Two of the biggest Hard Trends right now are around organizations moving their data into the cloud and the very real increase in online security disruption threats we face on a daily basis. The fear of suffering a data breach or even data loss is unthinkable; it’s what keeps most CEOs awake at night.

Network security is only as strong as its weakest link, and many are discovering that insecure application programming interfaces (APIs) are their Achilles heel. This is where we are starting to see a new wave of digital disruption as conflicts are forcing a change in the technology landscape.

On the flipside of this virtual coin, the majority of security products out there do not have APIs. This makes it troublesome to apply effective security to data and areas that their software is unable to reach.

Meanwhile, businesses that are looking for cost-effective solutions are attempting to walk away from the world of hardware, operating systems and application licensing by migrating their data into the cloud. These everything-under-one-roof solutions pass the biggest responsibilities to one company and rightly or wrongly assume that company will look after the safety and security of their data. 

This fundamental change is slowly migrating users and businesses away from traditional security vendors. Cloud providers are witnessing a growth in their responsibilities and customer expectations as they step up their game to grab the opportunity.

According to Cisco and the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), digital disruption will displace approximately 40 percent of incumbent companies within the next five years.

Cisco is also predicting that by 2020 there will be an estimated 50 billion devices connected online. We need to expand our horizons to the internet of everything rather than just the internet of things. It stands to reason that as networks expand along with data volumes, the threat of cybercrime will also grow dramatically.

The migration of IT infrastructure to the cloud has obvious appeal to business customers. We all now reside in a digital world where being agile as well as anticipatory is the new currency. The flexibility and cybersecurity offered by many of the cloud-based solutions provides much-needed protection around customer data. But where does this leave traditional security vendors?

Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) seem to have the most to gain from this latest round of digital disruption. Traditional reactive security is increasingly being seen as less valuable and sometimes fragmented and disjointed in a world that demands the addition of prediction and prevention. The consensus across the industry is that once again, the old way of doing things just doesn’t work for the cloud.

That the speed of technological change has allowed Airbnb to possess more capacity than the top three largest hotel chains combined speaks volumes. Resisting transformation is no longer an option as the digitization of everything sets its sights on destroying inertia.

Falling behind and failing to adapt to the continuously evolving landscape is already proving to be the difference between failure and success for modern businesses. With security and resilience at the top of the agenda, traditional security vendors face an uphill struggle to reinvent themselves. Remaining relevant to organizations that are heavily reliant on cloud solutions and APIs will be vital in securing their survival.

The key to surviving in this age of exponential change is to promote an anticipatory mindset and strategy to make digital disruption your biggest competitive advantage. Once again the Hard Trends (trends that will happen) are there for all to see when they take the time to learn how to identify them. Businesses are increasingly moving their infrastructure to cloud-based solutions, and they are finding a lack of security options around their APIs. This represents a big opportunity.

Will traditional security vendors up their game and embrace these changes? Or will they cling to old business models and begin a rapid decline? The only real question is this: How much longer can traditional industries continue to ignore these Hard Trends?