IT Priorities: off site, out of mind

Summary:Results from ZDNet's IT Priorities research show that most IT managers still insist that security be an on-site solution.

Despite the demands of a growing mobile workforce in an increasingly virtual world, results from ZDNet's IT Priorities research show that most IT managers still insist that security be an on-site solution.

Sure, that late-night pub needs physical, on-premises security, but is the same true for today's office networks? That seems to be the attitude of most respondents to our survey, with more than half saying that they have no plans for a hosted security solution (and only a quarter already have one in place). We should note that the majority of respondents said that they have network security in place, with only 13 per cent saying that they have no plans for further work on it.

(Credit: Phil Dobbie/ZDNet Australia)

Here's the question that should be on IT managers' minds: won't increasing mobility ultimately demand a hosted-security solution? If you've got a virtual private network (VPN) that spreads across the world, does it really make any difference who hosts your firewall and antivirus software?

It's not as though those shunning hosted offerings are necessarily more security conscious. Take data encryption — isn't this becoming an essential? Yet those with hosted security in place (or with immediate plans for it) are twice as likely to have it be encrypting data (32 per cent) than those with no plans for hosted security.

You also have to wonder how many end-user conveniences will be compromised by IT managers who demand that security be on-site. Smartphones, wireless broadband, instant messaging and conferencing software are solutions that are more likely to have been implemented by IT managers who have gone down the hosted-security road.

The question remains: how much of the aversion to hosted solutions is based on sound reasoning, and how much of it gets back to the belief that if you can't see it, it doesn't exist?

Topics: IT Priorities, Security, Social Enterprise, Virtualization


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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