8 areas where CSOs and CIOs will converge in 2015

With enterprise innovations and a changing workforce, not to mention more sophisticated physical and cybersecurity threats, we’re at a time now where CSOs and CIOs have no choice but to play nice in the sandbox.

00 title


In recent years, CIOs and CSOs have been closer together than ever before, and for good reason – to remain cohesive, effective and to maximize resources and ROI on business-focused efforts. As physical security is increasingly running on corporate IT infrastructure, these departments are no longer siloed, and their integrations extend further than just cybersecurity and into all realms of business, from business intelligence and company strategy, to HR and BYOD decisions. Here’s a look at some of the areas where the gap will be bridged in 2015.

01 workforce

The cloud-embracing workforce

Mobile devices and a shift to the cloud have changed the way employees work. But with the use of personal devices, apps and cloud storage, comes an increased need for CSOs and CIOs to make sure that all devices and channels are fully protected and functioning. The consumerization of IT has called on businesses to make their technology more user friendly – typically to increase productivity – especially since employees will likely just use their own devices regardless. Personal devices, and business devices that are often used personally, are a huge threat to corporate and personal data - thanks to lackadaisical security and increasingly sophisticated threats and hacks. CSOs have their pulses on the latest security threats- both internal and external- that CIOs need to know about, and as a result, collaboration between the two departments is critical to proper network monitoring, data policies and risk awareness.

02 network

A new view of business intelligence

There’s an increasing cross-departmental need for network infrastructure and support for adjacent network-attached devices and applications. CIOs and Risk Management will work with CSOs to make sure the networks aren’t used for unauthorized purposes. IT and security teams will need to collaborate together and recognize the importance of their evolving roles to ensure business needs are met, whether for security or business intelligence.

03 compliance

The nitty gritty of compliance

Compliance can be a major headache for any company. Not only do enterprises need to keep company and customer information in compliance with federal business regulations, special attention needs to be paid to increasingly complex contracts with various clients and vendors. Failure to remain compliant in any of these areas could result in millions of lost revenue and fines, not to mention long-lasting brand damage.

CSOs and CIOs will work closely together in this regard to audit any potential risk and make sure the proper policies and frameworks are in place to meet all specifications of contracts and government regulations.

04 boardroom

In the boardroom

We don’t often hear about CSOs and CIOs involved in determining the organizational strategy of a company. That could be in part due to the historic lack of communication among these executives. But this is all changing. CEOs know where they want to go, know that CIOs can get them there technically, and that CSOs can protect them along the way. By giving CSOs and CIOs a seat in the boardroom, a proper roadmap can be put in place so that the most efficient technology will be used to drive business results. CIOs and CSOs are already taking an active role in deciding which technologies and strategies enterprises should invest in and pay attention to.

05 hr

As honorary HR

In lock step with CSOs and CIOs having a say in which enterprise technology is adopted by their company, they will need to work with employees from a variety of departments to learn more about work styles, device choice, security needs, and skill level to determine which technology is best for those employees to use. Not only that, but special consideration is now being paid to employee data privacy, and CSOs and CIOs are taking steps together to protect specific data as opposed to just firewalling a network, as well as protect certain areas and assets physically.

As a result, more stringent security policies are being put in place, and CSOs and CIOs need to work together to provide employees with easy-to-follow guidelines and training to ensure the security measures are being carried out.

06 ecommerce

E-commerce and mobile POS in retail

The rise of e-commerce means CSOs and CIOs need to be on guard to continually investigate risk and protect their companies. Through procedures put in place specifically for e-commerce, CSOs and CIOs can monitor for illegal activity and take appropriate action against the perpetrators using a company’s POS system or e-commerce platform unethically. One website hack or fraudulent transaction can be devastating to a business, and these executives need to be a step ahead. Constant vigilance is necessary.

07 marketing


Another example similar to e-commerce is marketing and big data analytics. Marketers have been inundated with innovations in technology, from customer relationship management to campaign automation, and CIOs and CSOs are heavily involved. First, CSOs need to make sure the marketing automation technology aligns with enterprise architecture. Due to the influx of customer and campaign data, enterprises also have a need for greater analytics capabilities and storage, all of which needs to remain protected, not only to keep an organization competitive but to diffuse a potential customer crisis in which sensitive information is stolen and released.

08 numbers

Crunching the numbers

Yes, CSOs and CIOs have a huge impact on a company’s budget, and not just by recommending affordable technology or preventing major attacks from happening. Think about it this way:  If organizationally the investment dollars are coming from one source or budget, a separate network strategy dilutes resources. The obvious conclusion is that consolidation means greater results from the infrastructure investment. 

Nilsson is the general manager at Axis Communications.