Palo Alto-based cloud data management company Rubrik announced in January that it raised $261m in Series E funding at a $3.3bn valuation. With its previous raise in April 2017 at a valuation of $1.3bn, this latest funding round highlights just how fast Rubrik is growing.
Rubrik delivers a single software platform to manage and protect data in the cloud, at the edge, and on-premises. The company's solutions span data protection, ransomware recovery, regulatory compliance, and cloud migrations.
Rubrik’s rapid growth has been bolstered by a number of new products and solutions, including Polaris, its award-winning SaaS platform of record for enterprise data, and Rubrik Andes 5.0, the most comprehensive release to date of Rubrik’s core Cloud Data Management solution.
Steve Nuttall, Head of CX Research at Fifth Quadrant, recently sat down with Rubrik’s Country Manager ANZ Luke McGoldrick and Rubrik’s Senior Vice President of Global Customer Support and Success Giri Iyer to discuss a range of topics including data breaches, compliance and ransomware. They spoke about how these things impact CX and what these developments mean for organisations both in Australia and abroad.
From reactive to proactive
Iyer prefers to take a holistic view of CX, seeing it as being about product, people and services “all wrapped together”.
He says that while in the past CX was about being reactive and soothing customers when they had an issue, going forward it will be more about anticipating things on behalf of the customer.
“This includes answering questions and addressing problems that customers might not have yet,” Iyer says. “It’s going to be about anticipating the customer journey using really clear insights into how customers are consuming products and services.”
Nuttall notes that the accumulation of well-structured data is crucial for building out that kind of end-to-end CX.
“Without data, you are unable to serve up those predictive experiences,” Nuttall says. “You need data in the right time, at the right place, and relevant to the right context.”
Security takes centre stage
McGoldrick says while organisations in Australia are fairly advanced when it comes to digital transformation and the use of data to enhance CX, issues around security are what tends to slow down progress.
“Where I think they are being held back from going as fast as what they want is around that compliance, security and governance of the data regardless of where it resides,” McGoldrick says.
When it comes to security and compliance, Europe is generally considered to be ahead of the US due to the passing of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018.
However, it is worth noting that since the law applies to every company in the world that deals with an EU citizen, the effects of the GDPR have been felt worldwide.
“America's probably a little bit behind when it comes to the letter of the law on security - particularly with the personal information - but given that large US-headquartered companies have operations in other regions, fundamentally they have to follow suit,” McGoldrick says.
Iyer concurs that the US is behind, but adds that there are upcoming regulations which will soon come into law there.
Specifically, the California Consumer Privacy Act is scheduled to come into effect on January 1 2020 and, like the GDPR, it will put greater restrictions around how companies can collect and use data.
The CCPA actually goes a little further than the GDPR, as it will give people a clear chance to opt out of the sale of their data and will force companies to disclose exactly what they know about them.
However, regulation is just one side of it, as it does not stop malicious actors from hacking companies.
Iyer sees Rubrik as playing a key role in helping organisations navigate an environment in which data breaches are becoming the norm.
“We think we’ll play a big part in this by being able to assure customers that we can detect and, in some cases, prevent data breaches,” Iyer says. “I think you’ll see a lot more products and applications coming that help address these concerns upfront.”
Healthcare sector an area of focus
As far as sectors go, the rapid digitisation of healthcare is leading to concerns around the vulnerability of the data held by healthcare providers.
Last month, The Australian National Audit Office completed its review of the implementation of Australia’s My Health Record, a government initiative to digitise all Australians healthcare records.
ANAO found that although the implementation was “largely effective”, MHR did not properly manage cybersecurity or privacy risks.
“Management of shared cybersecurity risks was not appropriate and should be improved with respect to those risks that are shared with third-party software vendors and healthcare provider organisations,” the report said.
Nuttall notes that the resistance that MHR has met is symptomatic of the highly sensitive nature of healthcare data and fears around what happens if that information gets into the wrong hands.
With the sector lacking the technological maturity of other sectors combined with the valuable nature of healthcare data, this makes the sector a target.
“They [healthcare providers] are susceptible to being breached due to having gaps in their infrastructure and architecture,” McGoldrick says. “When your health system loses trust, that’s not a good spot to be in.”
Ransomware on the rise
One area of cybersecurity that has seen massive growth in 2019 is ransomware. In a recent report, cybersecurity firm Bitdefender found that ransomware attacks increased by 74% year on year comparing H1 2018 and H1 2019.
“Targeting large organisations, educational institutions and critical infrastructures, with a particular focus on the United States, ransomware remains a lucrative business that constantly adapts its business model, techniques and sophistication,” Bitdefender said.
For McGoldrick, the question of when a company will have to face a ransomware attack is no longer a question of “if” but “when.”
However, thanks to Rubrik’s ransomware solution, McGoldrick says companies need not fear that threat.
“For example, a customer of ours in Brisbane got hit by a ransomware attack in which 15,000 files were encrypted,” McGoldrick says. “We ran the recovery and it took about eight minutes to bring them back online.”
Nuttall agrees that since it is almost impossible to stop these attacks from happening, it becomes more a question of speed of detection and rectification.
The CX of the future is tech-driven, ethical and collaborative
Companies that only engage their customers from periodic checkpoints such as quarterly and annual reports are outdated, according to Iyer.
“I think that those modes of engagement are no longer relevant today,” Iyer says. “CX today has to be thought of in a more continuous manner… by understanding the customer journey and sentiment by using telemetry data, AI and machine learning.”
McGoldrick adds that companies need to be “ethically digital” and able to deliver those personalised experiences without compromising privacy or security.
McGoldrick, who does a lot of work in the Australian financial services sector, says that we are witnessing an influx of neobanks that are causing changes with regards to how the incumbent banks approach CX.
“Within finance, the upstarts can move so fast,” McGoldrick says. “Individually, they are not a threat to the established banks but collectively they are a significant force.”
The challenge for established banks is that they have to move fast while dealing with the extra regulatory burdens they carry.
“I would say CBA is probably as good as anyone when it comes to CX,” he says. “And I know from talking to them that the ones that are going to be successful are the ones that take a really collaborative approach within their organisation.”