Creating a safe forum for testing new technology

Testing new technologies at an early stage is a ‘chicken and egg’ game, when is it too soon to test and when do you risk waiting too long and presenting an inflexible system to potential customers/users. At Digital Catapult we provide private forums with technical experts and industry leaders to feedback on the latest products and services in development. As part of our work with C3ISP, a horizon 2020 funded project to drive the development and adoption of a threat sharing platform for businesses looking to become more resilient to cyber attacks, we were asked to gather the perspective of the potential reseller market as well as cyber-security experts.

The benefits of this process enables early product ideas, concepts and offerings to be tabled in a private forum where feedback is structured to encourage specific critic of the proposed service. Our consortium partners in C3ISP, SAP and BT, presented the proposed C3ISP offer and platform, Digital Catapult sourced leading cyber security innovators from their Cyber 101 cohort to comment on the proposed solution.

We were joined by experts from four leading cyber security SMEs. The session delivered experts in the following areas: network threat monitoring; secure voice & data technologies; data requirements for governance; security, risk and compliance & threat intelligence.

Comment from the C3ISP team suggested that the value of gaining insight from experts external to their organisation and the C3ISP team was invaluable. Providing this access to cyber expertise in a safe environment was able to draw out perspectives not previously considered and it will inform technical and business discussions moving forward with C3ISP.

Comments from the participating cyber SMEs was overwhelmingly positive to the proposed C3ISP solution. This kind of market validation is key in scaling a solution however it also seeks to energise the team working on C3ISP as the market potential is reinforced by the experts opinions.

The value of user and customer feedback has long been heralded as an essential step in a product development cycle. The challenge in such a sensitive field as emerging tech and more so cyber security carries the risk of presenting a half-baked product which can damage your reputation. However, it is clear from this exercise that these activities have the potential to deliver the following key benefits:

  • Build trust by engaging potential early adopters in shaping product offerings
  • Identify unforeseen flaws in the system before a release
  • Identify new or untapped markets and routes to market
  • Influence the messaging, marketing and communications strategy for your product or service through asking for external points of view on the value your product/service offers

Digital Catapult and the C3ISP consortium are excited to present the final service to users in the very near future and are hugely grateful for the input of the industry and cyber security experts.