Cyber security biggest barrier to being digital

IT quality assurance firm, Qual IT has released the results of a survey of New Zealand organisation saying, perhaps not surprisingly, that cyber security is the biggest concern for IT leaders in these organisations as they strive to become digital.

“New Zealand IT leaders see digital as posing a significant risk to their organisations and getting cyber-security right, as part of a broader quality assurance strategy, is the key to building a successful digital foundation,” Qual IT said.

“Digital’s risk profile for respondents is seen as significant, with 77 percent seeing it as representing something of a risk, and 12 percent as very high risk … As in 2016, Cyber-security emerged as the most relevant aspect of digital to their business. Getting this right was the foundation to success for digital initiatives.”

Qual IT surveyed 60 of New Zealand’s largest organisations, the majority having 300 or more employees and annual revenues in excess of $50m.

“Thirty nine percent viewed digital as being highly relevant to their organisation. The majority (78 percent) viewed digital as relevant or highly relevant,” it said. “Forty two percent cited they have a documented digital strategy in their organisation [and] 46 percent cited they have specific digital job titles in their organisation.”

According to the report, the concept of ‘digital’ was seen as being anything from trivial (buzzword trying to find a home) to the transformational (digital is everything), but the overwhelming sentiment was that it was highly relevant (39 percent rated it a fundamentally disruptive concept for their business)

The report also uncovered what appeared to be a reduced focus on ‘being digital’. The 2017 study saw a significant drop in the number of respondents who said their organisation had a documented digital strategy, compared to 2016.

It also reported a reduction in the number of staff with specific digital roles and concluded: “Given they also indicated the importance of digital to their business, it possibly indicates how much more integrated the concept of digital into normal business practice is. 

“Similarly for roles there is a growing perception that digital is part of everyone’s role to some degree, and responsibility is not just with IT but spread across the business.”

Another downward trend identified was in the use of data analytics (aka big data).  “The relevance of big data has dropped quite significantly from 2016, with organisations integrating it more into normal business,” the report said.

However it said this was not entirely a positive development. “There was quite a broad spread of views about how mature the concept [data analytics] was in their organisation.  Overall, IT leaders had a sense of frustration that they aren’t doing more with the mountains of information their systems are collecting,” the report said.

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