Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Security key to convergence

Another great spin on the recent survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Really worth a read! Over two-thirds of corporate executives view ensuring reliable network security as the single most critical factor in the successful implementation of a converged IP network according to a new survey from AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The EIU global survey of 236 senior executives, representing firms from 50 countries and more than 20 industries, addressed the electronic security implications of network convergence and reported that for the second year running, security remains at the top of the list as the most critical network attribute of network performance, ahead of cost, complexity and business disruption.

More than sixty percent of all executives surveyed say that processing customer data online exposes their firms to electronic security breaches, more than any other type of vulnerability. Yet three years from now, 62% of the respondents expect to have implemented IP through most or all of their organisations.

Respondents reveal a clear link between their firms' technology-related goals and their chief information vulnerabilities. Among some of the key benefits of convergence—the enabling of deeper electronic collaboration with customers as well as remote and mobile working—are also a prime area of network vulnerability. (This ties in with what we saw at the Dimension Data global customer Special Interest Group for security a few weeks back.)

The survey suggests that business leaders are coming to grips with electronic security—better understanding the nature of threats, and setting organisational structures and spending patterns in place to ensure they are met in a robust way. Corporate spending on network security is levelling off at about 15% of IT budgets, suggesting a commitment on the part of the executive suite to maintain spend at a relatively high level to ‘maintain the defences.’

The bottom line? Enabling a truly collaborative enterprise—in which information is shared regularly with customers and other stakeholders, and in which mobile or remote employees are able to access this and other mission-critical company data—requires secure IP networks. Inasmuch as expanding collaboration is seen by executives as a means to enhance competitive advantage, ensuring robust network security may be seen as critical to the achievement of a strategic business objective.

These and other findings are presented in a new report called Network Security: Safeguarding the collaborative enterprise, which is now available here. Recommended reading!

CATEGORIES: 1survey, 1trends, 1convergence, 1strategy, 1collaboration
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