Back in 2014 I was engaged by an ASX Top 30 company on a Chief Security Officer assignment. Now that seems like a world away… Over the last five years I have seen a heightened awareness of security in organisations, from the historically physical guns, guards and gates approach, to a more strategic, risk-based approach that includes the digital or IoT (internet of things) environment. Learnings from a number of successive security assignments have continued to reinforce this new perspective.
Feedback from speaking with CSOs of leading corporates and consulting firms highlight the importance of being agile in adopting new practices and adapting your capabilities to respond to the digital landscape. This topic is further explored in the recent Future of Physical Security, a survey of 200 global physical security leaders conducted by Microsoft and Accenture.
Key takeouts for me from this survey are:
At the forefront for me in tackling these challenges is the necessity for a true Chief Security Officer – one tasked with overseeing a converged physical and cyber security function. This has been talked about for many years now, but in the Australian market relatively few large organisations have this combined function; rather Cyber and Physical typically remaining in their individual silos.
What are your thoughts about the necessity of a combined function? What trends or challenges do you see facing the Security function in the coming 12 months?
Over the last few years, Shared Services Organisations (SSOs) – typically responsible for back-of-house processes such as Finance, Payroll, HR, and IT – have been embracing new technology with the aim of using innovation to deliver more value to their internal customers or as outsourced external providers.
Reflecting on my personal experience as a Finance functional specialist in Executive Search – partnering with organisations on Shared Services and Finance Transformation assignments – Technology, along with People and Process, have always been central in our discussions.
In recent years though technology, and topics such as embracing Intelligent Automation and how Shared Services Organisations are delivering more value by moving towards knowledge-based work, dominate these conversations.
SSON Analytics recently released its Annual State of Shared Services & Outsourcing Industry Survey Results 2018, which focuses on popular Shared Service organisational models, considers why strategy is evolving from transactional to knowledge work, and looks at how the Shared Services community is embracing Intelligent Automation (IA). You can read the full report here (free subscription required).
Key take outs from the Report are:
Staying abreast of these changes is key to any executive operating in the business world, and if you’re a Shared Services leader, CFO or CEO, understanding the emerging trends and embracing IA will be key to your success. Clients and SSOs with whom I liaise provide great insights into these emerging trends. I’m keen to hear your thoughts, discuss any challenges you may be facing and exchange ideas.