Episode 8 - 7th Key Factor – Technology and Cyber Protection
Increasingly businesses need to use the best technology available for their type of business and practice first-class cyber protection hygiene.
Most people think when we talk about using technology in business, it will:
be cheaper and more efficient than employing people;
require less people in the business;
make our business more efficient;
be acceptable to all the business’s stakeholders; and
replacing the technology with updated versions will be risk free.
The truth to these thoughts is often far different in practice. The reality in fact, is that you have swapped one form of problems for another set of problems. We are also finding these newer problems are no easier to fix than the older problems, and often some of these problems are unfixable.
One of the best places to test the effectiveness of the technology versus people equation, is in your accounts payable and receivable functions. Whilst there are been tremendous improvements in the efficiency of a number of functions, in other areas, liabilities and problems are increasing.
Over the last 15 years I have been extremely lucky to practise my profession in both local and global business environments. In that time, certain truths have become evident. The practice of cash protection and collection has been assisted greatly when technology is used properly to enhance traditional disciplines and processes.
Unfortunately, technology has often been used to achieve other managerial objectives. As a result, and with the respect of the professional and experienced employee marginalised, the result has been less successful. In fact, I would go so far as to say, today many of the businesses which have taken this second approach, can no longer calculate their total liabilities or loss of cash.
In turn, particularly for this second group of businesses, the protection of the business is now compromised when it comes to cyber protection. It is really difficult to practise good cyber protection hygiene when second rate technology, cheap employees, outsourcing and business disciplines are the ethos of your business decision making.
There have always been fraudsters, slow, difficult or manipulative customers, bad suppliers, poor management and cheap or disenfranchised employees as part of business equation. Now with the overuse of technology, coupled with poor employment practices, cybercrime is now another factor all businesses have to manage. As the technology experts keep telling us; “… it is not if cyber criminals will attack your business, it is when!”
To use the best technology and employ good people within your business has always been important for business success. If you wish to survive this recession, these two business inputs will be even more important. With the current risk from cybercrime, good cyber protection hygiene is only possible with the support of these two factors.
This concludes the seventh key factor; technology and cyber protection. After a short break we will review the next key factor, business disciplines.