E-Handbook: Facing up to emerging technology: Risks and benefits Article 1 of 2

No turning away from emerging technology risks and benefits

Going backward in technology is never an option. CIOs, whose careers are built on implementing the next new thing, understand this better than most. New technologies have proven essential to creating new businesses and giving established businesses new and better ways to operate, serve customers and compete. An important part of the CIO's job is identifying the business benefits cutting-edge tech can offer and formulating a strategy that minimizes its risks.

But the stream of new technologies is now a torrent. IoT, virtual assistants, deep learning, cognitive computing and blockchain, to name just some emerging technologies, are knocking loudly on enterprise doors, promising new ways to compete in a digital economy -- and, here's the rub, opening companies to new and largely unknown security threats.

Do emerging technology risks outweigh their benefits? As longtime SearchCIO columnist Niel Nickolaisen suggests in this handbook, how are we to know?  New technologies evolve so quickly that the security risks keep morphing and are only fully known well after the technology is implemented.

Indeed, CIOs find themselves in a Catch-22 situation: Waiting until emerging technology risks are well-understood deprives the business of gaining a competitive edge.

But there are best practices CIOs can adopt to improve their position, from implementing data access controls that apply both to systems and people; to embedding security staff in emerging tech initiatives; to taking advantage of a new discipline known as social cybersecurity. Read about these and other tips in this month's CIO handbook.