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Security is still keeping IT professionals awake at night according to BCS survey

With the ever present risk of data breaches and dedicated denial of service attacks among the security risks affecting today’s organisations, perhaps it’s not surprising that security issues are still the top issue most likely to keep IT professionals awake at night according to the 2016 Digital Leaders survey produced by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

IT professionals were asked to consider upcoming changes and trends in the IT industry and what was most likely to keep them awake at night? The qualitative answers were a mix of the predictable through to some thoughtful ideas on longer term issues ranging from the ability to respond effectively to the need for digital transformation, alongside the difficulty of keeping all the organisation on the same page in terms of the change culture and attitude to risk that digital transformation will require.

Other problem areas likely to keep people awake were:

  • risks from Internet of Things devices added to existing cyber risks
  • widespread incorrect understanding of governance
  • the dearth of good engineers coming through the ranks
  • losing development and delivery capability in the UK because companies are not investing or believing in the UK
  • an inability to retain graduate staff, allied with the poor quality of university graduates who don’t have the knowledge needed to slot into the enterprise.

It’s probably no surprise then that information security (59%), along with cloud computing (48%) and mobile computing, including BYOD (34%), are the top priorities for many organisations over the next 12 months.

Adam Thilthorpe, BCS Director for Professionalism says: “This is the fifth year that we have conducted the research helping us to build a picture that is showing that some issues remain key in the concerns of a digital leader. It also demonstrates the waxing and waning of terms that tend to populate Gartner’s hype cycle picture.”

Only 13% of participants felt that their organisation had enough resources to address the management issues and IT trends that their company has prioritised. More than half (53%) indicated that they need enhanced IT skills among their existing workforce. Just under half (48%) require additional IT staff that are suitably qualified, and 35% would like a bigger budget.

Adam adds: “What is clear is that year on year, we’re seeing that organisations feel they do not have the necessary skills in their organisations to help them face the IT trends that they know they need to address to help their organisations remain competitive. This continues to be a serious issue not just for individual organisations but also for the UK as a whole. The predicted skills gap is a very real thing and many, many organisations are experiencing it already.”

www.bcs.org/digitalleaders2016

Technical notes on research method: 

The survey was conducted online by BCS among BCS chartered members, corporate clients and digital leaders who are not members of BCS. Personalised emails were sent out inviting people to take part. The survey targeted CIOs, IT managers, CEOs and other digital leaders who have an input into their organisation’s strategic objectives. A total of 444 responses were received during the period 26 January to 15 February 2016; representing a response rate of 4.4%.

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