Analyst Chat

Analyst Chat #127: Leadership and Challenges in a Changing World


Martin Kuppinger and Matthias discuss topics from the opening keynote Martin held at EIC 2022 in Berlin. They start with the role of leaders and decision makers in a consistently changing global environment.

Welcome to the KuppingerCole Analyst Chat. I'm your host, my name is Matthias Reinwarth, I'm Lead Advisor and Senior Analyst with KuppingerCole Analysts. My guest today is for a good reason, Martin Kuppinger, he is Principal Analyst and one of the founders here at KuppingerCole Analysts. Hi, Martin.

Hi, Matthias. How are you?

I'm fine. How are you? And it's good to see you.

Yes. So I'm still recovering from the very, very busy European Identity and Cloud Conference the week before last week in Berlin, a very successful and very vibrant event. It was really fun to be back with so many people on site and having all these discussions. Yeah.

Absolutely. And we are here today for the first in the series of two episodes where we want to re-use, use material that you provided at EIC because there's so much to digest. You've held an opening keynote at EIC where you covered many aspects, and it started with one aspect that you wanted to look at. These are the challenges in a changing world, in a world that provides opportunities on the one hand, but really is in change in very different dimensions. So when we started looking at changes, at threats, at problems and challenges to manage. Where would you start when we look at challenges for identity and cyber security in general?

Yeah, I would span it a little broader and of broader perspective. So my keynote was really on the requirement of strong leadership across the entire leader team from the CEO to the CISO to deal with change, but also to use the opportunity of IT in general and identity and cyber security as one of the foundations must adapt to support the business in this ever changing world. And we are talking about this not just since yesterday, but the theme of - it has been called digital transformation, I would better talk about a digital journey or the digital age because it's nothing that you do once and then you transform and then you're done. It's a continuous evolution. This is out for quite a couple of years, but in the past years, and I would say the last two and a half, three years, we had two major impacts, external impacts that are affecting many, most probably all businesses, which were the pandemic and which is the Ukraine war. We have an overall political instability, but there are other changes. And what I believe is that when we look at it from a little bit of a distance, yes, there's always this challenge, justice, disruption and that area, etc. But there are also opportunities and technology is an opportunity which can help businesses, organizations, the overall society. It can give them a lot of opportunities in moving forward. And so this was one of the key aspects I had. And this to one I'd like to dive into deeper today.

Right. So if you talk about change, you've already mentioned it, these are external factors that are impacting business, direct or indirectly, what are the dimensions that we look at? This is global change. This is political change. This is social, cultural change. This is medical change. Or when it comes to travel, that has impact on that, where are the opportunities?

Yeah. So I think what we can do, and the way I split it is, I split it into five levels of change. Which is the global change, like climate change, which is despite all the other aspects, probably the biggest challenge we are facing, war and political instability as a global impact and the pandemic. We have on the second level, economic ecosystem change. So when we look at the challenges we all feel here, it's clearly inflation these days. We have business change, where I would highlight supply chain disruptions, take the crisis at orders and the great resignation. And we have organizational change, which is more an ongoing thing, I would say. So the great resignation somewhere between business and organizational change, and we have IT change and when I look at it from a challenge perspective, clearly cyber risks, the ever increasing cyber attacks, both numbers and severity are the one thing I would highlight on the challenge side. So we have changed but we not only have challenges, I think this is the important aspect to understand. There are things we probably can see as more neutral and there are clear opportunities as well.

Right. And you've mentioned organizational changes and you've named cyber risks. I think these are both aspects that we covered in one or the other way before. But this is really increasing and this is accelerating. So organizational change means really people working from everywhere, needing access from everywhere, which has direct impact on IT and on cybersecurity, and in parallel, the attacks that you've mentioned, cyber risks. So this is something that is really something where our leaders should have a stronger grasp on to protect their organization and their business from these attacks being successful. What are the benefits that can be achieved when attacking this or when approaching these challenges properly? What can leaders achieve?

It fits maybe to the opportunities. When I look at the neutral aspect and the opportunity. So when I look at neutral things where you can make an advantage or build an advantage for your business, then we have aspects like Smart Manufacturing where you sort of improve or change the way you're producing goods by utilizing technology. We have the opportunity to create new business models by delivering digital services so we can also create business change. You know, in a way, when we do it right, we are clearly on the positive side. On the opportunity side, we also can use when we look at the changing way people work, we also can use this to improve our organizations to become more agile, more innovative. So when people start changing the way they work, we also can use this as something where we create a better a more modern, more agile, more innovative innovation. All the technology innovation clearly is an opportunity for us. So on one hand, for success in the digital age, which is at the end the big global change, digital age, we must on one hand change what we do, but it's also an opportunity for a business to do that. And clearly it means the more we do have digital services to more we are at risk for cyber security. So we must have a strong cybersecurity, a strong identity posture. But we also have these opportunities as a business to get better and not only look at change as something that threatens our organization, but something where we can make a lot of positive things out of it. And take, as you brought up, this work from home thing, hybrid work. I think a lot have experienced that there are things which are better done in the office, like meeting with people, talking with people, and things that can frequently be better done in an home office, like working concentrated on a certain matter.

Right, as a take away for this episode, it's really a call to action to revisit your business, your business model, the way you are doing business with your customer, but also how you are protecting your organization. Really take a step back and have a look at where you can approach these changes, these challenges, and how you can improve your overall acting towards the market. And with your partners and with your employees to attack these challenges better. Would that be really this ongoing improvement cycle?

Part of it. So surely we can't turn every challenge into an opportunity, but we can start looking more at the opportunities and think about what can we do in a positive way of change. So what does the digital age mean to our organization, to the way we deliver services to customers, consumers, citizens? Which role maybe does our organization play in future smart ecosystems, are there new types of services that can be delivered? We can focus on becoming more customer centric, improving digital experiences, which is very essential in digital age. Look at how can we utilize the opportunities of hyper connectivity, or also of all data we have and what do we need to do as a foundation. But in every change, there's always threat and danger, and there's opportunity. And I think the important point is, as leaders in organizations, it's essential to understand how to mitigate or minimize the impact of the challenges, be it inflation, be it cyber risks, be it supply chain disruptions, but also focus on modernizing and reinventing or improving the overall organization by looking at the opportunities and all the things we can do differently today, in the digital age.

Very insightful. Thank you, Martin. We will follow up on this episode with a more detailed look at some other aspects that you mentioned in your EIC 2022 keynote. Until then, thank you very much, Martin, for giving that insight and looking forward to talking to you very soon. Bye bye.

Thank you, Matthias bye.

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