Artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, corporate governance, privacy, and hybrid working are expected to heavily influence organisations in Australia and worldwide in the coming year. These insights have been provided by the CIO, CISO, and chief privacy officer of RingCentral, sharing their predictions on the major developments impacting businesses both nationally and globally.
RingCentral’s CISO, Michael Armer, believes there is mounting pressure for company directors down under to take increased responsibility in terms of cyber resilience. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned of actions against boards and directors not adequately prepared for cyber-attacks. New legislation this year has increased the obligations on boards of critical infrastructure organisations to sign off, review and report on their organisations' risk management programme. As Armer notes, "over the next year, corporate boards will prioritise onboarding members that combine cyber security experience with business acumen."
Furthermore, Armer predicts AI governance will start to catch up with the rapid pace of AI deployment as companies establish institutional and legal structures around its use. He suggests this is due to a rush to implement AI to gain an innovative edge over competition, coupled with a need to control the risk of unchecked AI.
According to RingCentral’s CIO, Ashu Varshney, application governance and rationalisation is likely to become a strategic priority for businesses. Varshney saw unnecessary and counterproductive technology purchases being made during the pandemic, leading to overspending and dormant licences. With an uncertain economic climate on the horizon, he predicts businesses will start to identify redundancies and over-subscriptions by taking an inventory of enterprise applications.
Varshney also believes AI has the potential to revolutionise business communications. He notes the value AI brings in categorising and routing customer calls, automating responses to repeated requests, and providing assistance to resolve tickets faster. He anticipates future AI advancements will lead to more accurate and context-aware systems, streamlining business communications.
Moreover, Varshney foresees an investment surge to enable hybrid workplaces. With the shift towards a hybrid work model, SaaS technology reliance has increased. As he puts it, "To secure communication, mobility and collaboration of employees and customers it will be important for organisations to ensure the quality of interactions through the implementation of a single UcaaS and CcaaS platform."
RingCentral’s Chief Privacy Officer, Paola Zeni, warns that despite pending national privacy amendments planned for 2024, the time to prepare is now. She explains that these would give the public more control over how their personal information is collected and used. For businesses, the reforms will provide clarity on protecting personal information, improving trust and fostering international competitiveness. Zeni advises, "Given this significant pending change to privacy laws, it will be important for enterprises to evaluate their current compliance standards and prepare to adopt new standards to meet these future obligations."
Zeni also anticipates upcoming AI regulations, urging Australian businesses to prepare by adopting robust AI governance, conducting AI risk assessments and ensuring maximum transparency. Furthermore, she underscores the importance of synergy between Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) and Chief Privacy Officers (CPO) for a robust holistic approach to data protection in the future. Lastly, Zeni affirms that AI compliance must be a shared responsibility between providers and customers, emphasising the role of transparency and trusted partnerships to keep pace with evolving regulations.