Today it is my privilege to speak at the WeDo Technologies User Group Asia 2018, which is being held in Kuala Lumpur. WeDo invited me to speak about the risks and opportunities arising from the digital transformation, which I believe fall into four broad categories:
- The convergence of media and telecoms businesses is encouraging the rapid growth of revenues from content delivered via the internet to many kinds of devices, but this also greatly increases the risk of digital piracy.
- The monetization of data is presented as a trouble-free opportunity for telcos but the insecure handling of personal data and changes in public attitudes have resulted in dramatic changes to customer confidence in their suppliers, which sometimes manifests as significant damage to shareholder value.
- The internet of things allows telcos to expand the range of services they provide, but only at the risk of increasingly relying upon the unverified security of devices that have been manufactured by other parties.
- The spread of mobile phones created a one-to-one correspondence between the phone number and the person, but the rising value of new digital services means this assumed relationship to the customer’s identity is coming under increasing attack.
My talk will expand upon these points, but my fear is that telcos will fail to address them properly because the analysis of the risks is being compressed into an unfeasibly small amount of time. Put simply, not enough attention is being given to all the ramifications of change. There is a danger is that only a few specific risks are properly mitigated, giving a false confidence that the broad swathe of potential pitfalls have been covered, when the reality is that they have not even been properly considered.
My half-hour presentation is also too short to do justice to the breadth of the new risk universe we should be managing for our telcos, but I tried to illustrate the dangers with pithy examples that people can relate to. A more thorough discussion would raise many questions about the way telcos are planning to manage the new risks they are taking on, and I believe this would highlight the frightening extent to which they are under-prepared. You can see the slides to my talk below.