By Caitlin Mattias
In a presentation titled, “Gartner Top Predictions for 2012: Control Slips Away,” the analyst firm makes some aggressive predictions that will no doubt have a radical effect on IT departments should they come to fruition. Interestingly enough, many of the areas identified also hit home among the top security concerns as my colleague Fran Lowe described in her blog post on RSA 2012.
Chief among the catalysts of IT department transformation is cloud computing. The concept of “open source” may just be the zeitgeist of our times, and it’s opened up a market where cloud services providers large and small are able to exploit business opportunity. This gives IT folks a migraine. They have business units and departments making renegade purchases of cloud services that they often do not endorse or even have knowledge of, resulting in concerns about integration and controls.
In answer, Gartner predicts that by 2016, 40% of enterprises will require some kind of proof of independent security testing before selecting a cloud vendor. Robert Lemos, in an article for Dark Reading, suggests that introducing brokers/auditors to the cloud ecosystem may indeed solve the question of guaranteeing security management. And with an expectation that by 2016 more than half of Global 1000 businesses will have used a public cloud to store sensitive data, that should probably be at the top of IT’s agenda.
Bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, is another area of increasing challenge for IT departments. But if you thought a full-scale crack down on mobile devices in your office was in the works, think again. The world has shifted toward mobile in such a drastic way that wholesale bans are simply not feasible. By 2015, the number of mobile application development projects in process is expected to outnumber those developed for PCs four-to-one. So the latest software innovations are skipping the PC and going straight to the mobile device. In fact, in the next four years, Gartner projects that half of enterprise users will rely mostly on email that’s browser, tablet or mobile client-based. This will create a significant demand for solutions that bring security measures into the enterprise mobile arena, including services that allow “twinning” or the linking of a variety of devices used by consumers interchangeably.
Gartner’s overall message for IT departments? Stop trying to hold water in your hands and start giving people straws. Focus on the “information” in the IT title, acting as a resource and advisor more than a technological junta within your organization. With the growth of the concept of IT-as-a-Service threatening head counts, anyway, it seems like they really have no choice.