Security concerns holding back innovation, finds Claranet


Research has found that UK IT departments are some of the most likely in Europe to identify security and compliance as the biggest challenge they are currently facing and, as a result, they are also some of the most likely to host their applications internally.

For Claranet, as security fears inhibit risk taking and, by extension innovation, organisations must work to alleviate their concerns if they wish to remain competitive in their market and innovate in a controlled way.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 900 end user IT leaders from mid-market businesses in the six markets in which Claranet operates (Germany, Benelux, France, Spain, Portugal, and the UK) and found that 57 per cent of UK organisations rank security and compliance as the biggest IT challenge, joint highest with security conscious Germany.

This concern is reflected by the fact that 50 per cent of applications managed by UK businesses are hosted on internal infrastructure, which can be attributed to prevailing attitudes towards cloud security and data ownership. Additionally, authentication and security are the applications that are most likely to be hosted internally, with 63 per cent of UK organisations doing so, due to the fact that these are often associated with highly secure data.

For Ian Furness, Hosting Services Director at Claranet, it's critical that British businesses address these security concerns and maintain the integrity of their data so they can facilitate innovation and respond to changing market pressures.

He explains: "Security concerns amongst UK organisations are justified as businesses come under increasing pressure to keep up with the constantly evolving threat landscape, especially as more data is analysed and stored online. However, these security concerns make organisations a lot more risk adverse, which ultimately stifles innovation. Considering that today's businesses are becoming much more software driven and the gate to competitiveness comes down to adapting applications that respond to increasing market pressures, security concerns, if left unaddressed, present a major stumbling block to the prosperity of businesses in the UK.

"Organisations often equate security to having perceived control, which indicates why British businesses are more likely to host their applications internally. It's understandable that organisations may want to take this approach for their applications, particularly those that are associated with high risk information. But just because your servers are under your roof, this doesn't necessarily make them more secure. In fact, if managed and maintained correctly, alternative delivery models, such as public cloud, are suitable for even the most sensitive data and can bring massive transformational benefits to organisations.

"Though security is not likely to change as the number one IT priority any time soon, the specific threats, and the ways businesses manage and respond to them, most certainly will. Businesses will need to stay alert to changes to legislation and the nature of prevailing threats as more and more data is stored and analysed. IT services provider (ITSPs) have a critical role to play here. A well-staffed ITSP with years of security expertise is likely to be in a better position to maintain the integrity of data, compared to an under-resourced in-house IT team. By working with a trusted ITSP, businesses can benefit from transformational benefits and highly compliant security protocols in tandem," concludes Furness.

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