IT Priorities: Aussie companies all secure?

Summary:With diversified access to networks you'd expect security measures to be a priority. Yet most businesses are seeing security as a done deal.

The ZDNet IT Priorities survey has shown that many businesses are turning their focus to mobility. With diversified access to networks you'd expect a similar priority on security measures. Yet most businesses are seeing security as a done deal.

More than a quarter of respondents to the 2011 ZDNet IT Priorities survey are planning network security measures over the next two years. That sounds like a sizeable number, but we're not so sure. A further 60 per cent said network security was a job "already done". That seems a bold claim in an increasingly mobile communications environment.

(Credit: Phil Dobbie/ZDNet Australia)

It's a similar story when respondents were asked about intrusion detection: 29 per cent will make changes in the next two years, but 45 per cent say the work is already completed. That figure rises to 55 per cent for businesses with more than 1000 seats.

Not surprisingly, there is more of a security focus among companies that have given "managing a mobile workforce" as one of their main priorities this year; the trend is the same for those who have a focus on cloud computing. But in both cases it's not a big difference. The proportion of those planning projects related to network security this year (18 per cent of all companies) rises to 22 per cent when we look at those focused on mobility and the cloud. Most still believe the work is already done.

How are the figures for hosted security options? More than 40 per cent of businesses with more than 100 seats have no plans to go with a hosted solution, even among those for whom cloud computing is seen as a major consideration. Yet hosted security has gained traction among smaller businesses (up to 100 seats): a quarter are planning to implement such a solution this year. This could be one IT implementation that needs to show its strengths in small business before it tackles the big end of town.

The overall lack of focus on security could be a short-term issue. The survey highlighted a rapid move to mobility and a broader range of user devices. The deployment of these devices will be taking up the mind space of many IT managers. Perhaps next year we'll see the focus shift, maybe after some have witnessed the consequences of putting security on the back burner.

To download a copy of the IT Priorities report for 2011, please click here.

Topics: IT Priorities, Security, SMBs

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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