Tech Leaders Worry About Disruption, Data Security

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Insight Enterprises, a Fortune 500 company that provides technology to many educational institutions and school districts across the US, conducted a survey of over 400 IT professionals from a wide variety of industries to find that many of these professionals are worried about disruption.

Overall, 65% of tech leaders are worried about having their operations disrupted. Over half (58%) of those worrying about possible disruptions cited “direct competitors” as their most feared source of disruption, whereas another significant number (47%) of respondents pointed to rivals outside their industry as the most likely source of disruption.

Tech leaders cite network infrastructure, hardware and devices, and data security as the most vulnerable areas to disturbance. 69% of tech leaders cited data security as their top concern compared to 37% who cited their companies’ ability to adopt new technology, and 48% who worry most about companies’ budgeting and costs, as their top concerns.

“Disruption is on the horizon, and to deal with it, companies are turning to intelligent technology as a smarter way to run their businesses. Today’s technology infrastructure and application deployment environments offer flexibility, scalability, and consumption options that simply were not around a few years ago. It’s an exciting time to harness this new model toward speed, agility, and competitive positioning. This is why tech decision-makers are moving more aggressively to invest in the right combination of intelligent technology solutions,” said Steve Dodenhoff, President of Insight Enterprises.

The overwhelming majority of tech companies are planning to maintain or increase their spending levels from 2015 throughout 2016. According to the survey, only 6% of companies are planning to spend less on IT in 2016 than they did in 2015. However, most tech leaders give their companies’ current IT infrastructure a “B-minus” grade, which suggests both a widespread susceptibility to disruption and an opportunity to improve security.

Tellingly, the largest portion (37%) of all IT budget increases will be invested in the maintenance of existing equipment and infrastructure. By a wide margin (89%), tech leaders cite cloud computing as the most effective technology against potential security threats. 84% of tech leaders report that they will maintain or increase their spending on cloud services heading into 2016.

“Technological innovation continues to accelerate at unprecedented rates. In recent years, new devices, applications and software solutions have hit the market with incredible frequency. The old adage of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ has never been more relevant than when applied to businesses trying to compete and harness the power of emerging technologies,” says Mike Guggemos, a CIO of Insight Enterprises. “Large and medium-sized organizations have deeper pockets to help them in the race but often face organizational hurdles, while smaller and more nimble businesses often lack financials to experiment prior to making investments.”

The survey also found that tech leaders expect a handful of new technologies to increase in popularity throughout the year, including technologies that mine for big data for business intelligence, geotag and geotrack consumers, and expand digital audiences.

The above survey results were included in Insight Enterprise’s first annual “Intelligence Technology Index” conducted between November 30th, 2015 and December 8th, 2015.