The traditional IT Provider relationship is one of immense trust, but not exclusively derived from mutual relationship building. Often, a skewed sense of security can be observed in the relationship, stemming from a firm’s lack of Information Technology acumen and their perception that their IT company has this in droves.
This monopoly over their customers is something IT Providers capitalise on, making the setup of an organisation’s digital environment more complex and confusing than necessary. Often, some of the key components of the digital environment are hidden, only accessible by the IT Provider themselves and costing a business premium service fees to access.
In the days of on-premises server solutions, this gatekeeping of an organisation’s digital assets made more sense. There were business critical risks if someone could access the server machine and switch it off without knowing how to power it back on. This type of incident would halt business operations until the server was turned on again and all the crucial applications were running. There was also a far more computer illiterate C-suite that didn’t know what software licence management meant, how under-used licences could impact the bottom line and they lacked access to the user-friendly, self-service licence management tools of the modern digital age.
However, now that technology is part of our day today, people without an IT background are more astute. The skewed power in the business/IT Provider relationship is being challenged, as more digitally aware leaders seek greater visibility over their digital environment. Leaders are looking to ensure their IT Providers are working in their best interest, rather than capitalising on a lack of technological skill within their firm.
A business owner should have visibility, or easy access, to all elements of their digital environment. Whilst there may be other people managing licences and other digital assets for a business, your managed service provider should be able to provide you key information (such as how secure your network is) on demand. There are a few key digital assets that a business leader should have high-level visibility of, without intervention from a third party. The four key points of visibility are below.
A business leader should know how vulnerable their organisation is to a cyber-attack. A cyber-attack is one of the worst things that could happen to an organisation today, having the potential to shut down a firm’s operations completely. Cyber-attacks cost theAustralian economy $1 billion a year (ASBFEO, 2017) with the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 putting 22% of effected organisations out of business immediately. Whilst many hackers take just 15minutes to breach an organisation’s security, statistics show that 93% of companies take weeks or months to notice (ACS, 2017). Even when a ransom is paid, many organisations never recover vital digital assets or IP.
Over half of all cyber-attacks and data breaches occur as a result of weak, default or stolen passwords (ACS, 2017). A business leader should know their organisation’s password governance policy, management process and should be able to monitor adherence to these things.
Source code holds an organisation’s valuable digital IP. When a company pays a developer to make an app, the executable file provided by a developer can only be used to download the app. If the business needs to make a change, or the relationship with the third-party sours, an organisation requires ownership of their source code.Without the source code, a business does not have access to their IP, or the ability to edit or iterate. Whether it’s an internal or external stakeholder, a company should implement a process where their source code is loaded to are pository that the company itself owns and controls.
Software Licence Management
A licence management tool allows a business owner to easily check whether the software licences they’re paying for are being used. With a software licence management tool in place, an organisation can decide whether they de-activate licences that are not being used (cost savings) or provide further training to staff, so they feel confident to use their software programmes (build business efficiency).
The traditional IT Provider status quo lacks malleability and has not responded to the need for business leaders to have visibility over their digital environment. REDD Digital wanted to help business owners take back some of the ownership in this space and created the CyberHealth app to provide high-level, executive level oversight of the key points of visibility above. With licence management dashboards at your fingertips, password and cyber governance monitoring and an intellectual property repository for your source code, REDD Digital’s CyberHealth app has responded to the needs of business owners and executives to play a greater part in the digital landscape of their organisation.
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