emerging technologies to broader use cases.”

Instead of the conversation being about a big, monolithic ERP transformation, CIOs should think about agility, Schneider Electric’s Cain says. “Do you think agile or are you agile? Look at [digital transformation] on a micro-scale and transform the way you work with a modular approach.”

Hot: Business-IT partnerships

Similar to Dow, Schneider’s IT group has been structured to be aligned with specific business domains “to better enable the business and be a better business partner.”

Not everything has to be enabled by technology, Cain adds. “You don’t want to just automate a crappy process — change the process.” Schneider uses an approach called a “power couple,” which pairs a domain or business leader and a digital leader together. They are responsible for the ‘what’ and ‘why’ and the digital leader is responsible for the ‘how’ and the ‘when.’

“When you partner those two people together … it’s very, very powerful and you don’t burn a lot of calories in solutioning and trying to do other people’s jobs and overwhelming people,’’ Cain says. “We utilize [them] in a dual delivery leadership model — the same people, the same rank, the same level and we put them together.”

Hot: Embedding AI in enterprise systems

There was a time when embedding AI and machine learning into enterprise and SaaS platforms fell to data science teams, but now, organizations are expanding those programs, Sacolick says.

“They’re looking to use AI and MI in ways that deliver value … beyond what marketing is saying [these platforms] can do. It’s not about the science but the application and getting the value without having to invest in the skillsets to build the models,” he says.

Take recommendation engines. They have been around for many years inside ecommerce and content management systems, he notes. “The CIO and IT have to make sure the information is presented to [the recommendation engine] in a way so it will make better decisions,’’ Sacolick says. “That often means expanding the context and data available to it.”

Ruga agrees, saying that applying AI or machine learning with “data inputs that make sense” makes large systems more valuable. At Fictiv, IT is doing that for quotes for manufacturing parts.

“Now you have something that has been educated by machine learning that has seen lots and lots of similar examples and can infer the conditions that are necessary to say, ‘This configuration or this design will cost you X dollars to make,’ and makes recommendations,’’ he says. “We are seeing that everywhere.”

Hot: Digitizing the manufacturing supply chain

Digitizing the entire supply chain is at the forefront for BSH, a Munich, Germany-based global provider of home appliances, says Berke Menekli, senior vice president of digital platform services, whose digital strategy tackles four pillars: enterprise processes, manufacturing processes, products, and the consumer journey.

BSH’s approach incorporates Industry 4.0, or I4.0, an IT-fueled strategy for improving efficiency using automation and data-driven operational decision-making.

Berke Menekli, SVP of digital platform services, BSH

BSH

To achieve this, BSH is investing in inbound/outbound logistics flow to maintain the continuity of production and supply chain automation “to ensure value creation toward our products can be transferred to our consumers,” Menekli says.

Initiatives such as these have become hot, he says, thanks to the advancement of supporting technologies such as machine learning and data lakes, which have become fast and strong enough to be operationally reliable in a manufacturing environment.

Taking that a step further, Ruga says it’s become more important to insulate the manufacturing supply chain, given global socioeconomic conditions.

“If I’m faced with a scenario like COVID or the war in Ukraine, and I have tons of people I employ and tons of vendors that depend on me and all of a sudden COVID hits, my supply chain collapses,’’ he says. Or “maybe I had a manufacturer in Ukraine that was producing unique parts for me, and … that factory got blown up and now I have to find a new vendor, which costs me time and money.”

A new trend is for manufacturers to vet their networks to insulate their supply chain and have the work managed for them, Ruga says.

“It’s not about whether I put Oracle in, it’s whether the collection of systems I’ve put in place insulate my business from risk,’’ he says. “An outsourced insulated supply chain de-risks things like supply chain disruption when COVID hits and a machine shop shuts down.’’

Cold: Traditional RPA

Some IT leaders are finding that robotic process automation is a lever-based approach involving the time-consuming process of collecting financial and operational data, and detailed process mapping, and doesn’t have enterprise scale. Many of the initial bots developed focused heavily on process efficiency, and this has limited opportunities for scalability, observers say.

Organizations must rethink how work is being done with bots that are broader in scope, or the investment in them will underdeliver.

Sacolick thinks RPA has become a band-aid. “I think what we’re doing is scripting on top of broken processes, in some cases, data technologies, and in many cases, a lack of APIs to get a backdoor into digital capabilities.” This is leading to an accumulation of bot debt because “any time I build a bot I have to continue to evolve and support it.”

He believes organizations will soon be talking about RPA more as a set of integrated tools, or what Sacolick calls hyperautomation, using low code and machine learning.  

“A bot is a piece of a solution, not a complete one,’’ he says. A lot of what they do is fill out forms and ‘screen scraping.’ In invoice processing, for example, you can either outsource the work or build a bot that will do some data entry internally instead of having people key the information into an ERP system.

That saves time and money and avoids mistakes and the need to change vendors, he says. But when a vendor changes their system or the company updates its ERP system, the bots will have to be changed, and that causes the debt, especially when the vendor doesn’t have an API the company can use, Sacolick says.

Another approach is to build a low-code system that flows into the ERP system through an API. “RPA is a tool to orchestrate a workflow, low code is a tool to build a workflow, and machine learning is tool so my workflows can be triggered based on analytics,’’ he explains. “RPA will shift from being a platform to a tool. It’s providing one capability; it’s not that powerful alone.”

More on digital transformation:

What is digital transformation? A necessary disruption10 ways to accelerate digital transformation7 secrets of successful digital transformations8 reasons why digital transformations fail7 digital transformation mythsDigital KPIs: Your keys to measuring digital transformation success

Digital Transformation, IT Leadership, IT Strategy

When Tim Potter, principal at Deloitte Consulting,surveys the current enterprise software and services landscape, he sees potential for IT organizations to spur both innovation and rapid growth.

“Enterprises continue to seek software and technology solutions to improve services, deliver more compelling products, streamline internal processes, and increase productivity,” he says, adding that new technology advances are continually being introduced to help meet enterprise demands.

“Supporting the business while protecting corporate data will continue to be a challenge for CIOs,” Potter notes. “As such, IT leaders have, and will continue to, seek software and services that enable them to manage this increased complexity.”

Here is a look at the latest trends in the enterprise IT software and services market, to help IT leaders make the most of what’s emerging today.

AI takes aim at the enterprise

From front-office transformation to new go-to-market strategies and business models, artificial intelligence is poised to reshape the enterprise, says Michael Shehab, innovation leader at PwC US. He advises IT leaders to examine their current operations to identify issues that can be resolved with AI. Doing so will require building new skill levels across the organization to ensure that teams are able to successfully deploy AI systems and design software and data environments that are fully compatible with the new strategies.

Shehab observes that enterprises are already making massive investments in AI. According to PwC research, AI has the potential to provide $15.7 trillion in global economic growth by 2030. “With the recent influx of new AI-driven tools and solutions, such as generative AI, most enterprise organizations today want to get their hands on the advanced tech to transform how their company does business,” he says.

ChatGPT captures enterprise imagination

Given the incredible virality ChatGPT has experienced since its launch, generative AI is currently at the forefront of many people’s minds, observes Brandon Jung, vice president of ecosystems at Tabnine, which is developing an AI-code writing technology. “There’s a lot of chatter around its future applications, its potential, and what this means for the future of AI, some of which is accurate and some of which is false.”

The potential enterprise applications for conversational AI tools are vast, and enterprises are exploring the possibilities of generative AI, albeit cautiously. “The more structured the content, the better these tools will perform,” Jung says. “Programming code is an example of a structured language that has excellent opportunities available.”

Customer-service chatbots are also improving rapidly, Jung says. “We will also see applications in basic boilerplate HR templates, legal documents, news reports, instruction manuals, and so on.” Algorithm creativity is currently limited by the limited state of training data sets. “While the AI output might be unique, it will likely follow the style, word choice, and construction of the underlying training data,” he explains. “It won’t be writing award-winning fiction novels any time soon.”

Edge computing arrives

The edge economy is one of the most important trends this year in the enterprise services market, says Ken Englund, technology, media, and telecommunications leader at EY.

With the internet of things (IoT) expanding, enterprises are finding themselves processing increasing amounts of data. “Transferring this data back and forth to large enterprise cloud platforms for processing is very costly and time consuming,” Englund observes. “Therefore, enterprises need intelligence in their network at the level where the data is collected — locally — at the edge of the network.”

Englund advises CIOs to consider investing in edge ecosystems, given their ability to streamline processes and improve customer experiences. “It’s important for vendors to explore opportunities with edge ecosystems to disrupt existing business models, even if it puts them in competition with their own legacy business,” he adds, noting that the benefits edge ecosystems provide customers are worth the investment. Englund also believes that the payback window will eventually compress, potentially fueling even more innovation and technology investments.

Private wireless picks up steam

Private wireless adoption is accelerating, providing enterprises with an increasingly attractive and viable communication option, observes Roy Chua, founder and principal at research and analysis firm AvidThink. “Recent technology improvements, increasing awareness of 5G’s benefits, and more open government spectrum policies have increased the adoption of private mobile networks.”

Private wireless networks deliver both low latency and high throughput. The technology also allows enterprises to add new services quickly while responding to data traffic growth. “Transformative use cases include Industry 4.0, smart agriculture, campus automation, smart cities, autonomous robotics, and telehealth,” Chua says.

Chua notes that research firm Analysys Mason estimates there will be more than 20,000 private wireless networks — both LTE and 5G — by 2026, and that enterprises will spend more than $5 billion on these networks in the next four years. Innovative CIOs see the promise of private 5G and want to get ahead to ensure early learning and understanding of how private 5G innovation can drive business value, Chua says.

“They start with an innovation lab or starter network with a few 5G base stations and 5G access devices — phones, tablets, 5G modems, and routers, to connect with industrial devices,” he explains. Private wireless networks can be rolled out within just a few weeks, but it’s important to find a service provider has expertise in shared spectrum technology, network deployments, solution integration and 24/7 network monitoring and support, Chua adds.

Digital transformation enters 2.0 phase

The way CIOs approach digital transformation programs is changing dramatically, says Shafqat Azim, a partner with global technology research and advisory firm ISG. He notes that transformation initiatives are coming under greater scrutiny as CIOs seek to drive real-world business value.

Azim predicts that enterprises will continue moving away from transactional-SLA-focused service projects that don’t include any transformative elements. “Digital transformation will get embedded within run-and-operate service delivery models, moving from a large transformation program mindset to a continuous transformation mindset,” he says.

Azim advises CIOs to begin viewing digital modernization investments through a value realization and cyber risk management lens, along with a traditional cost optimization focus. “Ensure that solutions for large-scale application and platform transformation … have an explicit overlay of end-to-end digital threads,” he adds.

Passwordless authentication goes prime time

The world has moved beyond the point where a simple password can provide sufficient protection, states David Burden, CIO with open-source identity and access management technology firm ForgeRock.

Spurred by the FIDO2 standard, the move to passwordless authentication is gaining momentum. It’s now the largest trend for enterprise software companies, Burden says. “The industry’s biggest players, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google, among others, have assisted with expanding the FIDO2 standard, announcing plans to enable passwordless authentication across multiple devices, browsers, and platforms.” He points to Gartner’s prediction that by 2025 over 50% of the workforce, and more than 20% of customer authentication transactions, will be passwordless — a major increase from the fewer than 10% today.

Passwordless authentication also promises to significantly enhance customer experience. “With an extensive enterprise authentication process, a user can log into an online account without having to enter a password,” Burden explains. “This eliminates the concern for forgotten passwords and the burdensome task of password recovery.”

Passwordless authentication also saves time. “It protects the most commonly used and vulnerable enterprise resources while also delivering an outstanding user experience and boosting workforce productivity,” Burden says. Overall, he notes, FIDO2 has the potential to improve both security and ease of use for online access while greatly diminishing the risk of stolen credentials by cybercriminals.

Cloud-native as platform of choice

Rajesh Kumar, CIO at digital transformation company LTIMindtree, predicts a bright future for cloud-native platforms, a way of building and running applications that takes advantage of distributed computing capabilities supplied by the cloud delivery model.

Cloud-native apps are designed and built to exploit the scale, elasticity, resiliency, and flexibility of the cloud, an approach that allows adopters to go live via platform configuration without the need for significant custom development. “Any extensions and customizations are built externally by integrating with the platform,” he explains.

Serverless applications running on cloud-hosted platforms differ from traditional enterprise software deployments, in which software is deployed on server infrastructure hosted either on-cloud or on-prem, Kumar says. “This trend extends to developing end-user applications using low-code platforms.”

The concept of developing systems based on requirements built from the ground up is becoming dated. “Today’s approach is to choose the right platform and plan the configurations or development project without having to worry about a deployment plan or scalability architecture,” Kumar says. “With the advent of widely available APIs and platform-driven solutions, CIOs can now focus on innovations that drive business outcomes rather than getting consumed in topics such as infrastructure, hosting, network, and scalability issues.”

Hyperscalers, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, have a major presence in this space, since they possess the horsepower needed to host large-scale platforms while offering massive scalability, Kumar observes. He notes that secondary market players include cloud-native platform providers such as Salesforce and ServiceNow.

Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data and Information Security, Digital Transformation, Edge Computing, Enterprise Applications, Machine Learning, Private 5G

The hype surrounding AI-based voice and chatbots is evident, but do they deliver? Most still perform only extremely basic tasks and often mirror the poor practices of traditional IVRs. Customers may be open to the idea, but only 30% believe that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier to address their service issues.

The things customers say bots are good at – replying quickly, helping them outside normal business hours, being friendly – are not as important as what 60% say bots fail at: understanding them well. Any company that underestimates the value of AI in this area will fall behind in 2023; however, reevaluation is necessary. 

How can you implement AI bots in your company, and what will they be able to do for you? Here’s how Avaya expects things to shake out: 

Companies will take a more realistic approach to bots with a strong focus on improving dialogues and designing superb services behind conversational user interfaces

Customer expectations are drastically changing with the proliferation of AI-enabled speech devices such as Alexa, Google Home, and Siri and the introduction of new applications like ChatGPT. We will see a focus on making customer interactions easier to understand, resulting in less repetition of information and disconnects to create better bot experiences. Integration with cognitive intelligence (context-sensitive knowledge management, predictive analytics, and similar) will be key for doing so.

Don’t expect to see night-and-day differences but rather a turning point in the relationship between machines and humans. We’ll see the continued shift away from button-based chatbots to conversational virtual agents that can handle more complex interactions with a sophisticated reasoning engine and integrated back-end systems. 

Companies would be wise to start with small-scale, attainable applications (ex: having their virtual agent successfully “talk” customers through the steps required for a given task or process such as initiating a password reset, filing a support ticket, or making a reservation). Then, build from there to start using conversational AI in more advanced ways such as instantly capturing and analyzing conversations to initiate action or having bots read between the lines to understand what customers want and feel. 

For now, it’s “slow and steady wins the race.”

Handing off interactions from live agents to bots (not just from bot to agent) for process completion will become an increasingly interesting option

Most bot-initiated interactions result in live agent transfers. Could we see an increase in reverse handoffs where customers go from agent to bot? Yes, especially as processes near completion so that agents can free up more time. 

Here’s an example of how this could work: A customer calls his car insurance company after being in a minor fender bender. The agent walks the customer through the steps that need to be taken (how to file a claim, where to upload pictures of the scene, and how to handle all other needs) and answers any questions along the way. 

It’s at this point the agent offers the customer the option to be transferred to a digital experience facilitated by the company’s AI chatbot. The customer accepts, the call ends, and the bot steps in via text/SMS. The bot can send links to knowledge-based articles, embed “how-to” videos directly into text messages, help the customer navigate the company’s mobile app, and answer any questions in a natural, human-like, back-and-forth conversation. 

The customer can opt out of this digital experience at any point and be elevated back to a live agent with all contextual information. Avaya expects more organizations will consider or facilitate agent-to-bot interactions in 2023 to improve costs and productivity while maintaining, if not increasing, CSAT. 

This will be the year when CX no longer depends on contact center platform features but on the platform’s ability to collect, process, and react to data

Expect to see a surge in interest for communication analytics as companies seek to convert data hidden in customers’ conversations into actionable insights that can be used to make strategic, tactical, and operational decisions. For example, using AI-powered speech analytics to: 

Put together accurate profiles of individual customers based on their interests and attributes so they can be strategically used in future conversations (both bot and human).Generate key insights about a customer group and proactively communicate (via bot or automated notifications).Help your bots understand what customers are requesting (even if phrased in an odd or unexpected way) to recognize their aim in starting a conversation. 

An AI-powered Experience Platform, built on open API architecture, provides the predictive, cloud-based AI capabilities needed to gain deeper customer insights, personalize interactions, and reduce operating costs while reaping the benefits of continuous improvements over time. The platform seamlessly integrates with existing infrastructure, preserving current investments, while empowering organizations to find valuable data immediately and start managing and leveraging that data more effectively. 

An effortless way to get started with AI bots is by using a pre-built VA solution. These solutions are the epitome of “innovation without disruption.” They can be managed and customized from a simple dashboard without needing help from a developer team and can be used for simple to very sophisticated purposes. It’s likely we’ll see an increase in the adoption of these solutions over the next 12 months. 

How do you see AI bots continuing to evolve for customer experience?

Find out more about how Avaya AI solutions deliver intelligent experiences.

Artificial Intelligence

The post-pandemic reality. Macroeconomic turbulence. Explosive technology innovations. Generational shifts in technological expectations. All these forces and more drive rapid, often confusing change in organizations large and small.

With every such change comes opportunity–for bad actors looking to game the system. Cybersecurity cannot stand still, or the waves of innovation will overrun the shores.

Adversaries continue to innovate. Keeping up–and hopefully, staying ahead–presents new challenges. Here is a short list of recent considerations for CIOs as they work with their teams to shore up their defenses.

Multifactor authentication fatigue and biometrics shortcomings

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a popular technique for strengthening the security around logins. With MFA, the website or application will send a text message or push notification to the user with a code to enter along with their password.

MFA fatigue or ‘push phishing’ is a popular hack that targets MFA by repeatedly sending the user superfluous, malicious MFA notifications in hopes they inadvertently accept one or simply click to stop the annoying flood of messages.

In other cases, MFA includes a biometric step–reading a fingerprint, scanning a face, and the like. Users appreciate the convenience of biometrics, but they have their flaws as well. 

Sometimes they simply don’t work, perhaps due to a change in contact lenses or a new tattoo. Any spy thriller aficionado will also know it’s possible to ‘steal’ someone’s fingerprint or facial image–and once an individual’s biometric is compromised, there’s no way to change it the way we change passwords.

Security implications of ChatGPT and its ilk

ChatGPT and other generative AI technologies have taken the world by storm, but the combination of their sudden popularity and a general lack of understanding of how they work is a recipe for disaster.

In reality, generative AI presents a number of new and transformed risks to the organization. For example, ChatGPT is eerily proficient at writing phishing emails–well-targeted at particular individuals and free from typos.

A second, more pernicious risk is the fact that ChatGPT can write malware. Sometimes the malware has errors, but with simple repetition the hacker can generate multiple working versions of the code. Such polymorphic malware is particularly hard to detect, because it may be different from one attack to another.

Securing the software supply chain

The Log4j vulnerability that reared its ugly head in late 2021 showed a bright light on the problem of software supply chain security.

Most commercial enterprise software products and nearly all open-source ones depend upon numerous software packages and libraries. Many of these libraries are themselves open-source and depend upon other libraries in a complex network of opaque interdependencies.

Some of these components have professional teams that test and maintain them, releasing security patches as needed. Other open-source components are the result of some lone developer’s moonlighting activities from years past. 

For each open-source component in your entire IT infrastructure, which are the well-maintained ones, and which are the forgotten work of hobbyists? And how do you tell?

Getting ahead of the ransomware gangs

Ransomware is big business for the criminal gangs who have figured out how to capitalize on it. The malware itself is easy to buy on the Dark Web. In fact, there’s a veritable bazaar of ransomware variations, as hackers maneuver to create the most pernicious version.

From the enterprise side, the ransomware problem is multifaceted and dynamic. The malware itself continues to evolve, as do the criminal strategies of the perpetrators. 

The most familiar strategy–encrypting files on servers and then demanding a ransom for the decryption key–is but one approach among many. Other attackers steal data and threaten to release it to the public. Another angle is to target the victim’s backups.

No list of strategies and techniques does the ransomware problem justice, as the bad guys continue to innovate. CIOs and CISOs must remain eternally vigilant.

Managing costs while supporting digital transformation

The Covid pandemic accelerated many digital transformation initiatives as executives struggled to meet the suddenly changing needs of both customers and employees.

Today, economic challenges generate digital transformation headwinds as the needs of customers and employees change once again to address post-pandemic realities.

Cybersecurity budgets are typically caught between these two forces. Given the importance of meeting customer needs on limited resources, how important is cybersecurity?

It’s vitally important, of course – but it’s only one of the many risks CIOs must mitigate. Other risks include operational risk (the risk of downtime), technical debt risk (the risk of failures of legacy technologies), as well as compliance risk.

There’s never enough money to drive all these risks to zero–so how should executives decide which risks to mitigate and how much money and time to spend mitigating them?

Organizations must be able to engineer comprehensive risk management that quantifies each type of risk and establishes risk targets that conform to budgetary and human resource limitations.

This ‘threat engineering’ gives CIOs a justifiable approach to making cybersecurity expenditure decisions while also mitigating the other risks facing the IT organization.

Advice moving forward

This article highlights modern security trends for CIOs that weren’t on anybody’s radar as little as five years ago. Five years from now, the list might once again be entirely different.

Such is the nature of cybersecurity risk management. The risks continue to evolve as adversaries improve their strategies. CIOs must remain vigilant while they leverage state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools and strategies to keep one step ahead of the bad guys.

Read the eBook: Views from the C-suite: Why endpoint management is more critical than ever before

© Intellyx LLC. Tanium is an Intellyx customer. Intellyx retains final editorial control of this article. No AI was used in the production of this article.

Security

We’ve entered another year where current economic conditions are pressuring organizations to do more with less, all while still executing against digital transformation imperatives to keep the business running and competitive. To understand how organizations may be approaching their cloud strategies and tech investments in 2023, members of VMware’s Tanzu Vanguard community shared their insights on what trends will take shape.

Tanzu Vanguards, which includes leaders, engineers, and developers from DATEV, Dell, GAIG, and TeraSky, provided their perspectives on analyst predictions and industry data that point to larger trends impacting cloud computing, application development, and technology decisions.

Trend #1: More organizations will take on a cloud-native first strategy, accelerating the shift to containers and Kubernetes as the backbone for current and new applications.

According to Forrester, forty percent of firms will take a cloud-native first strategy. Forrester’s Infrastructure Cloud Survey 2022 reveals that cloud decision-makers have implemented containerized applications that account for half of the total workloads in their organizations. Kubernetes will propel application modernization with DevOps automation, low-code capabilities, and site reliability engineering (SRE) and organizations should accelerate investment in this area as their distributed compute backbone.

“I agree on the cloud-native first strategy [prediction] since Kubernetes is the base for modern infrastructure. But you have to take into account that cloud native first does not mean public cloud first. Especially in regulated environments, public clouds or the big hyperscalers won’t always be an option,” says Juergen Sussner, cloud platform engineer and developer at DATEV. “If you look into the startup world, they start in public clouds, but as they grow to a certain scale, cloud costs will become a big problem and the need for more control might come up to bring things back into their own infrastructures or sovereign clouds. So cloud-native first, yes but maybe not public cloud first to the same degree.”

While Scott Rosenberg, practice leader of cloud technologies and automation at TeraSky, agrees with Forrester’s prediction, he notes that there is nuance in the details. “The growth of Kubernetes, and the benefits it brings to organizations, is not something that is going away. Kubernetes and containerized environments are here to stay, and their footprint will continue to grow. As Kubernetes is becoming more mature, and the ecosystem around it as well is stabilizing, I believe that the challenges we are experiencing around knowledge gaps, and technical difficulties are going to get smaller over the next few years. With that being said, due to the maturity of Kubernetes, I believe that over the next year, the industry will understand which types of workloads are fit for Kubernetes and which types of workloads, truly should not be run in a containerized environment. I believe VM-based and container-based workloads will live together and in harmony for many more years, however, I see the management layers of the 2 unifying in the near future, as is evident by the rise of ecosystem tooling like Crossplane, VMware Tanzu VM Operator, KubeVirt and more.”

Even if organizations decide to take a containerized approach to their applications,  Jim Kohl, application and developer consultant at GAIG, says “there still is heavy lifting in moving the company project portfolio over to the new system. Even then, companies will have a blend of VM-centered workloads alongside containerized workloads.”

Similarly, Thomas Rudrof, cloud platform engineer at DATEV eG, agrees that we won’t necessarily see the end of VM-based workloads. “Our organization, as well as the majority of the industry, is already adopting a cloud-native-first or a Kubernetes-native-first strategy and will increase their investment in technologies like Kubernetes and containers in the coming years. Especially for new apps or when modernizing existing apps. However, it is also important to note that there are still many apps that run on virtual machines and do not work natively in containers, especially in the case of third-party software. Therefore, I think there will still be a need for VM workloads in the coming years,” says Rudrof.       

“This year, companies will focus on cost optimization and better use of existing hardware resources. Using containerization will allow you to better control application environments along with their lifecycle. It will also allow for more effective and faster delivery of the application to the customer. IT departments should reorganize some IT processes that use a VM-based approach rather than containers,” says Lukasz Zasko, principal engineer at Dell.

Trend #2: Optimizing costs and operational efficiency will be a focus for organizations looking to improve their financial position amidst an economic downturn and skills shortages. IT leaders and executives must use AI and cloud platforms, and adopt platform engineering, to improve costs, operations, and software delivery.

Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023 advises that this year is an opportunity for organizations to optimize IT systems and costs through a “digital immune system” that combines software engineering strategies like observability, AI/automation, and design and testing, to deliver resilient systems that mitigate operational and security risks. Additionally, with ongoing supply chain issues and skills shortages, organizations can scale productivity by using industry cloud platforms and platform engineering to empower agile teams with self-service capabilities to increase the pace of product delivery. Lastly, as organizations look to control cloud costs, Gartner states that investments in sustainable technology will have the potential to create greater operational resiliency and financial performance, while also improving environmental and social ecosystems.

“Eliminating cognitive load from your developers by using platform engineering techniques makes them more productive and therefore more efficient. There’s always a discussion about what can be centralized, and what should and should not be centralized as it can cause too much process overhead when not giving this specific control to your developer teams,” Sussner says. “The rise of AI in this case can’t be overlooked, like GitHub Copilot and many intelligent tools for managing security and many other aspects of supply chains.”

However, cost savings isn’t necessarily a new prediction or trend for organizations in 2023, according to Martin Zimmer – Technology Lead Modern Application Platforms at Bechtle GmbH. “I have heard this for 10 or more years. Also, AI will not help with [cost savings] because the initial costs are way too high at the moment.”

On the other hand, Rudrof says, “AI has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness of IT professionals and organizations, and is likely to play an increasingly important role in the industry in the coming years.” He is also optimistic about platform engineering as a trend that will impact enterprise strategies. “I believe that platform teams are essential in helping DevOps teams focus on creating business value and in providing golden paths to enhance the overall developer experience,” says Rudrof.

Trend #3: Infrastructure and operations leaders will need to rethink their methods for growing skills to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology and ways of working.

Gartner predicts that through 2025, 80% of the operational tasks will require skills that less than half the workforce is trained in today. Gartner recommends that leaders implement a prioritized set of methods to change the skills portfolio of the infrastructure and operations organization by creating a skills roadmap that emphasizes connected learning, digital dexterity, collaboration, and problem-solving.

“The main problem in 2023 will be how can we learn new skills fast and stay on top of all the new tools and technologies in every area. If you implement a toolchain today, tomorrow it’s old,” Zimmer says. He adds that implementing a skills portfolio is nothing new. “Connected learning, digital dexterity, collaboration, and problem-solving should be the ‘normal’ skills of everyone who works inside the IT organization. The days where an IT ‘guru’ sits in his dark room and runs away when you try to talk with him are long gone.”

While developing digital and human skills will always be important for current and future workforces as hybrid work and digital transformation initiatives take hold, organizations must also look inward to evolve company culture. Sussner believes that being able to react and adapt to change is a skill in itself that an organization has to develop. “Not only do DevOps teams have to adapt to changing requirements, but also company structures. If you take Conway’s law seriously, this means being able to develop software in an agile way, would also raise the necessity to be able to change company structures accordingly.” Conway’s law states that organizations design systems that mirror their own communication structure.

“This huge step in company culture requires brave managers adopting agile principles. So in my opinion, it’s not only about technology transformation, it’s also about company culture that has to evolve. If neither technology nor culture does not take part in this game, all will fail,” Sussner adds.

At a time when budgets and margins are tightening, leaders should take this time to re-evaluate investments and prioritize the technologies and skills that build a resilient business. As business success increasingly relies on the organization’s ability to deliver software and services quickly and securely, building a company culture that prioritizes the developer experience and removes infrastructure complexity to drive productivity and efficiency will be critical for 2023 and beyond.

To learn more, visit us here.

Cloud Computing

We know that the Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) market is growing; an increasing number of companies are choosing this flexible model to support their CX operations, and this will continue through 2023. Vendors are also increasingly expanding the capabilities of their CCaaS solutions and evolving them at speed. What can we expect over the next 12 months? Here’s where Avaya sees the market heading…  

The Growth of Hybrid Cloud Among Large Enterprises

SMBs will continue to benefit from CCaaS this year with the ability to consume advanced capabilities that were previously out of reach. Enterprises, however, will use 2023 to gravitate towards a hybrid cloud approach as public cloud adoption grows and off-premises capabilities continually improve. Overall, it’s expected that 60% of enterprises will be using CCaaS by 2025. 

This transition is happening for several specific reasons:

Access to vendor-specific capabilities: The complexity of digital customer journeys, where no single vendor can adequately cover every necessary element, motivates vendors to partner and form multi-cloud systems. Large enterprises that leverage hybrid cloud benefit from innovative solutions composed of complementing capabilitieswithout having to abandon their on-prem investments. 

Innovation overlay: The pressure is on for enterprises to become more digital and agile using technologies like AI, automation, and API customization. A hybrid cloud environment allows them to leverage an innovation model that safeguards the stability of their existing operations. 

Reduced dependencies: A hybrid model allows enterprises to bring disparate IT environments together under a single management framework, minimizing dependencies between systems that run in different environments. 

Investment protection: Enterprises often contend with requirements of specific countries, industry verticals, or compliance and security policies and mandates. A hybrid cloud approach enables them to mitigate disruption as they migrate to the cloud in alignment with these requirements, ensuring service innovation and CX improvement irrespective of global economics and geopolitics. 

Cost optimization: Existing IT investments can’t be cost-effectively discarded in favor of new technology. A hybrid deployment model improves the economics of current investments by not disrupting users’ present environment. In fact, a recent study conducted by 451 Research across 10 countries found that, overall, the average savings possible for an enterprise with a hybrid cloud approach is 29-45%. 

On-premises and cloud both have demand for enterprises today. We expect 2023 to be a watershed year for enterprise CCaaS adoption, driven by hybrid deployment. 

Top CCaaS Capabilities of 2023 

A continued driver of CCaaS adoption will be innovation without disruption. Organizations are limited by proprietary, on-premises technology (hence why hybrid adoption will grow among traditional enterprises), meanwhile CCaaS capabilities continue to get better and better. These are the capabilities Avaya expects to be most popular this year:

1. AI and Machine Learning (ML)

AI and ML will continue to experience steady growth in the coming years. Large enterprises especially benefit from the ability to uncover operational efficiencies more quickly, reduce call volume (and thus, the burden on live agents), and help reps access information faster to accelerate resolution of issues. 

A quickly growing AI capability is AI noise removal, which eliminates unwanted background sounds for customers and agents during service conversations. AI-based voice and chatbots will also continue to grow in popularity. Any company that underestimates the value of AI in these areas will inevitably fall behind in 2023. 

2. Attribute-based Routing

It makes sense from both a cost and CX perspective to match customers with resources more intelligently based on business rules, internal and external context, and desired outcomes. Organizations can fine tune conversations, deepen customer relationships, and help agents succeed while improving First Contact Resolution (FCR) and reducing costly transfers.

3. Automated self-service

Give customers the freedom to choose their experience while reducing repetitive and routine calls for agents. Large enterprises once again stand to benefit most from the ability to automate processes and deliver faster response times across customers’ channels of choice. Web self-service portals, conversational IVRs, SMS, and live chat will all be in high demand for self-service this year.

The “freedom to choose” aspect of self-service is paramount and must be a top focus in 2023. Customers should never feel like they’re fighting an automated assistant to get what they want, nor should they be forced to use it. 

Greater Emphasis on Cost Containment

CCaaS helps contain contact center costs by improving contact duration and deflection, however, contact center projects in 2023 will need to show even more hard-cost savings in order to move forward. Avaya expects the following investments to be front and center as companies further tighten the reins: 

Identity and verification: Verifying and authenticating a customer in a contact center using common methods like Knowledge-based Authentication (KBA) takes anywhere from one to two and a half minutes. Research shows eliminating this time using Identity-centered Security can save as much as $3 a call, creating the potential for millions in annual savings while at the same time providing a better customer experience. 

Digital redirection: Redirecting calls to a digital or mobile self-service experience like SMS, messaging, chatbots, or a mobile app can save $3-5 per call, reducing interaction costs by up to 80% while giving callers the information they need more efficiently.    

CTI screen pops: The faster agents can access information, the faster they can resolve issues and move on to assist more customers. CTI screen pops can also help increase sales through targeted cross-selling and upselling by providing agents with the right information at just the right time. This will be a key investment in 2023.

Demand for Cloud Efficiencies and Security 

A big focus for 2023 will be minimizing the impact to the customer experience with increased data protection and privacy in the contact center. Can zero trust initiatives be successful without affecting customer perception? Absolutely. In fact, this is why Avaya is partnered with Journey, a digital identity verification and authentication platform provider that is blazing a trail in this field with award-winning innovation. 

Improving the speed, accuracy, and techniques used in contact center customer verification and authentication will be crucial this year for making necessary improvements to operational efficiency, security, customer experience, and costs. You can read this blog to learn more about how Identity-centered Security better protects customer data while increasing organizational efficiency. 

Want innovation without disruption? Register to attend Avaya Engage 2023 this June to learn what Avaya Experience Platform can do for your business.  

Hybrid Cloud

For many of today’s global enterprises, it’s a struggle to adapt quickly to emerging challenges.

With supply chain issues and the impending recession, digital transformation remains a pressing strategic imperative. However, key digital transformation milestones remain out of reach for far too many teams. To make real strides in each of these areas, Value Stream Management (VSM) has emerged as an urgent demand.

Earlier this year, Broadcom commissioned extensive industry research to learn how VSM adoption is evolving and which key trends are emerging in 2023. Conducted by Dimensional Research, this survey polled more than 500 IT and business leaders. Respondents came from five continents and represented a wide range of industries.

The findings from this survey are now available in a report entitled “2023 Value Stream Management Trends.” We’ll offer critical insights from this report in the following sections.

#1. Enterprise leaders are more focused on the customer than ever

When asked about their top strategic business focus for 2023, 58% of respondents cited “increasing customer value,” the highest-rated response. This objective was ranked third in a similar survey conducted the previous year.

The report’s authors state, “It now seems companies are shifting focus from rushing products to market that risk decreasing customer value with defects, bugs, or quality problems to a clear focus on maximizing customer delight with value and quality.”

#2. A disconnect between business and IT is impeding the attainment of key objectives

As they look at their challenges heading into 2023, senior leaders can be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu. More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents say their businesses continued to be plagued by a long-standing issue: the disconnect between software development and business strategy. An even higher percentage of technology teams, 72%, are frustrated by business leaders’ constant changing of business priorities.

Since the advent of the pandemic, supply chains have presented challenges for businesses in a range of industries—and supply chains remain the highest-ranked challenge as teams enter 2023. Forty-nine percent of respondents said ensuring their company has reliable supply chains is a top challenge.  

#3. VSM adoption is widespread and growing

Today, the consensus around VSM is nearly unanimous: 92% agree that VSM can help optimize the product lifecycle. Further, 86% have adopted VSM or plan to. By the end of 2023, 60% of organizations will be shipping products using VSM.

The survey also revealed that digital transformation initiatives are tightly aligned with VSM. Ninety-five percent of organizations currently pursuing VSM initiatives are also pursuing digital transformation.

#4. VSM is delivering significant benefits for digital transformation

For teams that have implemented VSM, a vast majority of respondents, 95%, report that VSM has helped deliver key benefits. When asked what benefits VSM has already shown, six responses were selected by one-third or more survey participants. Topping the list were increased transparency (42%), improved organizational alignment (39%), faster delivery of solutions to customers (38%), and enhanced data-driven decision-making (37%)—which can all be integral to advancing digital transformation.

The research shows that those building VSM capabilities are seeing an improved ability to measure and track customer value, which, as outlined earlier, is the top strategic imperative for leaders.

Conclusion

This recent survey offers some compelling proof points of the power of VSM. As we head into 2023, the businesses that have established VSM practices are better positioned to achieve their digital transformation objectives and deliver more value to customers. To learn more, download the report “2023 Value Stream Management Trends.”

______________________________________________________________

Explore ValueOps Value Stream Management, built to manage what you value most.

Digital Transformation

At Broadcom, we see challenges companies face first-hand, and in turn how technology trends impact the world’s largest companies. We’re sharing the top 5 predictions that you should be planning for in 2023.

Stay tuned for future blogs that dive into the technology behind these predictions from Broadcom’s industry-leading experts:

AI and automation will play an even more expanded role in technology

Whether in chips, software, or services, Broadcom believes artificial intelligence and automation go hand-in-hand in driving operational efficiencies, adaptive processes, higher performance and stronger security. Enabling AI becomes even more crucial across the entire IT stack.

AI-powered features are finding their way into every layer of technology that organizations use. According to one leading analyst firm, flexibility and adaptability are now the rules of the game — many businesses have learned this the hard way during the COVID pandemic. For many organizations, these changes demand “resilience-by-design” and “adaptive-by-definition.”

User experiences become critical in a hyper-connected, intelligent world

Broadcom believes people will have higher expectations for exceptional digital experiences across a wide range of devices and applications in 2023 and beyond. As our world becomes more inter-connected and based in artificial intelligence, user experience becomes even more critical to drive customer and employee satisfaction and retention. Employees expect consumer-friendly interfaces and continuous uptime even as they use business critical applications. Consumers have high expectations for digital experiences in online banking, email, cloud storage, video on demand (VoD), smart digital assistants, and virtual reality.

Trust management becomes critical for cybersecurity

Broadcom believes a move to distributed and decentralized trust will increase rapidly in 2023. This decentralization leads to new ways of transacting, communicating, and doing business — and not just for humans. Different applications have different access-granting or -restricting policies. The criteria on which a decision is based may differ greatly among different applications (or even between different instances of the same application).

What will be common among them will be the need to grant or restrict access to resources according to security criteria. A shift in managing trust will need to happen so that the security mechanism can handle those different criteria. With distributed trust, risk will need to be managed more closely across every aspect of business. And security around trust must be customized to the business. This will require artificial intelligence that enables security to rapidly adapt to each customer’s environment.

Multi-cloud will help deliver stronger business value

Broadcom believes large global organizations will continue the transition to customizing their cloud infrastructure to better fit their particular business in 2023. The cloud conversation is shifting from a technology discussion to a business- and even industry-model discussion. Vertical industries, such as banking, healthcare, and manufacturing, are shifting toward an agile platform supported by a portfolio of industry-specific business capabilities directly relevant for their specific industry. These industry clouds offer more adaptability, more business functionality, and more innovation.

Multi-cloud is the future of enterprise IT. A multi-cloud approach enables the flexibility to manage and protect data across different environments – private, public, or sovereign – at will. And when integrated with sovereign cloud, multi-cloud enables customers to deliver differentiated services at scale while remaining secure and in compliance with regulatory frameworks. Maintaining this choice, control, and agility is both crucial for growth and a daunting task for enterprises globally.

Wireless broadband will connect our digital future

Broadcom believes innovation in wireless broadband infrastructure will deliver more inventive applications in 2023. This next-generation wireless broadband, with its high speed and low latency capabilities, will power the internet at the edge to deliver immersive augmented reality and virtual reality, whole-home video distribution, gaming, and telemedicine to name just a few. Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7, using the 6 GHz band, will complement the multi-gigabit “10G” broadband coming into residences and enterprises to enable new experiences that extend beyond traditional communications.   

Watch for our 2023 Predictions blog series featuring some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. And to stay up to date on all of the latest new and emerging technology from Broadcom, make sure to:

Read our Broadcom blogRead our Broadcom Software blogFollow us on Broadcom Twitter & LinkedInFollow us on  Broadcom Software Twitter & LinkedIn
Digital Transformation, IT Leadership