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Protiviti Survey Finds Top Priorities for IT Departments in 2013 Driven by Concerns Surrounding Mobile Commerce and Social Media

IT Executives report a broadening scope of roles and responsibilities, but only average competency in areas primed for growth

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IT professionals will be expected to handle a growing list of functions with only average competency levels, according to a new survey about IT risk factors for 2013 published by global consulting firm Protiviti (www.protiviti.com). The 2013 IT Priorities Survey (www.protiviti.com/ITsurvey), designed to help IT departments classify areas in need of attention in order to better execute the function's strategic mandate, found that IT executives are struggling to manage the wide variety of technology risk, regulatory compliance and performance challenges that now face them.

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When asked to assess their competency in key areas of IT technical knowledge on a scale of one to five, with one being the lowest and five being the highest, nearly 200 CIOs, chief technology officers, chief security officers, and IT vice presidents/directors reported a 2.8 average rank for social media security, social media integration, mobile commerce security, mobile commerce integration, and mobile commerce policy.

"The continued rapid global expansion of the smart phone and mobile applications marketplace reflects the strong demand from business leaders and consumers for access to information anytime and anywhere, which presents exciting opportunities for delivering value. However, it also creates greater technology risk potential," said Kurt Underwood, a managing director with Protiviti and leader of the firm's global IT consulting unit. "The result is significant pressure on IT departments and business leaders as they are asked to deliver more mobile technology-enabled services. This pressure forces them to take on considerably more risk than they're prepared for – especially in terms of policy, integration, data management, security and data privacy related to mobile commerce and social media proliferation and innovation."

Among 21 areas of technical knowledge, survey respondents identified social media security and mobile commerce security as the areas needing most improvement. CIOs and their staffs indicated that they intended to strengthen their cyber security capabilities in order to tackle the growing threat of breaches ‑ and potential incident response procedures ‑ as well as ensuring their compliance with the increasing number of state and federal information security requirements

Executive-level respondents also rated mobile commerce security, policy and integration among their top five priorities in the new survey's technical knowledge section, which contrasts strongly with the 2011 survey in which none of these areas made the top of the list. Interestingly, challenges related to virtualization and cloud computing receded in the rankings compared to 2011, suggesting IT departments have a higher level of confidence in managing these areas.

Additional Survey Highlights

Survey results also highlighted the following findings related to IT processes and capabilities:

  • Managing and classifying enterprise data is the number one security and privacy area in need of improvement, and remains a major challenge for IT departments.
  • The IT function's top priorities are related to strategy and organization, reflecting a need to enhance the clarity and precision with which IT performance is measured, monitored and reported internally and externally, as needed to customers.
  • In terms of IT infrastructure, platform performance planning and storage management and planning are listed as top concerns, with respondents ranking their competency level in these categories at 2.8 on a scale of one to five.
  • Three primary priorities in the "ensuring continuity" category are developing and maintaining business resumption plans; developing and maintaining IT disaster and recovery plans; and developing and maintaining crisis management plans.

In the survey's "managing IT assets" category, monitoring and accounting for IT assets are listed as the top two areas that require improvement. According to Tom Andreesen, a managing director in Protiviti's enterprise application practice, "This concern about IT assets is driven by an increasing volume of small computing devices coupled with their mobility ‑ factors that make verification of location, condition and value difficult, especially if they are off-air or dark assets."

About the Survey

Protiviti's 2013 IT Priorities Survey was fielded during the third and fourth quarters of 2012, and respondents answered more than 100 questions in three categories: Technical Knowledge, Process Capabilities and Organizational Capabilities.  More than half of the participants work in publicly traded companies and represent virtually all industry sectors, with others working across a variety of private, government and not-for-profit organizations. This edition of Protiviti's 2013 IT Priorities Survey is available for complimentary download at www.protiviti.com/ITsurvey.

Webinar Today and Podcast

Protiviti is conducting a complimentary webinar today at 11:00 a.m. PST. Andreesen and Cal Slemp, a Protiviti managing director and leader of the firm's data security and privacy practice, along with Michael Leidinger, VP infrastructure, operations, and security, from Hilton Worldwide, will explore the survey's findings and implications. Please register for the webinar at www.protiviti.com/webinars.

Additionally, Andreesen discusses highlights from the survey in a podcast, available on the Protiviti website at www.protiviti.com/podcasts.

About Protiviti

Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm that helps companies solve problems in finance, technology, operations, governance, risk and internal audit. Through its network of more than 70 offices in over 20 countries, Protiviti has served more than 35 percent of FORTUNE® 1000 and Global 500 companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies.

Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 index.

Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

Editor's note: Photos and infographic available upon request. A video featuring Protiviti IT subject-matter experts discussing IT priorities is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CH4DMi9Zds&feature=player_detailpage

SOURCE Protiviti

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