2013 by the numbers
6 January 2014 | 0
Throughout 2013, in association with various companies, ComputerScope carried out a number of surveys.
These surveys were carried out among the readership of ComputerScope and TechCentral.ie, comprising IT professionals, with an average sample size of 255, with the lowest being 155 and the highest at 510.
In the Irish market, on subjects as narrow as email archiving and managed document services, to IT contracting and desktop virtualisation, these sample sizes are quite representative and are good indications of trends within the Irish ICT industry. As so many of the major analyst houses seem to find it difficult to break out Irish only figures, or, when they do so, have very small sample sizes, these surveys have become a valuable source of Irish specific data on all aspects of the ICT industry in this country.
I would like to thank everyone who filled out a survey this year. The information that has been produced has been invaluable in allowing us to tailor content that best serves our readership, whether online, in print or live at our TechFire series.
Taking a look at some of headline findings from the across the year throws up some interesting points.
In March we discovered that by far the greatest driver of virtual desktop adoption in Ireland was reducing operational costs at 72%, almost double the next driver which was increased employee productivity at 42%.
April saw more than a third of Irish IT professionals (36%) looking to become contractors. What was attracting IT pros toward contracting was better rates of pay at just over 60%, followed by work flexibility at 41.3% and better work/life balance at 34.5%.
In July, we saw that transforming toward a digital business is a priority for the majority of Irish businesses (69%), with 84% indicating it was a main or a top priority. However, funding and skills were the top challenges here, as indicated by 55 and 20%, respectively.
In September, in the context of enterprise mobility, more than a third (35%) of Irish IT pros said that creating competitive advantage was the main driver of IT investment in the organisation, followed by cost reduction at 21%.
Across the year, the cost factor seems to have diminished as a concern for organisations in Ireland that would seem to indicate a general level of optimism in the business climate
The same survey found that the main barrier by far (68%) was the capital expenditure required in light of tight budgets. This was more than the other inhibitors (aging systems, lack of understanding at board level, and lack of in-house skills) put together.
Nearly half (46%) of IT professionals said that their organisation had implemented mobile applications.
When it comes to email archiving, in-house solutions beat hosted ones by a factor of roughly five. But most organisations rely on either their usual back-up solution (25%) or Exchange Server (19%) to look after email archiving for them. Nearly half (43%) of organisations archive email indefinitely, and more than half (56%) report that they can retrieve emails even if they have been deleted from the user’s inbox.
In October, IT professionals told us that security (79%), governance and compliance (6%0), and inefficient processes (42%) were the top three concerns for organisations with regard to document management. Drivers for adoption of intelligent document solutions were seen as reduced threat of lost documents (49%), reduced costs to manage documents (48%) and better visibility and control (43%).
Despite this, more than half (56%) said that their organisation did not currently have a working system in place to effectively manage and retrieve all of business documents held across the entire organisation, in hard and soft copy.
In December, we learned that more than half (54%) of Irish organisations would not purchase security as a managed service from a managed security service provider (MSSP). When asked to indicate why, there seemed to be some confusion. Whereas the largest proportion of respondents (45%) said that they had the in-house skills to deal with emerging threats, just over a quarter (25.6) said that data privacy issues would prevent them from doing so. This is despite the fact that experts have confirmed that there are no bars in data protection legislation to adopting such a service.
Some 16% said that their organisation had experienced a security breach within the last 12 months, but despite this, less than a third (30%) say that they have a dedicated budget to deal with security issues.
That said, more than half (57%) said that they had either good or very good overall visibility of IT security infrastructure, despite complexity (37%), a lack of granularity (37%) and cost (21%) being cited as shortcomings of current infrastructure monitoring tools.
The fact that across the year, the cost factor seems to have diminished as a concern for organisations in Ireland would seem to indicate a general level of optimism in the business climate. Organisations seem to be more focused on driving business and being more competitive, with the realisation that to achieve this, investment is required.
Here and there, productivity and efficiency appear as key drivers for the adoption of various technologies, again perhaps reflecting the fact that smarter work practises and better processes, enabled by technology, would be the determining factors in achieving competitive advantage, perhaps building on more streamlined cost bases than were previously the case.
All of this of course, has been taking place in the context of a rapidly changing business, technology and security environment. Digital business, where technology not only touches, but deeply underpins and enables faster, more integrated and more scalable business processes, has become a defining trend in Ireland in 2013, as borne out by our survey. But the level of digital underpinning has meant that the black hats have also developed to the point of being able to exploit some of these efforts. The high profile cases of the Loyaltybuild data breach merely served to reinforce the lesson that if you have assets, especially data, that is of interest to the criminal community then your organisation will be a target, and the best presumption is that you will be breached. What you do when you discover you have been breached, both in terms of technical response and how it is presented in public, can determine whether your company survives the incident or not.