5 Key Takeaways From Forum22

Business leaders from across EMEA joined us at Forum22: Europe in London in June to explore how we build trust together in a digital-first world.

Throughout the day, experts in identity, cybersecurity, data privacy, customer experience and more gave us a plethora of valuable insights and key strategies on how to build the secure, successful digital-first businesses of tomorrow.

In case you were unable to make it in person, or if you’d just like a quick recap on all the topics discussed during the day, here are our 5 key takeaways to peruse at your leisure.

#1 Modern businesses must prioritise Identity

Much like the technologies they use, the way customers, employees, partners, and suppliers trust in brands is evolving. They demand privacy, convenience, and security during every interaction – and business leaders must comply if they want to remain relevant and successful. From cloud adoption and hybrid IT to digital transformation and zero trust security, EugenioPace (CEO, Auth0) informed us how Identity is the first step of every digital journey - and organisations must make the adoption of identity-first a key priority pushing forward. Watch Eugenio’s full keynote 

“Increasing trust is incredibly important to develop and further build our businesses. Identity is a component to increasing that trust because it is the connecting point between systems and the people who use them. The three things you need to maximise are security, privacy and convenience and you have to find a way of maximising all of these at the same time” - Eugenio Pace, CEO, Auth0

#2 You no longer need to make a compromise between security, privacy and convenience.

In the fast-moving digital world, choosing between security and convenience is no longer an option. Customers and employees expect every online interaction to be both secure and seamless, and they reserve their trust and loyalty for the brands that can deliver. Though many organisations still see the two as mutually exclusive entities,  Kalpana Singh (VP Product Marketing, Okta) revealed how an identity-first approach can help organisations bridge the gap between security and usability to create the desirable digital experiences that fuel future success. Watch Kalpana’s full session 

“Historically, consumers and businesses have been told that there's always a trade-off between security, convenience and privacy. However, this wasn't a choice made freely, it was a compromise due to inadequate technology and architectural designs. But, I’m going to let you in on a secret: this is a false choice.  Businesses no longer have to make these compromises. The best technology allows us to do both, to serve secure and convenient digital experiences” - Kalpana Singh, VP of Product Marketing, Okta 

#3 IT complexity and Identity are now part of board level conversations

Yanna Winter, CIO at Generali, recognised the multi-dimensional puzzles that are digital transformation projects in a large, multinational organisations.

While many forward-thinking organisations have already begun their journeys into the cloud, managing complex IT infrastructures built up from many disparate cloud and legacy technologies, across multiple regions, can be a major headache for IT and Security leaders. To ease these pains, Yanna informed us how many board leaders are now recognising the true strategic value of Identity as a foundational element for simplifying the management of complex IT systems and accelerating cloud migration at scale.  Watch Yanna’s full session 

“The entire ecosystem for IT in insurance is getting more and more complex. It never gets simpler, only more complicated. So in that ecosystem, if we don't know who we are dealing with, and how we are dealing with that person or system, then we don't have a chance of providing our services” - Yanna Winter, CIO & Head of IT, Generali

#4 We are now in the era of Strategic Identity

While once considered an afterthought by many business leaders, the role of Identity in the modern digital workplace is rapidly evolving. Instead of tools that IT and Security leaders can use to solve user access challenges in the short-term, Joe Diamond (VP, Product Strategy at Okta) revealed how an identity-first approach is fast becoming the go to strategy for helping organisations deliver more trusted, secure, and seamless digital experiences for every customer, employee, partner, and supplier as they move towards a cloud-centric future. Watch Joe’s full session

 “Strategic Identity is now. It enables your entire security stack. It makes all of your experiences better, not just from a consumer perspective but from an employee perspective. You should be able to understand the context of every single authentication request, every single authorisation request, and dynamically change what a user can do downstream in an application based on what that risk profile looks like “- Joe Diamond, VP of Product Strategy

#5 Identity is critical for building the resilient workplaces of tomorrow

Securing talent is a top priority for business leaders today. To retain their trust, organisations must give their workforce the freedom to choose when and where they work. While 1/3 employees today prefer working in office, Angela Salmeron (Future of Work Practice Lead, IDC) explains how the demand for more flexible working will start to grow from 2024 onwards – yet traditional legacy security is incompatible with modern hybrid work models. To protect employees beyond the perimeter while eliminating the friction that hinders productivity, organisations must implement a strict zero trust security model with Identity at its heart. Watch Angela’s full session

“A core pillar in it [the zero trust model] is Identity & Access Management. Where only the right people, have the right level of access, to the right resources for a defined period of time. This is the beauty of identity management. It is the connective tissue between Identity, experience, and productivity. Between security and getting the job done” - Angela Salmeron, Future of Work Practice Lead, IDC 

*BONUS* ESG is now a business imperative

Sessions from Charlotte Challis (Principle Carbon Consultant, Antithesis Group) and Alison Colwell (ESG & Sustainability Director, Okta) took a closer look at the developing role of Environmental, Social and Governance management as key hygiene factor for businesses. The sessions urged organisations to stop looking at ESG as a burden and box-ticking exercise and instead see it as an opportunity to weave good practices into the workings of your business to drive long-term value and build trust. 

Alison’s session also explored the role that Identity plays in helping organisations realise ESG goals. She drew examples from Okta's own journey in building an environmentally conscious working model, with Identity enabling a dynamic approach to work that allows us to reduce our climate impact . Watch Charlotte and Alison’s sessions.

“When we build ESG into the heart of the business we can build trust, We can build new products. We can access the markets that are developing. We can get access to new customers. We can enhance our brand and we can attract and retain talent because we give people something to work for” - Charlotte Challis, Principle Carbon Consultant, Antithesis

Forum22: Europe on-demand is live

If the Forum22 topic you wanted to explore in more detail didn’t feature in the list above – don’t worry! We’ve recorded every speaker session in full and added them to our on-demand library for you to stream at whatever time is most convenient. You can access the link here.