Mobility, cloud and security top IT executive concerns: report

IT departments not always ready to integrate technologies, according to IBM whitepaper

Advancements in mobility, cloud computing and security are moving so fast that IT departments are struggling to keep up, according to a new IBM report.

The Truth Behind the Trends whitepaper, which interviewed 87 IT professionals in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, found that mobility trends such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) are getting more complex because of bring-your-own-applications and bring-your-own-software.

According to the report findings, most organisations are struggling to acquire or develop the skills needed to manage BYOD and as a result, opportunities to leverage the power of mobility for competitive advantage are being put on hold as the IT department continues to play catch-up.

Stockland enterprise architect Ivan Greguric, who took part in the research, said that it continually receives requests from employees who want to use apps and storage platforms such as Dropbox.

“If IT says no, employees will just use something else that is less secure,” he said in a statement. “The key is to strike a happy medium between allowing employees to access what they need, but in a secure way.”

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Many participants’ highlighted security as one of the main aspects of BYOD for which they were unprepared for, due to a skills gap and speed of adoption.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank solution architect Devin Weerasooriya said that a BYOD policy can introduce “many complications” within a company and the IT department could not keep up with the number of devices being introduced to the network.

He added that user education was critical in defending the network.

According to IBM Australia and New Zealand's security risk management principal, Scott Ainslie, security was regarded as a “private issue” by IT professionals that was better managed in-house.

“The participants we spoke to revealed an emotional attachment to their data which prevented them from collaborating with external specialists, government bodies and the broader industry to combat cybercrime,” he said.

“While the fear is understandable, cybercrime generally follows patterns, therefore having a macro and outward looking view of the threat landscape is critical to ensuring that the adopted security posture is appropriate, effective and sustainable.”


According to the report, hybrid cloud – a mix of private and public cloud – is increasing but data sovereignty and vendor management skills emerged as the biggest challenges for many enterprises in adopting next-generation cloud models.

IBM A/NZ cloud computing consultant Anton Lak said that businesses haven’t advanced into the cloud as much as rhetoric would suggest, partly because of perceived risks associated with outsourcing data.

“However, IT leaders overwhelmingly believe that cloud adoption is a question of when, not if,” he said. “The term everything-as-a-service is increasingly being used to describe the ideal IT scenario for organisations.”

According to Lak, this suggests most organisations are considering their options rather than racing to keep up with the “hype” around cloud and remaining open to future innovations which might enhance their business.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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