Using security, cloud and Big Data to drive success

Dell surveyed more than 2,000 global organizations and found that security is the biggest concern in adopting cloud, mobility and Big Data.

While 97 percent of organizations surveyed use or plan to use cloud and nearly half have implemented a mobility strategy, Big Data adoption is trailing as approximately 60 percent of organizations surveyed do not know how to gain its insights.

Research found that IT decision-makers still consider security the biggest barrier for expanding mobility technologies (44 percent), using cloud computing (52 percent) and leveraging Big Data (35 percent). While security concerns are holding organizations back from further investing in major technologies, a lack of readily available security information is similarly preventing organizations from being prepared during a security breach. Only 30 percent of respondents said they have the right information available to make risk-based decisions, and only one in four organizations surveyed actually has a plan in place for all types of security breaches.

The security barrier becomes even more serious as the C-suite becomes less engaged. Only 28 percent of organizations polled have a C-suite mindset that is fully engaged with security initiatives. However, in organizations where executive leadership is involved in security, confidence is markedly increased. Among organizations who are very confident in their security, 84 percent of senior leaders are fully or somewhat engaged, compared to only 43 percent of senior leaders at organizations who are not confident in their security.

Nearly every IT decision-maker surveyed said their company either uses or plans to use cloud solutions. Only a mere 3 percent of respondents are not planning to leverage cloud solutions. The findings also show a strong correlation between cloud use and company growth.

Of those using cloud, 72 percent of organizations surveyed experienced 6 percent growth or more in the last three years, with just 4 percent experiencing zero or negative growth. This is in sharp contrast with companies not using cloud, where just 24 percent have growth rates of 6 percent or more, and 37 percent experienced either zero or negative growth.

The business benefits of cloud computing are even more prevalent when organizations use more than one type of cloud solution. For example, organizations using three or more types of cloud solutions experienced a 15 percent increase in employee productivity relative to those using only one type of cloud solution.

Despite cloud usage rates and the benefits stated above, there are notable challenges facing cloud computing adoption and implementation, most of which stem from a lack of understanding and experience as well as security concerns.

Organizations rely heavily on third parties for information about cloud, with 58 percent of those surveyed turning to an IT partner and 45 percent using vendor websites for information. Organizations’ limited experience with cloud computing was one of the top three reasons (33 percent) why they haven’t yet implemented cloud. Security, as previously stated, was the top concern at 52 percent.

Other cloud findings include:

  • Of those surveyed, better allocation of IT resources (44 percent), cost savings (42 percent) and efficiency (40 percent) are the three most commonly realized benefits by those using cloud.
  • 50 percent of organizations are using one type of cloud, while 26 percent are using more than two types of cloud. Those using multiple clouds are reaping more benefits.

Organizations don’t really know what to do with Big Data. While 61 percent of global respondents said they had Big Data that could be analyzed, only 39 percent understood how to extract value from Big Data and are pursuing it. Further, respondents indicated that Big Data is less of a pressing issue than security, cloud and mobility.

Big Data presents a major competitive opportunity. Those organizations that are the most effective in deriving business insights from Big Data are seeing much higher growth rates than those that are not. The average three-year growth rate (14 percent) for those most effective in leveraging Big Data is almost twice as high as that of organizations least effective in using Big Data (8 percent).

While Big Data has proven marketing benefits, infrastructure costs (35 percent) and security (35 percent) tend to be the primary obstacles for implementing Big Data initiatives. Respondents also listed analytics/operational costs (34 percent), lack of management support (22 percent) and lack of technical skills (21 percent) as additional barriers in Big Data strategies. In response to security concerns, most organizations are leveraging private clouds (43 percent) or traditional servers (24 percent) instead of public clouds (11 percent) to store Big Data.