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  • 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.

  • Despite clear evidence of the huge price of external cyber-attacks, both in terms of mitigation costs and reputation, organizations continue to short-change this key security area. A new study from the Ponemon Institute, "Security Beyond the Traditional Perimeter," states that companies don't have enough staff or sufficient technology to keep up with external threats, and they are not doing enough monitoring of their environments. From executive impersonations and social engineering exploits to branded attacks, enterprises seem unable to stop the bleeding, and there appears to be little reason for optimism. Given the value that surveyed companies place on intellectual property, this represents a huge failure of cyber-security efforts—a failure that presents an ongoing opportunity for the bad guys. "The majority of security leaders understand that these external threats imperil business continuity," said Larry Ponemon, president of the Ponemon Research Institute, which surveyed 591 IT and IT security professionals from more than 500 organizations in the United States. "The study highlights a gap in defenses against threats that have proven to be extremely effective for cyber-criminals and costly for enterprises."

  • IT and business decision-makers are very close in agreement about the strategic technology direction for their organization, according to a recent survey from Dell. The resulting "Dell State of IT Trends 2016" report indicates that both technology and business leaders are taking a long-term view with regard to the strategic direction of IT and are mapping out plans at least three years in advance. In pursuing tech initiatives, both IT and business decision-makers are focused on increasing business productivity and growth, while lowering IT expenses. They're also committed to the concept of software-defined data centers, after concluding that such an approach brings greater agility and simplifies management processes. "There is a lingering misperception that business leaders are disconnected during strategic IT discussions, but times have changed," said Matt Baker, executive director of enterprise strategy for Dell. "There is an increasingly common understanding between business and IT decision-makers on the key IT trends and the growth opportunities that IT can deliver." More than 1,200 global IT and business decision-makers took part in the research. 

  • While IT decision-makers and office workers believe that the rapid completion of a digital transformation is critical, both feel that their organization isn't making this transition quickly enough, according to a recent survey from Sungard Availability Services. The resulting report, "Tame the Bear," indicates that IT decision-makers think they're not transforming the business at the speed that management and employees expect, and they fear they're falling behind their competitors with these efforts. Meanwhile, employees indicate that their company doesn't have the right technological or management skills to effectively become a digital business. Many, in fact, said they would be willing to leave their current job if they were offered a position at a more digitally progressive organization. "Almost every business states that adopting the latest digital technologies is vital to remaining competitive, and if IT fails to deliver, everything from staff retention and employee productivity to customer engagement and ultimately business growth is at stake," said Keith Tilley, executive vice president of global sales and customer services management at Sungard Availability Services. "The key is staying in control of your organization's IT and creating the right conditions for it to be predictable and productive, which ultimately drives greater productivity and better business resilience." An estimated 700 U.S. and European IT decision-makers and 1,400 office workers took part in the research, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne.

  • Business transformation isn't a buzzword, and nowhere is the concept more apropos than in the mobile arena, where advances and changes are taking place at a rapid and often disorienting rate. Enterprise software firm Aternity recently released its "2016 Mobile Playbook," which draws on industry research from VDC Research, Intellyx, ESG and others to explore how mobility is playing out in both the consumer and business spaces. The playbook covers key trends, drivers and challenges. The report delivers insights into topics such as omnichannel, consumerization, and emerging and evolving use cases across various industries, along with a look at the barriers to becoming a mobile-first enterprise and taking digital transformation to a new level. Says report contributor, Eric Klein, director of enterprise mobility at VDC Research: "In order for your IT organization to be more responsive, it must adopt an architecture that can support modern application development techniques." Here's a look at some of the key findings and conclusions of the mobility report.

  • With tech departments now expected to make valuable contributions to business strategies while continuing to satisfy nuts-and-bolts operational IT needs, CIOs and other tech leaders expressed considerable confidence in their staff's ability to successfully tackle these challenges, according to a recent survey from TEKsystems. The resulting midyear "Reality Check" report indicates that both tech budgets and full-time staffing are increasing. Hopefully, such organizational investments will put IT in a better position to pursue new initiatives—an area in which survey respondents express a comparative lack of confidence. Meanwhile, organizations continue to struggle to hire qualified IT talent, especially for roles such as architect, programmer, developer, project manager and software engineer. "If IT leaders aren't experiencing these trends yet, they should be on the lookout for how they could affect their organizational needs," said Jason Hayman, research manager for TEKsystems. "IT leaders should leverage this insight and proactively seek out the business leaders in their organizations to understand projects and initiatives for the remaining half of the year. This insight will help IT leaders better align their workforce planning efforts to ensure they have the necessary personnel in place to support the business demands that are sure to come." More than 300 CIOs, IT directors, hirers, executives and other tech leaders took part in the research.

  • Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson deploys a monitoring system to identify the voice of the customer and gain transparency across the digital supply chain.

  • While most corporate leaders believe they are committed to employees, many workers feel disconnected, and a significant number of them indicate that they're likely to strike out on their own in the future, according to a recent survey from PwC. The accompanying report, "Work-Life 3.0: Understanding How We'll Work Next," states that very few professionals believe their opinions matter at their companies or that their contributions are appreciated. Also, learning and development opportunities on the job are limited or nonexistent. So, it should come as no surprise that a notable share of staffers expect to have a new employer within the next six months. Also, a significant number of employees expect to give up full-time employment and work independently. To hire and keep good employees, organizations will need to find new ways to engage an ever-shifting workforce—one that values work-life balance and telecommuting, while dismissing traditional office relics such as the eight-hour workday. "Today's workforce—a cross-section of Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z—has distinct wants, needs and ways of thinking," according to the report. "This has increased the level of leadership complexity and requires more tailored solutions catering to desires for both flexibility and autonomy, and for a more stable work environment and paycheck. … As talent wars continue, employers must remain innovative in how they attract, engage and retain top talent. A strong employer brand, employee value proposition and organizational culture are critical to the success of talent acquisition processes." A total of 1,385 U.S. workers and 200 C-level executives took part in the research.

  • While most organizations are undergoing some kind of business transformation, relatively few global executives think they're getting sustainable value from these initiatives, according to a recent survey from KPMG. The resulting "KPMG Transformational Survey" series of reports indicate that legacy technology creates a significant roadblock. In fact, transformation efforts that begin with a specific technology are far more likely to fail than those that initially focus on strategy. The findings reveal other transformation barriers: Companies struggle to capture information related to marketplace and customer preference changes. They face difficulties in pursuing innovation as a formal process. And the prevailing corporate culture often presents resistance to change. "Business transformation can no longer be a 'one and done' initiative," said Stephen Hasty, Jr., who is a global transformation leader at KPMG. "Senior executives realize that their organizations must create mechanisms to continuously evolve and respond to the dynamic market environment. Unfortunately, these business leaders are up against serious barriers to reaching goals, as well as massive disruptions in technology and customer preferences and demand." More than 1,600 global senior executives took part in the research.