Isn’t it all about #Risk and #Alignment? at the #EIC12 Conference in Munich

European Identity & Cloud Conference 2012

I just arrived at this conference which is hosted by analysts Kuppinger Cole and has grown into a major watering-hole for players in several related spaces. Check out the speaker roster to see.

I shall be sharing the intro keynote with Martin Kuppinger and then moderating the plenaries through the week. I plan to tweet a little at #EIC12 and add a couple of blog posts. What’s uppermost in my mind are the connections between these discussions at the interface of cloud, identity, privacy, security, and the past few days of chit-chat here and on Twitter about C-suite and Board engagement in social media.

Some of the issues to be scrutinized here at EIC are highly technical, others of a broader policy nature – whether policy for businesses or for politicians. What they have in common is this: There is no business, from a cab firm to a mom-and-pop store to giant retail and auto corporations, that can escape disruptive impacts from the digital revolution – and, in most cases, that are unable to profit from the new opportunities they present to re-engineer business process, re-shape marketing, re-pretty-much-everything-else.

Tech developments are shifting the landscape of business with tsunami force. We know this. My point is that unless the leaders of business, from the Chairman and CEO down, are 100% engaged in the new world order that is constantly being remade in the digital space, they are bereft of the capacity to make decisions about what may seem very traditional business operations. News that Walmart are planning to add Google’s Marissa Mayer to their Board illustrates this point rather dramatically. But Walmart will be well-advised to ensure that as well as adding a new economy superstar to their Board they work to ensure that their top-end culture is pervaded with first-hand familiarity with those technologies that characterize the new and emerging economy.

That is to say, the need for thorough-going alignment between the culture of Board and C-suite and that of key stakeholders, supremely customers and potential customers, is a non-negotiable. The risk implications of anything other are off the charts at a time when exponential change driven by Moore’s Law and other factors is framing every aspect of business.

I’m not suggesting that the B and the C peeps be able to write and speak intelligently for, say, 15  minutes about each of these topics – cloud, security, identity, privacy, social media. Actually, maybe I am. Someone tell me the downside.

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