Getting digital transformation right

Sponsored By: Optiv

By Greg Baker – Vice President, Cyber Digital Transformation, Optiv Inc.; Ed Lewis – Director, Orchestration & Automation CDX, Optiv Inc.; Rommy Hijazi – Senior Manager, Cyber Digital Transformation, Optiv Inc.

You’re an executive in a large consumer services company that has been tasked with building a scalable and sustainable digital transformation. While you ideate on the best path forward, the competition isn’t waiting. In Canada, a modest four in ten companies invested in digital transformation prior to the pandemic and continued their investment during successive waves of lockdowns and economic uncertainty. A study published in the Toronto Star highlights how digital leaders spend up to 50% more on technology than their competitors and they’ve achieved a striking return on investment. For instance, digital leaders are more than three times better at driving revenues and profits, four times better at capturing operational efficiencies and five times faster in launching new products to market.

Further, the operational pressures brought on by the pandemic has driven digital leaders to reimagine their ways of working to maximize productivity and attract talent. Shawna O’Grady, associate professor at the Smith School of Business, recommends Canadian employers adopt a “remote first” mindset. In a study published in Smith Business Insight, an estimated 77% of Canadians prefer a hybrid work environment (i.e., flexibility to work both in the office or at home). Reflecting in your home office, you feel a sense of determination to accelerate your digital transformation to transition your enterprise onto the right side of the divide between digital leaders and laggards. You also recognize that the sustainability of your digital transformation will depend on mobilizing all your stakeholders (employees, third party partners, local communities and shareholders) around a shared digital purpose. You can feel the collective weight of stakeholder aspirations as you begin to sketch an outline of your vision.

At Optiv, we acknowledge the complexities in shaping a transformation that is scalable and relevant to tomorrow’s world. Our firm has crafted a digital transformation playbook that is informed by our experience working with clients across a range of industries to achieve their digital aspirations.
At a high level, there are three domains to consider for your digital transformation: business value offerings, core operations and mobilizing stakeholders around a shared digital purpose. Cybersecurity is regarded as a leading barrier to digital transformation, partly because of the misconception that it is solely a defensive investment. Reimagining the role of cybersecurity on day one of your transformation will open your organization to new market opportunities. Let’s explore this growth-oriented cybersecurity mindset across each of the three transformation domains.

Business Value Offerings

According to a recent study by TELUS and Angus Reid, nearly half of all Canadians have been impacted by a data breach. It’s no wonder that more than half of Canadian shoppers have identified data privacy and security as a leading barrier to purchasing online goods/services. Leading consumer companies are “shifting left” on cybersecurity at the ideation phase of new products and services. This is resulting in faster deployment of secure and reliable business value offerings that create memorable experiences for customers.

“Shifting left” on cybersecurity at the ideation phase of product development will also enable enterprise stakeholders to responsibly leverage customer analytics to shape personalized offerings while safeguarding shopper privacy.

Core Operations

Pre-pandemic trends such as rising consumer expectations, boundaryless competition and market volatility drove companies to increasingly adopt digital capabilities. However, many companies kept their digital initiatives in pilot mode across limited functions and/or geographies. The pandemic served as a digital accelerant as companies rapidly scaled digital capabilities to empower an agile and customer-centric operating model. This partly explains why cybersecurity spending has increased by 93% in the last year, according to Gartner. Yet companies aren’t safer, as we’ve witnessed a significant uptick in cyber-attacks (e.g., ransomware attacks have increased by 148% since March 2020). Organizations are learning that they can’t spend their way to an agile operating model without “shifting left” on cybersecurity.

Applying cybersecurity to DevOps will enable organizations to transform their operating model to deliver products faster to market, reduce downtime and decrease security vulnerabilities. It enables the organization to pursue ambitious business priorities while also optimizing resource allocation. For instance, high performing DevSecOps organizations allocate 29% more capacity towards delivering new projects, rather than “business as usual” activities.

Mobilizing stakeholders around a shared digital purpose

Scaling and sustaining a digital transformation will require the mobilization of all stakeholders around a shared purpose that aligns business aspirations, digital capabilities, and social responsibility. It involves continuous stakeholder education (e.g., training sessions, town halls) and a safe-to-fail culture. This contributes to reducing friction between security and their business counterparts while also limiting the financial impact of a cyber-attack.

More than ever, CISOs must think about the protection of all enterprise stakeholders while also enabling breakthrough revenue growth. This requires companies to reimagine their organizational structure to embed security professionals across functions by creating “communities of cybersecurity champions.” A sustainable digital transformation occurs in part when stakeholders across the value chain are proactive security enthusiasts.

Getting Started Together

Whether you’re in the beginning of your transformation journey or caught in the middle, Optiv can help you accelerate the realization of your digital aspirations. These three activities will help us get started together at our next meeting:

  1. Shape your transformation north star.
  2. Identify the big rocks of your transformation journey.
  3. Leverage intelligent automation and data analytics in your cybersecurity capabilities.

Optiv Security: Secure greatness. ™

Optiv is the cyber advisory and solutions leader, delivering strategic and technical expertise to more than 7,000 companies across every major industry. We partner with organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs from strategy and managed security services to risk, integration and technology solutions. With clients at the center of our unmatched ecosystem of people, products, partners and programs, we accelerate business progress like no other company can. At Optiv, we manage cyber risk so you can secure your full potential. For more information, visit


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Sponsored By: Optiv