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Thirty three years since the inception of the World Wide Web – experts reflect

Monday 1st August marks the World Wide Web Day, a celebration of the invention of an internet-based communication system that changed the world.

Having been around for thirty three years now, the World Wide Web has undergone a significant transformation since its inception, allowing users to participate in the creation of the web and connect with each other. Nowadays, we can’t imagine our days without using the World Wide Web. 

To mark the anniversary, technology experts discuss the role of the World Wide Web in society and business. 

Aaron Goldman, CMO at Mediaocean:  

“World Wide Web Day is a great way to recognise how the Internet has connected consumers across the globe to content, communities, and commerce. It has also opened up new ways for brands to grow by transforming the way they interact with their customers.
In recent years, much of the conversation around the Web and digital advertising has centred on identity and privacy. The impending removal of third-party cookies will fundamentally change the way people use the Internet and how marketers will be able to connect with customers.

With this in mind, it’s time for marketers to take action and avoid being caught up against the deadline of cookie-deprecation. Brands should focus on strengthening their first-party data collection practices and leverage platforms that use technology and AI to connect the dots across properties within the confines of privacy regulation.

The bottom line is that customers don’t really understand cookies nor do they care much about them – they just want personalised experiences and relevant communications. On this year’s World Wide Web Day let’s celebrate how much we’ve achieved and how much more work we have yet to do to keep the promise of the Internet bright for all stakeholders.” 

Gary Cox, Director of Technology Western Europe at  Infoblox:

“While the World Wide Web opens up many opportunities for businesses and consumers alike, it also poses numerous threats. With personal data a hot commodity for cybercriminals, going online can be extremely dangerous when the right security measures aren’t in place. Research shows that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, and despite training and warnings, users continue to click suspicious links, both on their business and personal devices, putting sensitive information at risk.

All organisations – regardless of industry and size – need to consider how they can leverage their existing technology to increase their security posture. For example, companies can leverage DDI, a combination of Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and IP Address Management (IPAM) services, which they already use for device connectivity, to glean visibility into network activities and lateral movement down to the individual device level. In addition, use DNS as part of the security stack as no other control scales like DNS to handle tens of millions of indicators without loss of performance.  

An in-depth security strategy should therefore start with DNS as a first line of defence against threats such as phishing, DDoS, ransomware and other malware that proliferate online.” 

Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice: 

 “Like every industry, retail has been revolutionised by accessibility to the world wide web. Today’s shoppers are very much online and ecommerce sales are predicted to make up 24.5% of total retail sales by 2025, worth over $7 trillion globally – more than double what it was worth in 2019.  

The connectivity provided by the web means consumers now enable and control how a brand or product is perceived, and they want to share their experiences – through reviews, photos, and videos – with each other. The ease of being able to promote a customer’s voice in an authentic, relatable, and real-life way is something that no traditional marketing strategy would typically have delivered.

The world wide web opened up channels of customer-to-customer communication beyond word of mouth, and as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the experiences shoppers crave will be pushed to the next level.” 

Lyndon Hedderly, Lyndon Hedderly, Director of Customer Solutions at Confluent  

“Thanks to the World Wide Web, we have access to millions of digital experiences that consumers enjoy every day. Whether it’s personalised Netflix recommendations or ordering groceries online, consumers expect a frictionless experience every time they interact with a brand online. Creating this level of personalised experience, however, relies on data and automation.  

Real-time data in particular plays a key role in delivering the digital experience that consumers anticipate. To survive and thrive in a highly competitive environment, businesses and enterprises need to understand that they have no choice but to respond to changing customer expectations or risk lagging behind.

However, that requires a lot of responsibility for processing consumer data in the right way. Over the last few years, GDPR compliance has become imperative to all businesses, and companies must ensure that consumers are informed and consciously consent to the processing of their personal data and that the information they have on the use of this data is completely up to date.

If consumers want to continue enjoying the personalised experiences that the World Wide Web offers, they must realise that it comes with sharing data, while businesses must guarantee they handle data in an ethical and secure way.”