There’s no way of denying that globalization and digitization are two of the largest and most influential forces shaping today's business landscape. A new term that has since emerged—digital geopolitics—refers to digital technology and its role in international relations.
Digital geopolitics is set to become increasingly relevant in the coming years and decades. One major trending story in the digital geopolitics world centers around the ongoing question of how the United States will regulate Tiktok, one of the world's most popular social media platforms. As tensions between the United States and China rise, the concern over the short-form video app has grown significantly.
Gartner forecasts that 70 percent of multinational enterprises will adjust business strategies to reduce risk exposure to digital geopolitics in the next four years. Here are some ways your organization can factor in geopolitics to develop and refine more effective digital/technology strategies.
Understanding Cybersecurity Risks
If we’re going to talk about one of the most important aspects at the intersection of government and technology, we must discuss cybersecurity. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of cybersecurity when considering that the average breach as of 2022 costs an organization about $4.5 million.
Of course, these cyberattacks are not always about money. In a world where cyber warfare has never been more prevalent, malicious hackers from countries like Russia and China hope to access U.S. software, intellectual property and intelligence.
If your organization wants to stay resilient in modern times, then cyberattacks must remain top of mind. More than ever, leaders and executives must understand that cyber risk is a genuine business risk, and not investing in cybersecurity could prove fatal down the line.
Considering Evolving Regulations
It’s also incredibly important to recognize that technological regulations are constantly evolving in different parts of the world. While there are many other factors to consider, data privacy regulations must always be considered with respect to social media platforms, new marketing campaigns and digital strategy in general.
Of course, your organization may be affected by other evolving regulations—a country might implement new tax regulations, for example, that suddenly affect your business more than ever before. Whether it’s new data localization laws or consumer privacy guardrails, your organization should always be researching and adapting to regulations relevant to your industry.
Preparing For Supply Chain Disruption
It’s no secret that geopolitics has always affected the supply chain, but the last several years have proven that more organizations need to be mindful of this connection than ever before. As economic tensions rise between superpowers, there will undoubtedly continue to be supply chain disruptions that impact organizations of all kinds.
Multinational corporations must adjust to adapt to and comply with relevant restrictions to achieve their geopolitical goals. Organizations will also have to constantly evaluate their supply chain to determine potential weaknesses or begin scenario planning to determine the best possible course of action if a specific geopolitical event occurs.
Organizations should dedicate time and effort to analyzing geopolitical conflicts in areas that are critical to their operations. It may be worth it for these businesses to create short-term and long-term response strategies to address these unique risks and challenges.
It’s true that geopolitics are always changing and can pose unexpected risks to organizations in many different sectors and industries. By understanding and leveraging geopolitical dynamics, businesses can tailor their digital strategies to specific regions, anticipate regulatory challenges, and build strong relationships with strategic partners that improve resilience and minimize risk.
Like the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation levels and supply chain disruption, companies must think differently in the future about things like risk and competition. When it comes to the geopolitics of digital infrastructure and regulation, more CEOs and other executives must begin thinking proactively about geopolitical turbulence with respect to overall corporate performance.