What if your enterprise identified desirable markets, suppliers, or partners in a country other than yours? Is your IT team ready to make, support, manage, and secure the links necessary to do business internationally?

The Growing Global Market

On June 21 and 22, Detroit, Michigan played host to a new a conference: Gateway ’17. Alibaba founder Jack Ma put this conference together, to invite, persuade, and inspire small businesses to go after the growing middle-class consumer marketplace in China. Ma estimates that there are 300 million of those Chinese middle-class consumers, a market that can create as many as one million new jobs for those small businesses.

Ma, no wild-eyed idealist, told CNBC that Alibaba sold some one million American-made lipsticks in 15 minutes. Further, in March, China’s vice-premier said in March that his country expects to import goods worth some eight trillion dollars during the next five years.

And it’s not just China. Newsweek recently reported that consumer spending in India is anticipated to reach four trillion dollars by 2025. “Germans, by comparison, spent $1.81 trillion in 2016.”

Going Global: Roadblocks for IT

A large and growing global market may be enticing, but it comes with significant logistical and regulatory challenges for IT. One example is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is scheduled to come into effect in May 2018.

  • The GDPR applies to any enterprise that uses the personal data of European Union (EU) citizens, no matter where that enterprise is headquartered.
  • The GDPR requires disclosure of any breach that that involves sensitive personal information within 72 hours.
  • The GDPR applies to enterprise core networks and to endpoints, including laptops, mobile phones, and even memory cards and sticks.
  • The GDPR allows fines for non-compliance of up to 100 million Euros, or four percent of an enterprise’s global turnover, whichever is larger. (In comparison, breach-related fines that can be imposed by the United Kingdom (UK) via its Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are currently capped at 500,000 pounds.)

The GDPR is already affecting regulators, enterprises, and IT leaders, even before the regulation is due to take effect. As reported in Fortune, in 2015, “Dutch authorities adopted a "mini-GDPR" that imposes an obligation on companies operating in the Netherlands to report cyber incidents to the authorities. The fines for failure to do so can range up to 10% of a company's revenues. In just the first 130 days since the law took effect at the start of [2016], more than 1,500 cyber incidents were reported.”

However, the road to GDPR compliance is by no means clear. In May, ComputerWeekly.com reported results from a survey of 200 U.S. and UK companies.

  • 24 percent of the responding companies said they would not be ready for GDPR by the May 2018 deadline.
  • 30.6 percent said they had no timetable for GDPR compliance.
  • 14.2 percent said they would divest EU operations rather than attempting to comply with the GDPR.
  • More than half had not yet begun to evaluate products or processes to identify EU citizen data records.

How IT Should Prepare to Go Global

The GDPR is but one example of the IT-related complexities facing any enterprise seeking to establish or extend international operations. To best prepare to deal with the challenges and opportunities of going global, your IT environment must harmonize gracefully with evolving regulatory requirements, and the multiple, unique requirements of every relevant region and demographic. Exactly what your IT environment must do to maximize its business value, whether or not your enterprise does business globally, but at a larger, even more complex scale.

To achieve these goals, locally, nationally, or globally, you and your team need to build on a solid foundation of proven best practices. IT should start with cybersecurity recommendations endorsed by the Center for Internet Security (CIS), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Those agencies and Ivanti cybersecurity experts agree: enterprises that patch their most critical applications and operating systems and implement application control and privilege management can eliminate some 85 percent of rogue intrusions.

Once these steps are taken, IT should focus on modernizing service, asset, and endpoint management. Legacy systems and processes are simply inadequate to achieve the levels of manageability, consistency, and flexibility needed to succeed in a diverse and rapidly changing global marketplace.

In short, to harmonize, you’ve got modernize. If you start with IT security, you can gain significant benefits for your enterprise, whatever its goals for growth. And successful efforts to improve cybersecurity are likely to make it easier to get support for other IT modernization initiatives.

Ivanti: Help Around the World

Ivanti solutions can help you to improve cybersecurity and to modernize management of your IT services, assets, endpoints, and user environments. And Ivanti combines localized solutions with offices and partners all around the world, to support your efforts to go global effectively.

To help you to get started, check out our new, limited-time offer of significant discounts on combinations of select Ivanti cybersecurity offerings. Then, learn more about our other solutions online or by contacting your nearest Ivanti representative. Let Ivanti help your business to do more business, efficiently and securely, wherever your business is and wants to grow.