A new survey carried out for Titus by Market Strategies International involved more than 600 IT decision-makers at leading brands across a diverse set of industries in the US, Canada and the UK. It found that respondents who adopted a more traditional or reactive approach to their data protection and security program did not believe they would reach their digital transformation goals.
The report, The Vital Role of Security in Digital Transformation, showed that nine out of ten who said they did hold a strategic approach to security thought their current efforts would address digital transformation needs within five years and, consequently, that their organization would achieve its digital transformation goals in the next five years.
Most of these "strategic" leaning respondents held senior-level titles. Over 50% gave their title as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
However, only 50% of those who say that they have adopted a more traditional approach to their security initiatives thought their current efforts would address digital transformation needs in the next five years. Many of this group held more junior titles, but a full third self-identified as a CISO.
The "strategic" camp had a number of other characteristics. They were found by the report to be more likely to say that their company's existing security infrastructure is "up-to-date," with 64% indicating that they were early adopters of new technologies and 60% pursuing best-of-breed security solutions on an ongoing basis.
This greatly contrasts with the fewer than 40% of "non-strategic" respondents that identified themselves as early adopters, as well as the 43% of the same group that described themselves as best-of-breed purchasers.
Three quarters of the strategic security professionals in the survey say that they have strong buy-in from executive leadership on the role of security as a "critical driver" in digital transformation initiatives. But only half of the professionals taking a traditional approach to security could say the same.
The tools used in the initiatives of the two groups were also different. The strategic security professionals reported that there were fewer vendors and fewer products in their security armory. The study showed that more than 80% of the "strategics" worked with ten or fewer security vendors and 70% deployed ten or fewer security solutions.
The more conservative and traditional counterparts had nearly a quarter of them using more than 25 different security solutions.
There were geographical differences as well. Eighty-one percent of North American respondents thought the success of their digital transformation efforts relied heavily on strong IT security and data protection, but only 70% of the UK respondents expressed a similar view.
Some sectors expressed their own views on the overall process. Half of all the financial services respondents viewed security as their biggest obstacle to digital transformation, which was well above the average of other sectors.
Alternatively, retail and professional services respondents were the least concerned in the report about security, which likely contributed to their greater buoyancy about digital transformation.
— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.