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  • Cyber-security has emerged as a major challenge for businesses large and small. It increasingly impacts e-commerce, data management, employee collaboration, and a variety of other tasks and processes. In the end, it affects company growth and bottom-line results. A recently released study conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne and sponsored by CA Technologies, "8 Steps to Modernize Security for the Application Economy," examines security in the emerging app economy, including how companies are adapting to an explosion of Internet-enabled devices. Among other things, the survey found that protections must extend beyond internal systems and employees and out to business partners and consumers. There's also a need to shift away from extensive restrictions and use enabling technologies, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), two-factor authentication and bring-your-own-identity approaches. These tools, according to the report, are critical to achieving innovation and tapping into opportunities. Here are some of the key findings from the survey of 1,425 senior IT and business leaders, including CSOs and CISOs.

  • Transforming into a software-driven business is not easy, as many companies are trying to compete with applications that are better suited to the last century.

  • Despite a number of reports revealing high levels of stress among professionals due to always-on technology connectivity, employees who use a large number of work apps are actually happier on the job than those who don't, according to a recent survey from Softchoice. The accompanying report, "Tech Overload Is Overblown: Cloud Apps & the Happiness Effect," indicates that much of the satisfaction is driven by the workers' level of personal autonomy regarding work applications. In other words, employees who can "call their own shots" on app use are much more engaged than those who can't. They're also more content when they rely on the same tech tools in the office as they use at home. "This deluge of devices and apps into our professional lives has added to the widespread perception that employers have tipped the scales of work-life balance in favor of an always-on, always-accessible workforce," the report states. "As a result, [there's a general perception that] workers are overwhelmed and overloaded by technology—and, ultimately, less engaged in their work. [In contrast,] this research shows that technology—specifically, access to and use of cloud apps—makes employees happier at work, more satisfied with their work-life balance and more willing to stay with their current employers." An estimated 1,000 employees took part in the research.

  • Organizations are generally taking a two-pronged approach to deploying enterprise apps, according to a recent survey from QuinStreet Enterprise (the parent company of Baseline): Applications that involve relatively new developments in technology—such as mobile device management (MDM) and big data analytics—are more likely to get leveraged through the cloud, but those considered traditional technologies—such as risk management/compliance and finance/accounting apps—are much less likely to be stored in the cloud. The accompanying report, “2015 Enterprise Applications Outlook: To SaaS or Not to SaaS,” indicates that IT professionals may be reluctant to migrate certain applications to the cloud because of concerns about security, privacy and data control. However, many benefits of the cloud are too great to ignore. Also, because the “new” apps don’t contain the same volume of historic data as older ones (reducing the complexity of migrations), organizations are more willing to start from scratch by launching them in the cloud. “The SaaS model appeals to enterprise application users because it means lower infrastructure costs and more rapid application deployments, and it removes the burden of managing, updating and patching applications,” according to the report. 314 IT and business professionals took part in the research. There was also a Google+ editorial hangout on enterprise apps.