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2 out of 3 companies are undergoing major IT transformations

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Protiviti’s 2014 IT Priorities Survey found that the roles of CIOs and business-minded technology leaders continue to adapt to a broader scope of responsibilities, and are shifting further from supportive functions and more toward an integrated aspect of overall business strategy and operations.

Kurt Underwood, managing director of Protiviti, explains that “IT departments are not only altering their structures, they are transforming their fundamental mission. The IT function’s objective is evolving from simply responding to last year’s technology requests to helping shape aspects of business strategy through execution with an integrated approach to operations that adds value and protects the enterprise.”

More than 1,100 respondents, including CIOs, IT vice presidents, and IT directors provided responses about the key issues and capabilities they consider priorities this year. Based on the survey findings, the top five major areas that present the most pressing challenges for IT professionals are:

1. Enhancing and protecting business value

Aligning and integrating IT risk management and business continuity capabilities with broader, long-term business strategy.

2. Cyber security 

Managing and strengthening security and privacy for the organizations’ systems and data is now a top priority across all industries.

3. Data classification 

Effectively organizing, managing, and securing growing amounts of data within the organisation.

4. IT asset and data management 

Improving data and information governance programs, driven by the growing use of mobile devices and applications and the continued integration of cloud computing into IT strategy and processes.

5. Mobile platforms and social media 

Incorporating secure, integrated systems for mobile commerce, devices, etc. and addressing social media safeguards and strategy within the organisation.

When asked to rate specific areas that are considered priorities on a scale of one (lowest) to ten (highest), respondents consistently ranked topics linked to cyber security and managing data privacy as “significant priorities” (greater than 6.0) across several different categories. In the managing security and privacy category, both “developing and maintaining security and privacy standards” and “monitoring security events” ranked highly with a 6.4 rating. Numerous aspects of “incident response” also ranked highly with a 6.3 rating and “managing and classifying enterprise data” was deemed to be a “significant priority” as well with a 6.2 rating.

In light of a range of factors such as weather-related events, natural disasters and cyber-attacks, companies have placed added emphasis on preparedness to protect against business disruptions. In the ensuring continuity category, three areas ranked as top priorities. “Business continuity management and disaster recovery program testing;” “developing and maintaining IT disaster recovery plans;” and “ensuring business alignment” all ranked highest in the category with ratings of 6.2.

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