From the outside, it may seem like enterprises and large companies have it all sorted. Their smaller sized brethren seem to find it difficult to get a handle on analytics, cloud, storage, and big data in general, while enterprises seem to be riding the wave of lean digital well. However a closer look will reveal a different story. Despite so much material and learning available online, enterprise managers and CIOs are still struggling to keep up to date with technology. In fact, the same old myths and rumours have been floating around since years.

Now that we have entered 2016 and it’s about time we bust these myths, lest we want to go round the same bushes over and over again.

1. Big Data = Security Threats

In the last few years, big data and data leaks have been mentioned in the same breath so many times that we have started assuming they are synonymous to each other. In 2015 itself, we saw Ashley Madison, JD Wetherspoon, Marks & Spencer and British Gas falling prey to unexplained data leaks. From employee errors to third party attacks, a lot of reasons are cited. Here is an interactive infographic that beautifully shows the causes of leak of world’s biggest data breaches.

Without doubt, these incidents would have had you nervous and scared about your data security. No data platforms, be they onsite or on the cloud, are completely impenetrable or infallible. Nevertheless there are ways to avoid untoward incidents by beefing up your network security:

  1. You can start by making an inventory of your structured and unstructured data.
  2. Add profiles and tags to all your files. Use sophisticated tools that allow for automatic profiling. From IBM to Securonix, you’ll find a lot of software for security analytics. Invest in these.
  3. Once your data is safely organised, identify possible attacks by testing applications, devices and networks.
  4. Learn to examine usual physical movements as well as patterns in network traffic so you can quickly identify abnormal occurences.

With these and other steps recommended by cyber experts, you can avert security threats. So hopefully in 2016 we won’t be saying big data and thinking security threats in our minds.

2. Open Communication = Criticism & Crisis

“Enterprise social networks are good for collaboration but not communication. We prefer intranet chat applications to communicate internally.”

Have you heard that before?

Many companies refuse to believe that enterprise social networks can be used for many things besides collaboration. For instance, the employee blog network allows employees to pen down casual thoughts, share interesting information and keep up to date with latest developments. However, many enterprises use their internal communication system strictly for company announcements and formal guidelines, defying its very purpose.

Why do they do it?

Because of the widely prevalent myth that given a free rein to communicate, employees may use the platform to air dirty laundry, share company secrets, write hate posts, criticise colleagues or leak private information to outsiders. Believe it or not, CIOs are also afraid of employees posting pornographic material.

However, open communication has far more benefits than the perceived (imaginary?) risks. Let’s see why enterprises need to shake free of this myth and enjoy these benefits instead: Open communication serves as a knowledge and information repository where everyone has an equal opportunity to share and learn (as opposed to role-based access). This reduces the training costs and time. It leads to more innovation as ideas are shared freely leading to collective intelligence.

3. Internet Marketing = Playing With Fire

We already discussed two myths; the first involved the company’s data and information resources, while the second concerned its human resources. The third and the last one is about its public or corporate image.

Enterprises are highly risk-averse when it comes to their brand image, which indirectly translates to being averse to any kind of deviation, disruption or innovation. From using ancient marketing strategies, to their uninspiring & bland logo and social media accounts, enterprises equate new-age inbound (read, contemporary) marketing methods to playing with fire.

However, the majority of their target audience is from 25 to 44 years of age and a large portion of them in the coming few years are those currently lumped together as millennials. This makes it very important for enterprises to adopt social media and revive their marketing plans. Here are a few ways you can revamp your marketing strategy in 2016.

  1. Use social media for customer support, lead generation and public relations. Mercifully, you don’t need to be on every social network there is; just make your presence felt on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  2. It’s best to hire a full service digital agency to plan and execute all your digital marketing campaigns including social media, content, email and app marketing.
  3. If you want to do everything in-house, make sure you use the best cloud-based tools out there. From social media management tools to email automation, there are tools for perfecting marketing sub-task. For instance, Mention is a social media monitoring tool that allows you to listen in on conversations about your brand across various networks, compare these against trends and sentiment to obtain key insights, and convert data into action by jumping in at the right time. GetResponse is an enterprise level email marketing solution which allows you to use unique IP addresses, multiple user accounts, message priority and other high-volume capabilities to send customised emails triggered by time or action to various customer segments.

Over To You

It is high time large companies and enterprises dispel these senseless myths and begin the New Year with solid plans and resolutions like:

  1. We won’t be afraid of big data and the risks that it entails. We will positively look for ways to overcome security threats.
  2. We will open up free-for-all communication among employees as we believe it leads to unbounded creativity.
  3. We will make our presence felt on social media and improve our content marketing strategy, making it more millennial-friendly!

With these myths busted and resolutions made, I bet you’ll have a great year ahead!