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ManageEngine Survey Reveals Advanced State of Business-IT Alignment in Australian Companies

Business-savvy IT Managers, IT-savvy Business Managers Emerge as Alignment Leaders

  • Security, cloud and other key topics in IT-business also investigated
  • Cyber attacks, data thefts, authorised access remain top security concerns
  • Enterprise cloud strategies split between public, hybrid cloud
  • Access the ManageEngine survey results and infographic at http://bit.ly/2qneWMX

SYDNEY - May 17, 2017 - ManageEngine, ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today announced the results of its most recent survey conducted by Stollznow Research, "IT Decision Makers in Australia." The survey of 152 companies reveals the advanced state of business-IT alignment in Australian businesses with more than 25 employees. Survey findings show that Australia’s success in using IT to achieve business objectives is being led by business-savvy IT managers and IT-savvy business managers who are working together to improve business performance and competitiveness. The survey carried out during the first week of May 2017 also investigates security, cloud and other foundational topics in IT-business alignment. Complete survey results can be found at http://bit.ly/2qneWMX

"A lot of IT activity is driven by business decisions and lines of businesses in particular," said Raj Sabhlok, president of ManageEngine. "This survey shows that business-IT alignment is far more than a buzz term in Australia. It’s clearly a corporate cornerstone given how Australian IT managers and business managers collaborate and invest in each other’s area of expertise and how that collaboration and investment benefits the company overall."

Management Achieves Alignment

The ManageEngine survey reveals that Australian companies understand that aligning people is the key to aligning IT departments and lines of business. In turn, IT and line of business managers are getting informed and involved in each other’s area of expertise to improve collaboration and the bottom line. According to the survey:

  • 33 percent of respondents report their IT department is always or regularly involved in business decisions. Another 40 percent state their IT department is sometimes involved.
  • 78 percent of respondents believe IT managers have a good understanding of their business. 66 percent believe business managers have a good understanding of IT.
  • 74 percent of respondents note that their IT department reports to the board of directors or business owner with regular updates.
  • 39 percent report that a senior IT professional regularly or always attends board or line of management meetings.

The success of Australia’s business-IT alignment is reinforced by the three of every five survey respondents (60 percent) who report that their IT department has a positive effect on the business’s bottom line.

"These results are encouraging as they underline the central role that IT is playing within business and that senior management are aware of this," said Sabhlok. "Hopefully this strong relationship between senior management and IT teams will allow the companies to respond rapidly and effectively to the issues and opportunities facing them now and in the future."

Security Reigns Supreme

The survey found that more than a quarter of Australian companies believe they are more at risk from IT security attacks than they were 12 months ago. 28 percent feel they are somewhat or much more at risk while 43 percent think their profile is about the same as it was last year.

When asked what security issues they had experienced during the same period, more than half (57 percent) reported either cyber attacks, data thefts by external parties, or unauthorised access and/or misuse of data by an employee.

For companies that had experienced a cyber attack, 76 percent reported that an incident had occurred between one and five times. Another 12 percent reported that attacks had occurred between six and 10 times.

Of the companies that had experienced unauthorised data access by an employee, 59 percent said it had happened between one and five times while a further 29 percent said there had been between six and 10incidents during the past year.

The security results indicate that companies’ security challenges stem from both external and internal threats and that security strategies need to cover policies and procedures as well as protective tools.

When asked whether they allow employees remote access to company data, 85 percent of respondents indicated they do. Of those surveyed, 84 percent provide staff with a mobile device that can be used for this purpose.

Despite widespread use of devices to connect to central IT resources, almost half (47 percent) of the businesses report that they "never" or "only occasionally" automatically install security updates and patches. The survey also found that one in five (22 percent) either don't remind staff to regularly change their passwords or are unsure if this is the case.

When asked about the applications being used by employees in the course of their work, more than half of companies (53 percent) admitted staff are using software that has not been provided by the company. Few (13 percent) companies confirmed they have mechanisms in place to prevent unauthorised applications from being downloaded and used.

"Clearly there is work to be done when it comes to the security issues around mobile devices and shadow IT," said Sabhlok. "If basic steps such as installing patches and regularly updating passwords are not being undertaken, this poses unnecessary extra risks for an organisation."

Cloud Usage Climbs

The survey also quizzed respondents about their use of cloud-based resources and platforms. The results show that 84 percent of companies have an enterprise cloud strategy. Of those, 34 percent have a public cloud-only policy while a further 32 percent have taken a hybrid cloud approach. Just 18 percent of companies have taken a private cloud-only path.

Of those making use of public cloud platforms, 66 percent indicated they are using Google Cloud. A further 21 percent are using Azure with 21 percent opting for Oracle and 20 percent AWS. When asked about usage of cloud-based word documents, spreadsheets and other applications, 80 percent of businesses indicated this was being done.

In terms of the impact of cloud usage on business operations, respondents indicated this has been positive in the areas of sales and marketing (62 percent of respondents), business processes (54 percent) and email and collaboration tools (54 percent). The survey found 71 percent of companies plan to increase their spending on cloud computing during the next 12 months.

"Cloud platforms have clearly penetrated the vast majority of Australian companies," said Sabhlok. "This needs to be taken into account when IT management and security strategies are being formulated."

About ManageEngine

ManageEngine is bringing IT together for IT teams that need to deliver real-time services and support. Worldwide, established and emerging enterprises - including more than 60 percent of the Fortune 500 - rely on our real-time IT management tools to ensure tight business-IT alignment and optimal performance of their IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, desktops and more. ManageEngine is a division of Zoho Corporation with offices worldwide, including the United States, India, Singapore, Japan and China. For more information, please visit buzz.manageengine.com/; follow the company blog at blogs.manageengine.com/, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ManageEngine and on Twitter @ManageEngine.

Media Contact:

Avinash Kagava
ManageEngine
avinash.kagava@manageengine.com
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