My introduction to computer technology began in 1981 on an Apple II series, with the Radio Shack TRS-80 soon to follow. It’s been exciting to see the digital transformation over my years of working as a programmer, network engineer and IT auditor. As I write this, 2020 closes out another decade. Some changes have been welcome and some not so welcome.
Looking back on the innovations over the past 10 years, we’ve witnessed some modernizations that have revolutionized our way of living in some incredible ways. They call these disruptors — Uber, Amazon, iTunes, Facebook, Netflix and Wikipedia, just to name a few. In 2010, the Apple iPhone was just taking off, and the very first iPad was released. The world went from navigating the internet on a PC to using apps on easy-to-use mobile devices that do just about everything, anytime, anywhere. Wearable devices allow us (and others) to monitor our location, heartrate, exercise, calories and finances. Our homes are being filled with smart appliances.
But there also have been some technology failures. Anyone remember Windows RT? America Online, BlackBerry, Microsoft Zune and Google Glass are buried in the technology graveyard. Most recently, the Boeing 737 MAX fiasco. And what about privacy? The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal was a major political scandal in early 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of peoples' Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes.
The cybersecurity landscape has changed significantly over the past decade. We never heard of cybersecurity insurance 10 years ago. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin allow cyber thieves to conduct anonymous financial transactions. This has introduced us to ransomware and other extortion scams. Darknet marketplaces now sell drugs, malicious software, ATM skimmers, passwords, credit card data, identity theft information and just about anything illegal. Our laws continue to struggle to keep up with technology for privacy and data breach notification.
Wow, all this in just 10 years! Many have said the pace of technology will never be slower than it is today. Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are working on products and services right now that will amaze us which we won’t see for another three to five years. Disruptors will continue to change how your financial institution runs its internal operations and how you service your customers. We’ve seen what happens to companies that don’t pay attention to digital transformation — Kodak, Blockbuster, American Online. They become obsolete.
So what’s next? How will 5G, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and fintech take us through the next 10 years? How will we spend our time when we have a driverless car?
Let Wipfli help your institution navigate change through strategic planning, cybersecurity, compliance, fraud and forensics, and many other services.