IT Departments Need to Play Prominent Role in Cloud, BYOD Adoption

January 23, 2013

New technology has sparked rapid changes in the enterprise, and that evolution is expected to continue into 2013.

Two trends in particular – the adoption of cloud computing services and enterprise mobility initiatives – appear to have infiltrated organizations across every industry. A recent study by Symantec found that in 2013, 90 percent of companies will have at least discussed implementing the cloud, compared to 75 percent a year ago.

Meanwhile, a survey by (ISC)2 Foundation found that more than half of organizations worldwide already practice bring your own device (BYOD). However, the report also revealed that cloud and enterprise application security remained a top concern – and the Symantec study indicated that their worries are, at least in part, warranted.

Nearly 80 percent of organizations have experienced rogue cloud computing deployments within the past year. The issue is likely compounded by the fact that so many companies have yet to implement even basic security measures.

Tech departments as important as ever
Because cloud computing and BYOD are accompanied by unique risks, tech professionals – both internal IT and external IT service companies – will be vital during the implementation processes.

“By taking control of cloud deployments, companies can seize advantage of the flexibility and cost savings associated with the cloud, while minimizing the data control and security risks linked with rogue cloud use,” said Francis deSouza, group president of enterprise products and services at Symantec.

In a recent blog for the Washington Business Journal, Heinan Landa, CEO of Optimal Networks, highlighted some of the biggest misconceptions about the cloud, the first two of which address the supposedly declining role of IT departments. Although cloud-based programs and infrastructures eliminate certain IT responsibilities, they don’t reduce the need for tech professionals.

As Landa noted, they are just as important to ensure internet connectivity, and to handle any other unforeseen tech challenges that occur. In addition, according to Wim Remes, member of the (ISC)2 Board of Directors, IT professionals will be vital as companies continue the transition toward enterprise mobility.

“This can be an opportunity for IT operations to fully seize the role of a business enabler,” Remes said. “If approached correctly, with a focus on the data, BYOD can actually improve security and enable the business to compete at a pace that was but a remote dream half a decade ago.”

Currently, only 42 percent of organizations use applications access control, and just 40 percent are using authentication strategies.