IT security is by far the top technology priority for businesses, according to the annual Business & Technology Priorities 2016 survey from IT solutions and managed services provider EACS.
The survey shows that respondents’ most important business priority is improving efficiency, followed by delivering operating results, increasing productivity and reducing enterprise costs. But on the technical side, following the trend of the previous three years, security is a long way in front as the respondents’ highest technology priority. High availability and disaster recovery, user experience, cloud computing and mobility followed closely behind for the third year in a row as employees embrace the use of more flexible working for staff.
CIOs who participated in the research highlighted the constantly changing nature of the security threat and the growth of targeted attacks as key to their security concerns as being the most top-of-mind. Despite the best preventive measures, they accepted that no organization can be 100% secure—which may explain why disaster recovery was second in the list of technology priorities.
Mike Dearlove, managing director of EACS, said, “On the technology front the results are no surprise as we are seeing customers across all sectors coming to us for advice on how to safeguard their systems against hackers and malware. The best organizations will find ways to synchronize their technology and create an integrated three phase security strategy: prevent, detect and remediate.”
Interestingly, take-up of digitization and out-tasking were at the bottom of the technology priorities list as businesses grapple with more urgent issues.
“We expect that this will change over the coming years as IT managers see the benefit of bringing in organizations such as EACS to handle routine IT so that the firms can focus on adding value to their business,” said Dearlove.
As ever, addressing the issues is easier said than done. In all cases, budgets, staff resources and time were very clearly the top three barriers preventing the respondents from implementing the technologies identified as key priorities. There was then a considerable gap before reaching the second tier of barriers which comprised attitude to risk, skills to deploy and a lack of business buy-in.
Photo © Sergey Nivens