Dell Reveals Findings On The Adoption of Security, Cloud, Mobility & Big Data Among Midsize Organizations

Dell unveiled findings from its first Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI), which uncovered how organizations are truly using security, cloud, mobility and big data to drive success. The market research surveyed more than 2,000 global organizations and found that security is the biggest concern in adopting cloud, mobility and big data. Furthermore, while 97 percent of organizations surveyed use or plan to use cloud and nearly half have implemented a mobility strategy, big data adoption is trailing as approximately 60 percent of organizations surveyed do not know how to gain its insights.

The Dell GTAI found that IT decision-makers still consider security the biggest barrier for expanding mobility technologies (44 percent), using cloud computing (52 percent) and leveraging big data (35 percent). While security concerns are holding organizations back from further investing in major technologies, a lack of readily available security information is similarly preventing organizations from being prepared during a security breach. Only 30 percent of respondents said they have the right information available to make risk-based decisions, and only one in four organizations surveyed actually has a plan in place for all types of security breaches

The security barrier becomes even more serious as the C-suite becomes less engaged. Only 28 percent of organizations polled have a C-suite mindset that is fully engaged with security initiatives. However, in organizations where executive leadership is involved in security, confidence is markedly 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.

Other significant Dell GTAI security findings include:

  • Security resources are primarily spent on protecting against hackers (43 percent) and adhering to compliance regulations (37 percent).
  • Only 39 percent of respondents have a workforce that is fully aware of the organization’s own security rules.
  • Only 13 percent of those surveyed are using security to enable new things, while only 18 percent are using security as a competitive advantage.

The Dell GTAI findings overwhelmingly confirm this is the cloud era. Nearly every IT decision-maker surveyed said their company either uses or plans to use cloud solutions. Only a mere 3 percent of respondents are not planning to leverage cloud solutions. The findings also show 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, with just 4 percent experiencing zero or negative growth. This is in sharp contrast with 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 business benefits of cloud computing are even more prevalent when organizations use more than one type of cloud solution. For example, organizations using three or more types of cloud solutions experienced a 15 percent increase in employee productivity relative to those using only one type of cloud solution.

Despite cloud usage rates and the benefits stated above, there are notable challenges facing cloud computing adoption and implementation, most of which stem from a lack of understanding and experience as well as security concerns. Organizations rely heavily on third parties for information about cloud, with 58 percent of those surveyed turning to an IT partner and 45 percent using vendor websites for information. Organizations’ limited experience with cloud computing was one of the top three reasons (33 percent) why they haven’t yet implemented cloud. Security, as previously stated, was the top concern at 52 percent.

Other significant cloud findings include:

  • Of those surveyed, better allocation of IT resources (44 percent), cost savings (42 percent) and efficiency (40 percent) are the three most commonly realized benefits by those using cloud.
  • 50 percent of organizations are using one type of cloud, while 26 percent are using more than two types of cloud. Those using multiple clouds are reaping more benefits.

The Dell GTAI results show that the immediate efficiency and productivity benefits of a mobile workforce are undeniable: 41 percent of respondents listed efficiency as the biggest mobility benefit, while 32 percent listed employee productivity. With mobile use so prevalent in developing countries, organizations in those countries had higher adoption rates of a formal bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy (34 percent in Latin America and 37 percent in Asia Pacific compared to 30 percent in North America and 20 percent in Europe/Middle East/Africa).

Despite the apparent opportunities inherent to a mobility strategy, there are still challenges in the space with security at the top of the list. Half of 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. Improper use of company-issued devices was listed as a major mobile security issue. Results show that having a formal BYOD policy is tightly linked to being successful with mobility, however, only 32 percent of respondents have one.

Other notable mobility findings include:

  • 28 percent of respondents listed expanding network bandwidth as a key mobile priority, particularly in developing countries. Beyond that, developing tools to make employees more efficient (25 percent) and applications (22 percent) are also important.
  • While access to cloud databases (76 percent), email (81 percent) and intranets (70 percent) are included in most BYOD plans, end-of-life/asset retirement protocols are only covered in 55 percent of plans.
  • After security, cost (40 percent), and the complexity of managing multiple platforms and devices (36 percent) are cited as the biggest mobility risks.

The Dell GTAI results found a consistent theme regarding big data: organizations don’t really know what to do with it. While 61 percent of global respondents said they had big data that could be analyzed, only 39 percent understood how to extract value from big data and are pursuing it. Further, respondents indicated that big data is less of a pressing issue than security, cloud and mobility.

Big data presents a major competitive opportunity. 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).

While big data has proven marketing benefits, infrastructure costs (35 percent) and security (35 percent) tend to be the primary obstacles for implementing big data initiatives. GTAI respondents also listed analytics/operational costs (34 percent), lack of management support (22 percent) and lack of technical skills (21 percent) as additional barriers in big data strategies. In response to security concerns, most organizations are leveraging private clouds (43 percent) or traditional servers (24 percent) instead of public clouds (11 percent) to store big data.

Other significant big data findings include:

  • Operations make up the most common type of data set leveraged with 67 percent of organizations responding their organization use operations data; CRM (47 percent), sales (39 percent) and social (34 percent) make up the other common types of data sets.
  • Organizations on average feel they are getting only 53 percent of the potential insights from their available data.
  • Industries such as financial (57 percent) and healthcare and telecom (both at 56 percent) are more apt to take advantage of their big data than others.

To develop the GTAI, Dell commissioned TNS to conduct quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with IT decision-makers worldwide. 2,038 employees of midsize public and private organizations—distributed across 11 regions worldwide and multiple industries—were surveyed to enable deep analysis by industry or region. The survey was conducted between July 15 and Sept. 2, 2014, and has a confidence interval of +/- 2.2 percent

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