"Business leaders continue to face many varying challenges and opportunities, and staying ahead of these trends will have a lasting impact on how their organizations will operate in the future," says John Lucker, principal, Deloitte Consulting. "By going on the offensive with issues such as cybersecurity, organizations are making a strategic shift in the way they operate. Concurrently, the widening data scientist talent gap could be a business growth barrier. One thing is certain: effectively using analytics is essential in delivering insights that help achieve new levels of innovation and value."
1. Cybersecurity: Offense can be the best defense
Cybersecurity is no stranger to Deloitte's trends lists, It was called out in its report last year. But a shift is occurring in the market, Lucker says, citing an IDC finding that the worldwide financial services industry was projected to spend $27.4 billion on information security alone in the last year. These organizations, he says, are no longer content to take to take the traditional reactive approach to security. Instead, they are beginning to employ predictive approaches to threat intelligence and monitoring. These approaches may include automated scanning of Internet "chatter" by individuals who may intend the organization harm, or analyzing past hacks and breaches to create predictive models for tomorrow's threats.
"With cybersecurity and the analytics around it, it's very important to be more on the offense and not on the defense," Lucker says. "Now it's more about using analytics and cognitive computing and machine learning approaches to figure out ways to predict not only where companies are vulnerable, but also how different known vulnerabilities might morph into new vulnerabilities."
As a result, Lucker says, Deloitte is seeing cybersecurity become much more widely funded among its customers and with a much greater analytics focus.
Cybersecurity risk, he says, also interacts with the other trends Deloitte has identified for 2016, and Lucker suggests that some organizations should consider slowing down or better rationalizing their focus on some activities — like data collection — until they get their cybersecurity house in order.
The big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are prime examples. Lucker notes that organizations in the past may have overlooked that the systems storing big data and IoT data weren't designed from the ground up with security in mind. But it becomes increasingly apparent as these initiatives move from test beds to production.
2. Companies struggle to bridge the data talent gap
Another familiar trend this year is the ever-growing struggle to find and retain analytical talent. Lucker points to the 2015 MIT Sloan Management Review, which found that 40 percent of companies struggle with finding the talent they need.
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