Having just come out of National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a series of posts about
- Protecting Devices and Data from Human Error,
- Getting the Right Data to (Only) the Right People,
- Empowering Employees to Take Ownership of IT Security
and more, you might think we’ve over-indexed on the topic of security here on Direct2Dell.
But, the results of our inaugural Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI) announced at Dell World today show that security impacts every opportunity midsize organizations have to capitalize on technology trends that can move their business forward.
“These companies know that disruptive technologies like cloud, mobility and big data can drive innovation and create competitive advantage. But, it’s often difficult for them to take a strategic approach and overcome security concerns in order to fully harness the potential,” says Laurie McCabe, partner, SMB Group.
There is encouraging news from the GTAI, however. In organizations where executive leadership is involved in security, the confidence needed to grasp that potential is increased. Among organizations that are very confident in their security, 84 percent of senior leaders are fully or somewhat engaged, compared to only 43 percent of senior leaders at organizations who are not confident in their security.
Those leaders that are getting involved in security and harnessing trends like cloud solutions, are seeing bottom-line business results from it, too.
The GTAI showed that there’s a strong correlation between cloud use and company growth. Of those using cloud, 72 percent of organizations surveyed experienced 6 percent growth or more in the last three years. That’s in contrast to companies not using cloud, where just 24 percent have growth rates of 6 percent or more, and 37 percent experienced either zero or negative growth.
“The fact is that companies need to be agile and they need to have a swift, effective, secure way of collaborating,” says Jason Cook, chief technology officer for Americas, BT Global Services. “Working with Dell, we use the cloud, our global network and security capabilities to connect our customers’ businesses, including voice, video and collaborative services in the most agile, light and secure way possible.”
That connectivity is important. As we saw in another recent piece of Dell research, the 2014 International Tablet survey, tablets are increasingly being used by employees who not only travel around the world, but throughout the office or work facility.
The GTAI confirmed what we saw in that survey regarding lost devices still being a top concern regarding mobility. Half of GTAI respondents cited “risk of data breach from lost devices and unprotected wireless networks” as the biggest mobility risk and 44 percent listed “fear of security breach” as the primary barrier to expanding mobile within the organization.
And, that’s too bad because it limits more than just financial results. If a company like the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) were to let security concerns stop them from taking advantage of new technology, we could all lose.
“With high-performance computing and cloud solutions, our researchers can quickly turn data into knowledge, knowledge into diagnosis, diagnostics into therapies, and therapies into better quality of life for patients,” James Lowey, vice president of technology at TGen notes.
Big data presents a major competitive opportunity, as the GTAI showed us that those organizations that are the most effective in deriving business insights from big data are seeing much higher growth rates than those that are not. The average three-year growth rate (14 percent) for those most effective in leveraging big data is almost twice as high as that of organizations least effective in using big data (8 percent).
To develop the GTAI, we commissioned TNS to conduct quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with critical IT decision-makers at midsize organizations (those with workforces ranging from 100 to 5,000 employees) in the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, India, China, Japan and Australia.
“Security worries may, at first blush, put a damper on technology investment,” said our Chief Security Officer John McClurg when looking over the results. “Yet for midsize organizations willing to commit, this barrier can be transformed into an opportunity, driving out the fear and doubt that would otherwise impede a forward-leaning embrace of those very technologies that can bring about their next level of growth. Smart security investment can trigger a cascade of further technological gains that, in turn, can open up a competitive lead.”