The independent non-profit organization ISACA has published the results of its global IT governance survey. The questions asked focused on security threats and related issues in enterprise management. Over 3,700 respondents participated in the study – all of them seasoned information technology professionals. Their answers provide an interesting glimpse of the challenges currently being faced by companies everywhere.
When asked about the problems they faced in the past year, most pointed to a shortage in IT personnel (52%). Others complained about project overrun (48%), expensive technologies with dubious ROI (41%), gaps between business tactics and IT infrastructure (38%), and the lack of contingency plans (33%). As for the security issues they are most concerned about for the succeeding year, the respondents were divided between data leakage (17%), unintentional employee mistakes (16%), possible breaches due to personal gadgets (13%), and more. Maintaining the integrity of barriers which protect sensitive information is paramount. Right now, their attention is focused on inside threats rather than outside forces. In fact, cyber attacks and external hacking garnered only 7% and 5% of the votes, respectively.
Sudden IT problems can strike even well-prepared companies. When these happen, the most common consequence tends to be unexpected expenses (47%) which may hurt profits. They also result in missed business opportunities (46%), and diminished customer satisfaction (42%). A company’s reputation may be tarnished if the problem is widely publicized (17%) and a competitor could seize the moment to leapfrog ahead in the market (9%).
The answers regarding the management of enterprise technologies are fascinating as well. When the participants were asked if they use an IT framework for their systems, a majority said that they do indeed (58%). That so many adhere to a standard is to be expected since the respondents are all members of ISACA — an organization which is highly involved in this front. However, this still left a large chunk (30%) answering in the negative and the rest having no clue. This means that a sizeable number of companies may have systems which are operating sub-optimally without their knowledge.
The good news is that despite the weak economy, a lot of companies (44%) will continue to raise IT spending albeit in a manner which carefully scrutinizes the return on investment. An inquiry on the involvement of business executives in the conduct of IT governance resulted in another split. Nearly half said “moderate” (48%) while the rest said “low” (23%), “high” (25%), and “unsure” (4%).
As for the greatest benefit gained from IT investments, a third (34%) picked enhanced customer service. Next are product innovations (22%), savings due to better efficiency and productivity (18%), improved management decisions through superior business intelligence (15%), and stronger security measures (9%). It is clear that information technology aids immensely in realizing a company’s vision. Security concerns should therefore be given proper attention to ensure smooth operations and business success.
To know more about IT governance and how it can benefit your business, click here .