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  • As the threat landscape grows, there's a need to take a proactive approach that incorporates multilayered security, advanced analytics and user education.

  • Information workers are expressing frustration with what they view as a lack of tech tools and space to pursue collaboration, according to a June 2016 survey commissioned by Prysm and conducted by Forrester Consulting. The resulting report, "Digital, Disparate, and Disengaged: Bridging the Technology Gap Between In-Office and Remote Workers," reveals that IT and facilities professionals feel that the situation is much better than information workers describe, leading to a glaring perception gap on the issue. Similarly, when it comes to having access to the "latest and greatest" technology, only a minority of information workers said they have what they need. Conferencing solutions, for example, are a frequent source of difficulties due to technology glitches and/or limitations. With better tools, the majority of information workers said they'd be more productive—and more likely to remain with their company. They'd also help their organization improve its efforts related to product development, revenue growth and faster time to market. A total of 200 IT and facilities professionals and 800 information workers in the United States and the United Kingdom took part in the research.

  • Although protecting enterprise assets typically revolves around keeping hackers and other cyber-criminals away from data and systems, there's a growing recognition that insiders also represent a significant security threat. What's more, damage caused by privileged users is often the most extensive, the most difficult to mitigate and the hardest to detect. That's because these actions involve authorized users doing things they are authorized to do. A new Ponemon Institute and Forcepoint study of 704 IT operations and security managers, "The 2016 Study on the Insecurity of Privileged Users," found that glaring deficiencies exist in the way many enterprise systems are provisioned and configured, and the ways in which these organizations monitor employees. While most companies are taking steps to mitigate and manage these risks, the problem is actually growing due to the increasing complexity of systems, the greater use of commercial software and more effective social engineering techniques. Here's a look at some of the key results of the study, and what business and IT leaders need to know to combat this growing problem.

  • It's no secret that digital processes are the key that unlocks competitive advantage and business success. Yet, putting the concept into motion and achieving gains can be elusive. A new report, "Accelerating the Pace and Impact of Digital Transformation," from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with the Genpact Research Institute, offers insights into the state of the digital enterprise. It states that "only 21 percent of companies are truly reaping the transformative value of digital." It also found that digital is a competitive weapon, but its impact is unevenly distributed; risk-adverse cultures are a bigger problem than the lack of technology prowess, budget or talent; and the necessary leadership, skills, vision and approach are often fragmented or immature. In this emerging space, leaders focus their efforts differently—homing in on interdependencies across organizational processes through metrics and other tools. They learn how to adopt an approach that HBR describes as "lean digital." The report states that leaders "use digital technologies to strengthen competitive prowess by launching new products and business models, and revamping the customer experience, particularly the alignment of middle- and back-office functions/systems to support it." Here's a look at some of the key findings from a survey of 680 executives across  a variety of functions and industries.

  • Management should ask two questions about enterprise wearables: What apps should employees use? How can the firm manage devices that are part of the workplace?

  • With business process management, the firm manages the administrative process for its consultants and provides a high level of professionalism to its customers.

  • Every year, IT research and consulting firm Gartner produces its emerging technologies list, which is also referred to as its hype cycle report. On one hand, the technologies featured are far enough along that they have to be taken seriously by business. On the other hand, the barrage of press headlines and tradeshow topics aren't there for many of the technologies. The 2016 version, "Gartner Hype Cycles 2016: Major Trends and Emerging Technologies," is no exception. Gartner points out that this year, three major trends stand out from the group: The world has entered the smart machine age, there's a focus on transparently immersive experiences, and a platform revolution is unfolding. As the report points out: "Enterprise architects who are focused on technology innovation must evaluate these high-level trends and the featured technologies, as well as their potential impact (value and risk) on their businesses." Here's a look at some of the top emerging technologies and their "hypelines."

  • While most senior executives recognize the importance of innovation within their organization, only a minority of companies have implemented a dedicated innovation process, according to a recent survey from Twisthink. On the encouraging side, most executives believe their organizations are innovative, especially in business-impacting areas such as the customer experience, products and services improvements, and developments in IT. In terms of technology, mobility, automation and the internet of things (IoT) are playing a lead role in enabling innovation. That said, companies face a number of formidable challenges in their innovation efforts, including a lack of involvement from the leadership team, inadequate staffing and budgets, and the need for the less tangible but critical innovation culture. "Innovation is not simply summoned," said Bob Niemiec, managing partner at Twisthink. "It requires process, discipline, and the vision and alignment from the highest levels of leadership to thrive. [C-Suite executives] must be actively engaged, invested and open in order to enable the innovation they are seeking. … Innovative leaders embrace emerging technologies, excellence in design and are students of new business models that exist beyond their own industries." An estimated 200 senior executives took part in the research.

  • While most organizations are likely to increase their investments in the cloud over the next five years, IT departments currently struggle with a lack of automated cloud apps and infrastructure tools, according to a recent survey from Logicworks. The resulting report, "Roadblocks to Cloud Success," reveals that the vast majority of IT decision-makers are confident that their tech staffers are prepared to address the challenges of managing cloud resources. However, they also feel that their leadership underestimates the time and cost required to oversee cloud resources. Without more cloud automation, IT is devoting at least 17 hours a week on cloud maintenance. Currently, concerns about security and budget, along with a lack of expertise among staff members, is preventing more automation. "Given the significant time and resources associated with cloud transformation initiatives, enterprises need to have a long-term IT operations plan which includes both a migration and maintenance strategy," said Stephanie Tayengco, senior vice president of operations for Logicworks. "To best leverage cloud investments, while improving operations and performance, part of that strategy should [include] the automation of repeat tasks to enforce best practices. Enterprises can drive operational agility by freeing up scarce, overburdened engineers to concentrate on innovation and growth-related activities without sacrificing infrastructure performance, security or availability." An estimated 400 U.S. IT decision-makers took part in the research, which was conducted by Wakefield Research.  

  • For digital transformations to succeed, employees at all business levels must proactively take part, rather than having the IT organization act on its own, according to a recent survey from QuickBase. The resulting "2016 Digital Transformation Survey" report indicates that the vast majority of companies are invested in a digital transformation, with IT most frequently leading the way. However, C-suite executives maintain a much more optimistic view about progress so far than the workforce in general does. For worthwhile results to take hold, these senior decision-makers must allow employees to come up with their own tech tools, either through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or citizen development initiatives. "IT and executive decision-makers have been laser-focused on achieving digital transformation this year, but they're approaching the problem with the wrong mindset," according to the report. "It's not just the IT department that needs to shoulder the workload: Citizen developers in a diverse array of business and central operations functions are ready to digitally transform their organizations from the ground up. Forward-thinking leaders who aspire to truly stay ahead of the curve should focus on finding a way to let them, because true digital transformation remains a work in progress." More than 300 U.S. IT professionals and managers, C-suite executives, and other employees who are involved with their organization's digital transformation took part in the research.

  • While the vast majority of IT professionals agree that it's important to monitor the performance of their networks and systems, few of them are "very satisfied" with their approach to this critical issue, according to a recent survey from BigPanda. The accompanying "State of Monitoring 2016" report reveals that technology organizations struggle to quickly remediate service disruptions, and they are overwhelmed by an excess of alert "noise" from monitoring tools. Of those receiving 100 or more alerts a day, only a small minority can investigate and resolve those alerts within a day. What would help is the adoption of defined, strategic monitoring, which often boosts agility and the potential to rapidly identify the root cause of problems. "IT teams are receiving an onslaught of alerts, [but] few are able covert those alerts into insight, and the inability to quickly remediate service disruptions is a pain felt across the board," according to the report. "Combine these challenges with the fact that IT performance is increasingly measured by end-user satisfaction and SLA [service-level agreement] compliance—and it becomes easy to see why monitoring is more significant and critical to the business than ever before." More than 1,700 IT professionals took part in the research.

  • Hamstrung by legacy systems, this leading producer of spirits and adult beverages turned to improved identity management to boost agility and flexibility.

  • While the vast majority of organizations have a disaster recovery plan, top business executives and IT and disaster recovery managers differ greatly about the prioritization of these plans, according to a recent survey from Bluelock. The accompanying report, "Perspectives on IT Disaster Recovery," reveals that a great many companies have had a tech-related disruption over the last two years, and these disruptions often impact the ability to deliver products and services. But C-level execs and vice presidents are more likely than tech department managers to conclude that they have "other, more pressing priorities" to pursue than disaster recovery initiatives. They're also less likely to support an outsourcing or partnership model for these efforts. "Sometimes, organizations don't realize the importance of IT disaster recovery planning until it's too late," according to the report. "With data being the most important financial asset and service being the most important reputational asset, why wouldn't you protect your business against technology disruptions? For proper business continuity, company leadership and IT should be focused on similar values and objectives, but sometimes there's a disconnect. … Gaps in opinion point to areas for much-needed communication. For this reason, it's important to address these gaps before they lead to harmful consequences." Nearly 290 corporate vice presidents, C-level execs and IT and disaster recovery managers took part in the research.

  • The world's largest provider of stock photographs and other images improved IT services management, which trimmed customer response times from 15 minutes to 5.