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Mobility

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

New business opportunities are emerging as billions of people all across the world embrace the many benefits of mobile technology. As a result, enterprise mobility has emerged as a top trend globally.

Any organization that wants to stay competitive and seize the many opportunities offered by this new technology trend must employ a successful mobile strategy to establish ground rules regarding the use of mobile devices at the workplace, as well as to leverage technology to the company’s advantage.

The growing security risk posed by the popularity of BYOD trend is the primary reason why many leading companies are investing time, resources, and strategic thinking into enterprise mobility. Because of their relatively unsecured nature and permanent VPN connections for email and other business applications, mobile devices are considered to be the biggest vulnerability in any company’s defense system.

To mitigate the risk posed by the proliferation of mobile devices at the workplace, many organizations are investing in latest technologies, such as data-at-rest encryption, enterprise-level sandboxing, device virtualization, mobile device management, and secure boot loaders. Apart from technology-related initiatives, establishing organization-wide policy for the use of mobile device is another strategy used for ensuring security, productivity, and compliance.

Although policy-related changes are one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure enterprise mobility without compromising on security, employees may perceive them as restrictive. This may result in poor adherence, poor policy implementation, and security risks. To overcome the challenge, organizations should focus on upgrading their business applications so that they offer optimal usability without compromising the security posture of the business.

Put simply, developing an enterprise-wide policy along with investment in new security tools and technologies remains the key to enterprise mobility. However, there are a number of productivity-related challenges that may keep an enterprise from implementing a strategy that enforces security without obfuscating productivity or user experience.

Developing and implementing such a strategy requires visionary leadership that has in-depth understanding of the security risks associated with enterprise mobility, as well the ability to anticipate and address users’ needs and expectations. At Allen Austin, we help businesses operating across a wide spectrum of industries recruit, train, and develop such leaders and help them unleash the true potential of enterprise mobility.

As a leading global retained executive search firm, at Allen Austin we use our tried and tested approach for executive search and leadership development to find the most sought-after C-suite level talent for its customers. We adopt an individualized approach towards every search we conduct. Our recruitment consultants take their time to determine the current and future leadership needs of an enterprise and then devise a solution that best addresses the needs.

Software

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

In an age of regular technology disruptions, growing fast has become a matter of survival for software companies. Although strong demand for IT, positive margin trends, and reasonable valuations all indicate a brighter outlook for the software industry, there are challenges that software enterprises must overcome in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

As the IT industry continues to globalize, companies that want to gain an edge over their competitors must have a clear path for advancement and growth. It sounds like a fairly simple strategy, yet a large number of software companies do not have clear career paths and opportunities for growth.

Particularly in the IT industry, employees should be able to see where their careers might take them and what new skills they can learn to advance their career. Companies that remain unable to identify and address their employees’ needs for career advancement may find it difficult to recruit and retain talent, and therefore, end up lagging behind their competitors.

Apart from challenges associated with talent acquisition, adoption of new technologies will open new path for IT companies. From drones and autonomous vehicles to augmented and virtual reality, there are a number of megatrends that are expected to produce a seismic shift in the software industry.

At the centre of this wave of innovation will be the Big Five IT companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. These companies are expected to acquire small and midsized companies with capability in critical areas of innovation like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Over the past few years, these companies have been methodical in their M&A strategy and they are expected to behave the same way in the coming years.

Intense challenge from China’s tech super-competitors is already damaging the bottom-line of the Big Five, especially in the Chinese markets. Companies like Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, and Baidu have remained successful in their home markets and are doing aggressive efforts to extend their reach to western markets.

Finding business opportunities and seizing a larger market share in this completely revolutionized software industry will go beyond just understanding customers’ needs and building a product to fulfill it. Instead, software companies will be required to develop a clear strategic identity by building distinctive capabilities and a well-defined product portfolio.

As a retained executive search firm, Allen Austin has in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by the software industry. To enable software enterprises to overcome the challenges and seize business opportunities, we help them hire the most sought-after executive level talent that has deep insight of the current IT landscape, great leadership skills, and deep technical expertise. Our executive search and leadership advisory solutions are built around the precise needs of an enterprise and therefore, have proven to be of great value to a large number of market players.

Robotics

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

Long-term success in today’s hypercompetitive global market requires unparalleled levels of efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness beyond what a human workforce can provide. This is the precise reason behind the rapid adoption of robotics by a diverse spectrum of industries, ranging from finance and healthcare to retail, manufacturing, and consulting businesses.

Experts believe that businesses that invest in robotic process automation (RPA) today will be able to reap exceptional cost-efficiency and productivity benefits tomorrow. On the other hand, those that remain unable to integrate robotics and cognitive automation in their operations will be at a disadvantage in the future.

Although investing in robotics and advanced automation technologies offers unparalleled benefits, technology adoption has its share of challenges and risks as well. Fostering a culture of innovation and research within the organization is a primary challenge faced by most businesses.

A large number of RPA projects fail every year due to the leadership’s inability to consider it as business led, as opposed to IT led. A successful RPA project requires close collaboration and teamwork from IT, HR, cybersecurity, and various other enterprise functions. Without this, businesses may remain unable to get their desired return on technology investment.

Apart from the lack of a long-term strategic approach towards robotics, talent shortage is a major stumbling block that stands in the way of businesses ready to leverage full potential of the technology. According to TechCrunch, there were 2.5 times as many STEM-related job postings in 2013 as there were STEM graduates. Therefore, to fulfill their talent needs, employers should either recruit global talent or develop a strategy to update the skill set of their existing workforce.

Depending on the workplace culture and the scope of their RPA project, firms may also need to develop strategies to get buy-in from their employees and foster an environment where humans can work alongside the machines. To make a transition, businesses need insightful yet strategic leadership that can communicate to employees that the goal of RPA is to drive operational excellence, not to reduce headcount.

Allen Austin helps businesses hire highly qualified professionals who have the right skill set, experience, and attitude required to address the multi-dimensional challenges associated with the adoption of automation technologies. As executive search and leadership development specialists, our consultants excel at attracting, recruiting, and retaining top global talent that offers the perfect blend of technical expertise and strategic insight.

With over 20 years as a top retained executive search firm, Allen Austin is well-versed in the challenges technology-driven companies face in their quest to find the best talent to fuel their technology initiatives. We use our proven methodologies based on our ForesightTM Process to help clients find the right talent that can drive their business forward.

Systems & Devices

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

Since its inception almost a decade ago, cloud computing has remained at the core of digital disruption. From the growing applications of Software as a Service (SaaS) that allows businesses to procure solutions with little or no assistance from the IT function to investments in public cloud infrastructure that offers unparalleled scalability and accessibility benefits, cloud computing has benefited organizations in a multitude of ways.

However, for many businesses, implementing cloud computing and getting value from it do not necessarily go hand in hand. The growing number of cloud services and solutions creates a level of complexity that’s challenging at best, and presents an insurmountable barrier at worst.

Whether an organization is a provider of PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), or SaaS solutions, or it’s a business ready to leverage the many benefits of cloud, navigating through the increasingly complex cloud environment and realizing the true potential of cloud investment requires deep strategic insight, technical expertise, and market knowledge.

In addition to a lack of strategic approach towards cloud computing, ensuring compliance remains another major challenge for cloud computing providers. Since legal and regulatory requirements vary depending on where cloud computing resources are located, how data is transmitted, and who has access to the information, cloud computing providers with a geographic footprint face immense challenges in ensuring compliance.

Apart from compliance, data privacy and information security being the top the priority-list of all cloud computing providers, as well as Chief Information Officers (CIO). Ensuring data security requires constant adjustments to security concepts based on changing customer needs. In addition, data encryption continues to play a major role in ensuring foolproof transmission and storage of data in the cloud.

To address all these challenges, businesses need to create a complete roadmap before embracing cloud computing. It is also important to keep in mind that not all applications or processes can utilize cloud computing due to security and regulatory concerns. To identify such processes and finding alternative ways to improve their efficiency, businesses need the right people with the right skill set and experience.

At Allen Austin, our objective is to help our clients make a successful transition to the cloud, mitigate the risks associated with it, and reap its true benefits. We achieve this mission by helping businesses hire the top global talent that not only has deep technical expertise, but also the strategic insight required to anticipate, mitigate, and manage risks.

As a leading executive search firm, Allen Austin adopts a methodical approach towards executive search and leadership development. We understand the unique talent needs of a business and fulfill them by helping them recruit and retain cross-functional leaders who possess the required skill set to fuel their company’s transition to the cloud.

Cloud Computing

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

Since its inception almost a decade ago, cloud computing has remained at the core of digital disruption. From the growing applications of Software as a Service (SaaS) that allows businesses to procure solutions with little or no assistance from the IT function to investments in public cloud infrastructure that offers unparalleled scalability and accessibility benefits, cloud computing has benefited organizations in a multitude of ways.

However, for many businesses, implementing cloud computing and getting value from it do not necessarily go hand in hand. The growing number of cloud services and solutions creates a level of complexity that’s challenging at best, and presents an insurmountable barrier at worst.

Whether an organization is a provider of PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), or SaaS solutions, or it’s a business ready to leverage the many benefits of cloud, navigating through the increasingly complex cloud environment and realizing the true potential of cloud investment requires deep strategic insight, technical expertise, and market knowledge.

In addition to a lack of strategic approach towards cloud computing, ensuring compliance remains another major challenge for cloud computing providers. Since legal and regulatory requirements vary depending on where cloud computing resources are located, how data is transmitted, and who has access to the information, cloud computing providers with a geographic footprint face immense challenges in ensuring compliance.

Apart from compliance, data privacy and information security being the top the priority-list of all cloud computing providers, as well as Chief Information Officers (CIO). Ensuring data security requires constant adjustments to security concepts based on changing customer needs. In addition, data encryption continues to play a major role in ensuring foolproof transmission and storage of data in the cloud.

To address all these challenges, businesses need to create a complete roadmap before embracing cloud computing. It is also important to keep in mind that not all applications or processes can utilize cloud computing due to security and regulatory concerns. To identify such processes and finding alternative ways to improve their efficiency, businesses need the right people with the right skill set and experience.

At Allen Austin, our objective is to help our clients make a successful transition to the cloud, mitigate the risks associated with it, and reap its true benefits. We achieve this mission by helping businesses hire the top global talent that not only has deep technical expertise, but also the strategic insight required to anticipate, mitigate, and manage risks.

As a leading executive search firm, Allen Austin adopts a methodical approach towards executive search and leadership development. We understand the unique talent needs of a business and fulfill them by helping them recruit and retain cross-functional leaders who possess the required skill set to fuel their company’s transition to the cloud.

Hardware Systems & Semiconductors

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

From lower average selling prices and slowing revenue growth to an increasingly turbulent M&A environment, a number of factors have contributed to the seismic shift that hardware systems and semiconductor manufacturing companies are going through today. To adapt to the change and stay competitive, hardware companies are seeking new and more effective ways to manage market volatility and innovate at the speed of Moore’s Law.

Attracted by potential for high profits, many hardware and semiconductor manufacturing companies are investing in their software development capabilities. For instance, Nividia Corporation, which is recognized for designing cutting-edge graphics processing units, recently developed deep-learning software to increase the sales of its existing hardware products.

While a shift from hardware to software promises lucrative rewards, companies must develop a comprehensive action plan to tackle the difficulties that may arise at a later stage. Given that many semiconductor manufacturing companies have traditionally focused on hardware only, they need to develop a foolproof strategy that’s based on the findings of a comprehensive audit of the competitive landscape to ensure successful transition from hardware to software.

The quest to improve profit margins has resulted in a major re-alignment of the hardware and semiconductor manufacturing industry. Many companies are partnering with players across the value chain to co-develop value-adding hardware and software solutions in order to accelerate the innovation process, while keeping the development costs low.

Apart from slowing demand resulting from rise of mobile ecosystems and consumerization of technology, hardware and semiconductor manufacturing companies are also face increasing competition from system-level players like Apple and Samsung. The two companies that lead as the top global semiconductor customers[1] have reached down the stack, playing a greater role in chip design.

While the challenges faced by the hardware and semiconductors industry are monumental in scope, the overall industry outlook remains positive. From the incorporation of highly sophisticated electronics in connected cars and connected devices to the advent of more advanced monitoring equipment, new applications of semiconductors are being explored every day.

This presents hardware and semiconductor manufacturing companies with unique opportunities to increase their market share and profit margins. However, to grasp the opportunity and cope with challenges, companies should hire the right talent that’s capable of anticipating potential long-and short-term risks and developing a winning strategy to maximum growth and profitability.

At Allen Austin, we leverage our deep expertise and extensive experience of executive search and leadership development to help hardware and semiconductor manufacturing companies address their talent recruitment and retention challenges. Our experts adopt a methodical approach towards executive search, taking their time to understand the impact of technology disruptions on the client’s business. Based on this understanding, we help clients connect with top global talent that’s capable of taking their company to new heights.

[1] Gartner Says Samsung and Apple Continued to Lead as Top Global Semiconductor Customers in 2016 http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3591317

Cybersecurity

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

As the world becomes more connected and technology more ubiquitous, securing networks, systems, and informational assets becomes a priority for any technology-driven business. However, despite spending a significant amount of time, resources, and money on strengthening defenses against security risks, cybersecurity attacks continue to become more frequent and intense.

According to the CSO, costs resulting from cybersecurity attacks are expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2013. On the other hand, cybersecurity spend is also expected to reach $1 trillion in 2012, compared to $80 billion in 2016[1]. The increasing cost of cybersecurity attacks despite heavy investment in cyber defense technologies can be attributed to two causes — the increasingly destructive nature of malware and the outdated skill set of cybersecurity professionals.

In recent years, the sophistication of tactics used by cyber criminals has outpaced the ability of security professionals to anticipate and address these threats. According to a survey of cybersecurity professionals conducted by the Herjavec Group, 62% of professionals do not feel confident about their organization’s overall security system, while 45% consider lack of skilled personnel the biggest obstacle to stronger cybersecurity[2].

While talent gaps remain a primary obstacle to stronger defense, solving the growing cybersecurity problem requires more than just skilled professionals. With security attacks getting more aggressive with each passing day, businesses should get security on the agenda in the boardroom and treat it as an issue of strategic importance. To combat the risk and avoid the repercussions of a security attack, organizations must use a combination of people, advanced analytics, and more robust architecture to anticipate, mitigate, and manage cybersecurity risks.

In addition, cybersecurity threats have evolved in nature and scope over the past few years. Traditionally, cyber criminals used to target the databases and networks of small- and medium-sized businesses primarily. However, in recent years, there have been many high profile cases involving leading companies like JP Morgan, HBO, Sony, and Ashley Madison to name a few. All companies, regardless of their size and the industry they operate in, must rethink their security strategy and invest in the skills of their employees in order to avoid the financial and reputational risks associated with a data breach.

Allen Austin understands the grave consequences associated with a cybersecurity attack and we help our clients avoid them by finding top-level executives who have an understanding of the evolving security threats and risks. We use our proven methodical approach towards executive search and leadership development to help organizations find candidates who bring a strategic mindset to the table and develop a robust strategy to transform security from a cost center to a growth center.

[1] Top 5 Cybersecurity Facts, Figures, and Statistics for 2017 http://www.csoonline.com/article/3153707/security/top-5-cybersecurity-facts-figures-and-statistics-for-2017.html

[2] Cybersecurity Trends – 2017 Spotlight Report https://www.herjavecgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Cybersecurity-trends-2017-survey-report.pdf

Mobile Payments

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

The global payments landscape is undergoing a revolution driven by the ever-increasing penetration of smartphones and the ubiquitous access to the internet. From the migration of cash and card payments to payments made over digital channels, the payments industry is experiencing deep structural changes. On the retail side, increasing number of customers are using mobile devices to make online and in-store purchases, while corporate users are seeking new ways to enhance the transparency and predictability of payments. Together, these trends pose a host of challenges and opportunities to companies operating within the mobile payments industry.

The recent migration to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standards is considered to be one of the biggest reasons behind increasing adoption of mobile payments technology by merchants. Many merchants have already installed chip readers not only to avoid liability resulting from fraudulent transactions, but also to implement mobile payments solutions. While this has added value to the bottom line of companies offering mobile payment solutions, such as Square and iZettle, the companies must keep up with the evolving needs and demands of customers in order to stay competitive.

As consumers increasingly use their phones and other handheld devices to shop anytime, anywhere they like, merchants must ensure a consistent experience to customers across all channels. To keep up with merchant requirements, mobile payment companies must integrate value-added features into their solutions, such as pre-authorization, split payments, and advanced customer analytics.

While the need to deliver more meaningful experiences to customers continues to inspire innovation, it also creates new security challenges for the providers of mobile payment solutions. They must invest in the latest technology and equipment, as well as ensure compliance with PCI-DSS to ensure foolproof transmission of customers’ financial information.

Apart from evolving needs and demands of customers, a number of non-traditional players have caused significant disruption in the mobile payments industry, ranging from tech firms like Google and eBay to retailers, telecom companies, and device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. While a competitive marketplace drives product innovation, it also poses new challenges to the profitability of market-leading companies like PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard. To cope with the challenge, these companies are working in collaboration with technology-focused startups. For instance, MasterCard recently introduced its Start Path program that aims to gather a diverse set of companies on a single platform in order to design innovative payment solutions.

At Allen Austin, we understand that mobile payment services are rare in their need for collaboration across multiple sectors.  We assist them in finding competent leaders who have the unique ability to navigate through and find success in unfamiliar new markets. We devise customized talent solutions to help our clients recruit and retain leaders who not only ensure compliance with all financial and consumer-based regulations, but also work in close collaboration with different industry players to stay ahead of their competitors and achieve sustainable profitability.

Social Media

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

The emergency and popularity of online social platforms has changed the digital ecosystem leading to the creation of a more collaborative environment. Today, millions of users from all over the world participate in social networks, produce and share content, and form communities.

While the reach and virality of social platforms offer unparalleled advantages to corporate players, it also exposes them to a diverse spectrum of challenges, ranging from increased public scrutiny and reputational loss to the risk of non-compliance.

According to Statista, the total number of social media users worldwide is expected to reach over 3 billion in 2012[1]. But despite exponential increase in the user base of social networks, marketers are facing difficulty reaching their target audiences. Savvy social algorithms and advanced ad blocking tools have compelled brands and marketers to spend money on paid advertising to bolster the reach of their promotional content.

To make social media marketing more effective and cost-efficient, businesses are already exploring innovative ways to reach audiences. Influencer marketing is playing a central role in the marketing mix of forward-thinking organizations. However, the right execution of this marketing strategy is essential to achieve brand awareness, sales, and revenue objectives.

With the rise of social media, businesses are facing a slew of new challenges. The compliance departments of most companies are poorly resourced to track and monitor social media activity. As a result, an increase in compliance incidents has been observed.

According to a survey of Fortune 100 companies conducted by Proofpoint, an average enterprise experienced around 70 unmonitored compliance incidents associated with social media during a period of one year[2]. The scope of these compliance incidents vary greatly, ranging from disclosure of corporate information to failure to keep customers’ information confidential.

To deal with the risk of non-compliance, businesses need to develop comprehensive social media usage policy, as well as define guidelines for the marketing, sales, and customer service functions. Investing in advanced tools and technologies, such as chat bots, Big Data, blockchain technology, and predictive analysis can also help companies achieve their marketing goals in a compliant manner.

Allen Austin helps businesses leverage their true potential of social media and avoid the security, compliance, and reputational risks associated with its use. To achieve this, we assist businesses in hiring competent leaders who not only build and drive their company’s brand, but also ensure that customers maintain a set of positive associations with the brand.

We use our proven executive search and leadership development solutions to recruit and retain leaders who have the right skill set, extensive experience of the industry, and a passion to drive their company forward.

[1] Number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2021, Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

[2] Proofpoint Research: Fortune 100 Social Media Accounts Struggle to Comply with Regulations https://www.proofpoint.com/us/proofpoint-research-fortune-100-social-media-accounts-struggle-comply-regulations

Telecom

Executive Search & Leadership Advisory

In today’s ever-connected world, the telecom sector continues to play a critical role in the growth of multiple industries. However, the telecom sector itself is subject to the disruptions caused by technological advancements. From ever-increasing use of smart phones to the rise of Big Data and analytics, there are a number of factors that pose a diverse range of risks, challenges, and opportunities to telecommunication companies.

Over the past decade, telecom operators have observed a major shift in service consumption trends and customer behavior. Voice usage has declined by 50 percent between 2005 and 2012. On the other hand, media and video accounted for 50 percent of traffic in 2015, up from 10 percent in 2010[1].

To gauge customer behavior and modify their offerings accordingly, a large number of telecom operators are relying on data and analytics. They are using these technologies to gather and analyze information regarding usage patterns, download histories, and content preferences to offer an improved experience to their customers.

Although the telecommunication sector has performed better than many other industries in times of economic uncertainty, telecom operators continue to face immense cost pressures resulting from shrinking profit margins. To cope with the challenge, leading telecom operators are using or have plans to use automation and machine learning to make their manufacturing processes more efficient.

Additionally, in order to gain an edge over their competitors and seize a larger market share, telecom companies are leveraging the potential of disruptive technologies to improve interactions with customers.

In an attempt to leverage the scalability and accessibility benefits of cloud computing, many telecom operators have moved toward software defined networks based on the cloud. While the transition offers unparalleled advantages, it also translates into the fact that telecom companies can no longer rely on wire fencing or other straightforward security measures to protect their information assets. Instead, they need to invest in new and improved security technologies, more robust networks, and real-time analytics in order to anticipate, mitigate, and manage both internal and external threats.

The challenge of effective integrity and compliance management is another major issue faced by the telecom sector. While the use of latest data analytics and disruption technologies offers unprecedented benefits to telecom operators, they need to embed the principles of effective compliance management into the fabric of their day-to-day business in order to mitigate the risk of non-compliance and avoid the consequences associated with it.

As a leading executive search firm, Allen Austin is uniquely positioned to meet the talent needs of global telecom operators. We have an in-depth understanding of the diverse range of challenges and risks faced by companies operating in an industry as dynamic as telecommunications. Using our deep industry knowledge and our extensive experience of providing executive search services, we help our clients from the telecom sector hire the most talented executives who can lead their company to success amidst uncertainty.

[1] Global Telecommunications Study: Navigating the Road to 2020, EY http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-global-telecommunications-study-navigating-the-road-to-2020/$FILE/ey-global-telecommunications-study-navigating-the-road-to-2020.pdf