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  • For IT and business leaders, the pressure to unveil new and updated technologies, systems and apps—while securing existing infrastructure—is overwhelming. Security concerns and risks seem to grow daily. Hackers and other cyber-criminals are smart, determined and well-funded. A recently released study commissioned by Trustwave, "2015 Security Pressures Report," offers insights into this rapidly changing space and how organizations are responding to it. The survey, which includes responses from more than 1,000 IT security professionals in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, found that there's growing pressure to roll out new technology projects (such as cloud and mobile applications) despite unresolved security issues. In addition, as security threats continue to grow, organizations are finding that they are understaffed and underfunded. Nevertheless, they must cope with mounting pressure from CEOs and other C-level executives to protect corporate information, and many must navigate increasingly complex IT environments that span partner organizations. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • Incident response simulations provide companies with a detailed approach for responding to a cyber-attack and seeing how decisions are made during a crisis.

  • Many company executives would make more use of cloud computing if it were easier to adopt this technology. Recent research from CDW indicates that IT decision-makers are put off by migration and integration challenges, and are relying on financial models that are proving to be inaccurate. CDW surveyed more than 1,200 IT professionals for its "Cloud 401: Navigating Advanced Topics in Cloud Computing" report, and the findings indicate that respondents would be doing a lot more in the cloud if only vendors could break down some of the barriers that are preventing migrations. More to the point, one of the major promises of the cloud—that it frees up IT resources that could be reallocated to more strategic activities—is proving to be a fantasy. "Cloud services have such great appeal that departments outside IT are often sourcing them independently," says Stephen Braat, CDW's vice president of cloud and managed solutions. "But rather than diminishing IT's role, the data suggests that IT has a more critical role than ever: integrating cloud with traditional services and architecting for reliability and continuity of service, regardless of delivery mode."

  • Inspired by the "Bring Your Own Applications" (BYOA) movement, many of today's workers are bypassing the IT organization to get the technology tools they need, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll for K2. The majority of respondents said they're using free and available online tools outside of those licensed by IT in order to get their jobs done. They believe that enterprise users should have the power to build solutions and applications as business demands require. Timeliness plays a significant factor here, as many of these users said IT is too swamped to respond to their requests quickly enough to meet their needs. Today's workforce "is constantly pushing the boundaries to find new and better ways to work smarter and get business done faster," says Adriaan van Wyk, K2's CEO. "As a result, there is an unprecedented and almost overwhelming demand on IT departments around the world to develop hundreds, if not thousands, of customized solutions for their organizations. … It's no longer about deploying uniform business solutions across departments, but rather letting go of the reins and allowing employees to discover and use independent solutions on their own." A total of 733 U.S. workers took part in the research.

  • After it was divested from its parent company last year, Cole Parmer turned to a solutions provider to help it migrate its IT infrastructure within six months.

  • While an overwhelming majority of technology professionals feel that the adoption of significant new technologies plays a key role in organizational success, many believe that these efforts aren't as successful as they need to be, according to a recent survey from SolarWinds. The report, "IT Trends Report 2015: Business at the Speed of IT," reveals that the acquisition and implementation of these technologies is taking longer than it should. In many cases, new technology doesn't produce the anticipated ROI within the projected timeframe. And findings show that many mission-critical tech implementations are negatively affecting users due to performance and/or availability issues. As for remedies? Survey respondents said they could use more resources in terms of budget and personnel, along with greater autonomy. "Businesses can only progress and perform as quickly as IT enables them to—it's business at the speed of IT," said Suaad Sait, executive vice president of products and markets at SolarWinds. "Empowering IT—especially to successfully adopt and implement new technologies quickly—should be a top priority for every organization. This will become more important as we move further into the hybrid cloud era.  ... IT must be given the resources to make this transition." More than 230 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the United States and Canada took part in the research.

  • Today's IT security teams face a constant and evolving barrage of threats that force them to assess their security policies and procedures on an ongoing basis.

  • The vast majority of organizations have reinvented their operating models over the past year, according to survey research from Accenture. This, of course, speaks to the growing demand for agile-driven business strategies, and technology is playing a significant factor in helping companies make the necessary transitions. Senior executives recognize that emerging innovations will transform their industries, so they're encouraging internal IT teams to introduce better collaborative and analytics tools throughout the organization to more effectively manage change. While this sounds encouraging, there is a cautionary note: A significant number of employees do not feel their corporate leadership adequately supports a culture of experimentation. Apparently, failure is still not an option at many companies. In an agile universe, however, failure is typically perceived as an opportunity to learn from mistakes and emerge stronger as a result. The research, which includes perspectives of executives from high-growth, high-performance companies, is compiled from a variety of Accenture surveys completed over the past year.

  • With Open Innovation, companies partner with players in a global ecosystem to jointly develop new platforms and apps, enhance offerings or move into new markets.