“The four big megatrends in information technology today are cloud computing, Big Data, social networking and mobile devices. Adoption and maturity of these trends must float upon a sea of trust” says David Goulden, EMC President and Chief Operating Officer. Goulden refers to the trust that information is secure in the cloud, trust that data won’t be lost or stolen and trust that IT will be operational at all times. The impact of the four megatrends can be boosted or limited by the trust in IT, meaning that the IT maturity of each country will have an effect on their overall ability to compete.
Yesterday morning EMC hosted a UK media roundtable in central London where Rashmi Knowles, RSA chief security architect, and Mark Galpin, Senior Manager EMEA Product Marketing at EMC discussed the results of an independent, global survey spanning 3,200 influential decision makers across 16 countries and 10 industry sectors. Dave Cripps, CISO at banking and asset management group Investec also attended, providing insights into what IT strategies and infrastructures are being deployed within companies and governments throughout the world, as well as discussing how the UK ranked against each of the countries according to their IT maturity that took part in the study. One key point of discussion highlighted the alarming finding that a seeming lack of confidence exists amongst senior executives with regards to the ability of their IT infrastructure to provide continuous availability, advanced security and integrated backup and recovery. Cripps added to this that the security industry was failing businesses by selling fear, uncertainty and doubt.
This lack of trust and confidence is problematic as it may lead to reduced investment, which is crucial to achieving a mature IT infrastructure. Mature IT allows organisations to better withstand and recover quickly from disruptive incidents, such as unplanned downtime, security breaches and data loss. The occasional setback may still occur, however more can be avoided and recovery is quicker and with fewer consequences. Therefore it is important for organisations to adopt progressive strategies in order to achieve Trusted IT infrastructures. A key factor is to not only invest in technology however, but to also invest in training staff. Rashmi Knowles pointed out that the biggest security threat these days is people themselves, whereby education plays a crucial role: “Security is about people, process and technology. It’s all of those things, not just technology.”
So, how well are we faring in the UK? The UK ranked eighth – out of 16 – in maturity on the IT Trust Curve, with China clinching the #1 spot for having the highest concentration of sophisticated continuous availability, advanced security and integrated backup and recovery technologies. According to Knowles, this is partly due to their belief that they have all the right systems in place, as well as the fact that many of the obstacles that exist for other countries, such as a lack of resources, skilled workforce and budget, are currently not an issue for China.
You can view the complete details of the survey here, and below we’ve listed a number of the key findings from the survey.
- More than half of the respondents fall into the lower maturity categories, whereby the higher the level of maturity, the more likely organizations are to have already implemented strategic and leading-edge technology projects such as Big Data Analytics.
- There is a drastic lack of confidence in technology infrastructure, with almost half of all respondents – 45% overall, 46% in the UK – responding that their senior executives aren’t confident that their organizations have an adequate IT infrastructure in place. Further, just under one in five respondents – 19% globally, 18% in the UK – state an overall lack of trust in their technology infrastructure.
- There is a divide within organisations as to how a future resilient and secure IT infrastructure can be achieved, with many more IT decision makers than business decision makers considering the IT department to be the motivation and drive for this.
- Budget constraints remain a problem, being highlighted by 52% of respondents globally as the #1 obstacle to implementing improved IT infrastructures. In the UK this figure even rises to 57%, with other constraints including resources and/or workload constraints (48%), culture (flexibility, acceptance) (35%), and knowledge & skills (30%).
The global research and spokespeople form EMC and Investec all agreed on one thing. A lack of trust in IT is likely to prevent necessary investments in IT to ensure the IT infrastructure is able to withstand disruptions and threats, which can only lead to a continued, vicious circle of lack of Trust in IT and low IT maturity, severely impeding progress. This survey has demonstrated that many countries are lacking, both in IT maturity and trust in IT, so although there are also other obstacles too, Trust in IT is a crucial issue when it comes to secure and resilient IT infrastructures in the future.