New Study: IT Executives View Security and Privacy, Cloud Computing and Social Media as Top Priorities
Classifying data and managing vendors are also major concerns, according to Protiviti IT Survey
London – October.19, 2011 – New and complex information technology (IT) risks and changing business priorities challenge today’s IT leaders, according to a new survey from Protiviti (www.protiviti.com), a global consulting firm. The results of the study reveal six areas of priority for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and their organisations, these include information security and privacy, virtualization and cloud computing, social media integration, data classification and management, regulatory compliance, and vendor management.
Protiviti’s inaugural Information Technology Capabilities and Needs Survey (www.protiviti.com/ITsurvey) identified top areas of concern for IT leaders based on competencies they cited as most in need of improvement. More than 200 IT professionals, including chief information officers, chief technology officers, chief security officers, and IT vice presidents, directors and managers, participated in Protiviti’s study.
Jonathan Wyatt, Managing Director of Protiviti UK said; “As the UK business landscape continues to evolve, so too does the technology supporting it. IT departments are under constant pressure to create and deliver platforms and solutions that meet business demand. New technologies such as cloud computing, social media platforms and mobile devices need to be fully integrated with existing corporate systems. This will present new challenges in the handling of sensitive data being delivered to multiple locations around the globe.”
The Protiviti 2011 IT Capabilities and Needs Survey asked participants to assess their skills and professional development priorities through more than 100 questions covering three major categories: technical knowledge, process capabilities and organisational capabilities. Protiviti also offers insights about the areas that IT leaders expressed the most concerns about, including:
· Social media applications and sites such as Facebook and Twitter have exploded in popularity in the past few years and new social media sites are coming online at a rapid pace. Some firms have vague or out-of-date social media policies in place that are unenforceable if inappropriate activity occurs.
· Monitoring and achieving legal and regulatory compliance ranks high among IT leaders as an area in need of improvement. The volume and pace of regulatory change has been significant in recent years, and there are a number of regulatory issues that require IT involvement, including Basel II, Solvency II and PCI-DSS. “IT must be integrated into compliance management, which typically involves developing, implementing or integrating tools and platforms to achieve active compliance and risk management,” said Wyatt.
· For every law and regulatory requirement, the company must also ask: What portion of my data does this affect? How do I classify and manage this data in accordance with the law? It also is important to note that, as a byproduct of the proliferation of new and emerging technologies, there are rapidly growing volumes of data being generated daily. By ranking, managing and classifying this data as a top “Need to Improve” competency, respondents may be saying they and their businesses are having difficulty understanding the increasingly complex regulatory landscape and how to comply with various new laws.
· With more and more organisations transitioning to virtualized solutions as well as applications and activities in the cloud, external service-level agreements (SLAs) with an array of third-party vendors and other providers are a key concern for IT executives, according to the study. Similarly, determining a sound strategy and approach for outsourcing and off-shoring are another critical area of focus, particularly given that many companies continue to seek innovative ways to save costs. However, many of these organisations lack clarity or direction about how to accomplish this effectively while continuing to deliver a high level of service and maintain compliance with company policies, applicable laws and regulations.
· Because data breaches are costly and affect not just operations but also brand reputation, information security is another top priority for IT executives. Key considerations for leaders to consider are: How robust are our information security measures? Is our business in compliance with industry standards for security and privacy as well as applicable laws and regulations, and do we have efficient systems and processes for tracking compliance?
Survey respondents represented virtually all industry sectors, including financial services and insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, consumer products, energy, hospitality, retail, technology and utilities. More than half of the participants work for publicly traded companies; the others come from private, government and nonprofit organisations.
To learn more or obtain a complimentary copy of the 2011 IT Capabilities and Needs Survey, visit: www.protiviti.com/ITsurvey.
Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm that helps companies solve problems in finance, technology, operations, governance, risk and internal audit. Through its network of more than 70 offices in over 20 countries, Protiviti has served more than 35 percent of FORTUNE® 1000 and Global 500 companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies.