Interview: Tony Bauman, Vectra
How has Australia coped with COVID-induced changes to operations and workplaces? Will things go back to a ‘new’ normal in 2022?
In 2020 and 2021, employers have been faced with the challenge of providing a seamless and secure work experience to employees, irrespective of location and role. They were also tasked with embracing new technologies to support employees’ productivity and general health.
Overall, A/NZ organisations have done well to pivot and support their people, despite changes to previous operational and workplace norms. This level of support will be the ‘new’ normal and will continue to stretch IT and HR teams. The workforce in 2022 will be driven by the need to balance the requirements of employees and the business, so it will include a mix of cultural and operational aspects.
Which new technologies will reach critical mass and become dominant in 2022?
Cloud and security adoption will continue to accelerate to meet the ‘new’ normal business landscape, and create hybrid workplaces that cater to customers, supply chains and employees. Organisations must adapt to the concept of ‘the anywhere customer’ and ‘the anywhere worker’, enabling customers and teams to have the same experience regardless of where they are.
Security technologies to protect this ‘new’ normal business landscape from cyber attack will be broadly adopted to ensure appropriate protections are in place, and threats are identified and remediated prior to them causing disruption and harm.
What is the major potential tech pain point that will face all organisations large and small in 2022?
The main pain point facing organisations is securing assets, data, customers, supply chains and employees — across cloud, data centre, IT/IOT and workplaces. On a weekly basis, we see threat actors across the globe turning up the tempo of their activity, and the impact of their attacks on corporations, governments and civilians. This isn’t slowing down. Organisations need to make interactions frictionless across their business, while also establishing the security measures required to protect data and operations across their estate.
Another potential pain point is meeting obligations to regulatory requirements due to these cyber threats. There are many changes and new legislations coming from a government and regulatory level, such as the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2021. These changes could impact the cybersecurity investments required and reporting obligations of organisations, whether big or small.
How can IT have a greater impact on organisational efficiency in 2022, and who (CEOs, CIOs) should lead the charge?
What is most impactful is when you can map IT outcomes against business objectives and are able to identify risks and risk management requirements.
In terms of leading the charge, we need stronger board-level conversations to address new cyber threats and government and regulatory obligations. As the definition of critical infrastructure broadens, boards must understand and support CEOs and CIOs in their ability to protect their business.
What’s on your tech wish list from governments, innovators and the wider industry in 2022?
I’d like to see governments continue to support innovation in our country, and I’d like to see the wider industry increasingly focus on the real and persistent threat of cyber attacks that are impacting business, supply chains and our society. We need to continue to be vigilant.
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