Tag: survey

UK SMEs need help to come up with cloud plan

cloudUK SMEs might need channel help because they are not defining their cloud computing strategy and do not seem to have any plans to formalise anything, according to new research.

The research from Close Brothers polled 906 small businesses across the UK, found that only 29 percent could be bothered formalising their cloud strategy.

Companies in the North East and Wales were the least likely to have a properly defined cloud computing strategy, while London firms were the most likely.

When asked to rate the importance of having a cloud computing strategy, only nine percent of businesses said it was ‘very important’, while 24 percent thought it was ‘important’.
said Ian McVicar, CEO, Close Brothers said the cloud was one of the key digital developments of the last few years and it was important that businesses don’t get left behind because it can be used as a competitive advantage.

“The results of the survey are quite sobering and make it clear that there is some way to go before business owners fully appreciate the importance of the cloud. Fundamentally, cloud computing means companies can avoid, for example, purchasing and hosting servers, along with other infrastructure costs. This is not only a cost saving, but means companies can focus on their core business instead of spending both time and resource on establishing and maintaining an IT infrastructure,” he said.

All this means that the channel can have a foot in the door with SMEs by helping to provide them with cloudy advice. It is apparently likely that an SME is going to approach a potential cloud partner to ask for help, or to work out how their business can be improved by moving to the cloud.

IT managers think the cloud is more secure

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINHalf of IT managers think they will be more secure on the cloud than having their own data centres

According to a SADA Systems study which asked 200 enterprise IT professionals regarding their use of cloud services, 51 percent of the respondents said data security is better in the cloud, while 58 percent cited the cloud as “the most secure, flexible and cost-effective solution for their organizations,” according to SADA Systems.

Tony Safoian, president and CEO at SADA Systems, said this was a reversal of enterprise sentiments since the cloud’s early days when security was a significant adoption obstacle.

The supplier no longer has to prove to customers that the cloud was cost effective, not a passing fad and secure.

Instead, the cloud discussions now revolve around what workloads will move to the cloud, on which platforms will they reside and who will help get them there, Safoian noted.

As for the latter problem, 43 percent of the IT managers SADA Systems surveyed said they have and will continue to use third-party consultants to manage public cloud infrastructure.

In addition, enterprises are asking about what business advantages they can obtain in moving to the cloud, Safoian added.

In other SADA Systems findings, half of survey respondents said they are likely to increase public cloud use by at least a quarter over the next two to three years. Another quarter of the IT professionals polled said they would increase their public cloud use by 50 percent during the same time span. More than 84 percent of respondents said they are using public cloud infrastructure today, and 45 percent of the companies surveyed said their cloud migrations took three to six months. Another 23 percent said the migration took less than three months.

VR is too pricey to sell

CeVB4bYW8AA9Kt6VR is still too pricey to make a clean sale, with more than half of consumers thinking that the technology is over priced.

A survey carried out by IT market analysts Context has found that almost four in ten consumers in the UK believe that VR is too expensive. That figure rises to 47 percent when extended to include thre rest of Europe.

When asked how much they would be willing to spend on their first VR headset, consumers showed they thought that spending that much dosh was a waste of time.

37 percent would prefer to pay nothing for the headset, whilst 21 percent would only be willing to pay under £100. Nevertheless, over a third (35 percent) would fork out £100 to £200, but when asked to consider the current cost of the headsets, almost four in ten (39 percent) believe they are too expensive.

It is not as if they are poorly informed. The survey also found that three in four consumers have heard of technology such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR.

Consumers in the UK and around Europe are most excited about VR’s applications in sport, film and TV. Half of those surveyed in the UK (51 per cent) want the chance to experience something they would never do in real life, such as sky diving.

VR’s biggest draw is currently sport, with 60 percent of consumers claiming they’re most excited about viewing a match as if they were really there. This figure rose to 65 and 66 percent in France and Germany.

The survey has found that those in the UK certainly do not see VR as a gimmick, with over half of the British public (56 percent) agreeing that VR has serious applications in fields such as medicine, science, and education. The figure rose to 68 percent with German consumers.

The tech industry has given VR a dominant focus over the past few years, and that trend looks set to continue as it becomes more widely available.

Security breaches are the kiss of death for companies

wargames-hackerCustomers are walking away from companies who have experienced a data loss due to hacking, according to a new survey.

Data security outfit Gemalto said that more than 64 per cent of consumers surveyed worldwide say they are unlikely to shop or do business again with a company that had experienced a breach where financial information was stolen.

Almost half – 49 per cent – had the same opinion when it came to data breaches where personal information was stolen.

Gemalto surveyed 5,750 consumers in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and United States.

It found that 60 percent of consumers thought that threats to their personal information increases during the festive season, and nearly 20 percent believe that they are likely to be a victim of a breach during the holiday season.

Only a quarter of all respondents feel that companies take the protection and security of customer data very seriously. More than twice as many respondents feel that the responsibility of protecting and securing customer data falls on the company (69 percent) versus the customer (31 percent). Of the employed respondents, only around two fifths (38 percent) feel that their employer takes the protection and security of employee data seriously.

A third of respondents have already been affected by data breach in the past. Around 40 percent were though visiting a fraudulent website (42 percent), phishing attacks (40 percent) or clicking a fraudulent web link (37 percent).

The survey found that customers were getting increasingly impatient with breached companies.

Around a quarter who have been a victim of a data breach, either have, or would, consider taking legal action against the breached company involved in exposing their personal information. Almost half of respondents said they would take or would consider taking legal action against any of the parties involved in exposing their personal information.

Snowden taught companies something

Edward_SnowdenAfter years of ignoring warnings from experts, companies and individuals started to take security more seriously after the Snowden leaks, according to a new survey.

More than 39 per cent have taken steps to protect their online privacy and security because of spying revelations by one-time NSA employee Edward Snowden, according to the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

The survey found that 43 percent of Internet users now avoid certain websites and applications and 39 percent change their passwords regularly.

The survey reached 23,376 internet users in 24 countries and was conducted between October 7 and November  12.

More than 39  percent of those surveyed indicated they are taking steps to safeguard their online data from government prying eyes.

Writing in his blog, Security specialist Bruce Schneier said that Snowden’s whistleblowing on the NSA is having an enormous impact.

“I ran the actual numbers country by country, combining data on Internet penetration with data from this survey. Multiplying everything out, I calculate that 706 million people have changed their behavior on the Internet because of what the NSA and GCHQ [a British intelligence and security organization] are doing.”

This means that two-thirds of users indicated they are more concerned today about online privacy than they were a year ago. When given a choice of various governance sources to effectively run the world-wide Internet, a majority chose the multi-stakeholder option — a “combined body of technology companies, engineers, non-governmental organizations and institutions that represent the interests and will of ordinary citizens, and governments.”

A majority indicated they would also trust an international body of engineers and technical experts to store their online data, while only 36 percent of users would trust the United States to play an important role in running the Internet.

Nearly three-quarters of the Internet users surveyed indicated they want their online data and personal information to be physically stored on a secure server in their own country.

Those surveyed also indicated that 64 percent are concerned about government censorship of the Internet and 62 percent are worried about government agencies from countries other than the US secretly monitoring their online activities

Another notable finding was that 83 percent of people believe that affordable access to the internet should be a basic human right.

 

Three quarters of companies open to BYOD

coffee-deskIt appears that three quarters of British companies have given in to tech promiscuity in the form of BYOD. A total of 76 percent of CIOs surveyed by Robert Half Technology are now reporting that their companies allow employees to bring their own gear to work.

Although smartphones and tablets are usually associated with BYOD, laptops still lead the way as the most popular BYOD option, at 65 percent. Smartphones rank second with 56 percent, memory sticks are third at 51 percent, while tablets and external hard drives rank fourth and fifth, 38 and 27 percent respectively.

Oddly enough, there are some huge differences depending in BYOD attitudes throughout the country. For example, use of BYOD smartphones is really big in the Midlands and London, at 73 and 69 percent respectively. However, in Wales and Scotland the figures are just 46 and 36 percent.

“There are a number of factors leading to the growth of BYOD, from company cost savings to employee preferences for using their own device. Only 24 percent of IT directors in our survey said that they do not currently allow employee owned devices into the workplace, so the tide has clearly turned in favour of BYOD,” said Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half Technology. “Companies need to consider a well thought out BYOD strategy if they want to attract the best candidates – especially IT professionals. Almost half of CIOs reported that allowing employee-owned devices into the company improved productivity, while 37 percent said that they improved employee retention/satisfaction.”

However, although BYOD toys can keep the worker bees happy, Sheridan warns that organizations still need to take security concerns raised by CIOs seriously. There are some financial implications as well, as more money has to be burned on upgrading IT infrastructure and providing BYOD related training. On the other hand, 30 percent of organisations surveyed said BYOD helped them control capital costs, while 22 percent said it helped control contract costs.

IT departments lead the way in BYOD adoption, which makes perfect sense, as they can work out the kinks before the rest of the workforce joins the trend.

Brits fail to secure their mobile devices

ipad3Despite many of us treasuring our mobile devices, we’re not taking precautions to keep them, and their content safe, a study has found.

In its latest report Norton by Symantec Brits are now living various aspects of their work, social and online lives through their mobile devices, surfing online, downloading apps and making payments through them.

In fact we’re so attached to our mobiles that 40 percent of those queried admitted that they could never give up their mobile device, and close to a quarter of adults even indicated that it would be one of the top two personal items they would save if their house was on fire.

A large majority – 63 percent – of mobile users indicated they also stored and access sensitive information on their mobile devices. However, they don’t seem to be guarding this with their lives with almost a half admitting to not using a password to help protect their personal data.

Norton said that this could prove detrimental in the event of theft or loss, giving thieves “a treasure trove of personal information” stored on the device, which can potentially be accessed. This includes personal emails, which could pave a potential gateway to other sensitive information such as work correspondence and documents, passwords for other online accounts, and bank statements.

The study also reveals that losing a mobile device is common, costly and stressful for consumers.

Around one in four adults have had a mobile device lost or stolen, costing individuals an average of £73 for the replacement or temporary use of a mobile phone, and double the money to replace a tablet.

However, it’s not security that comes to their minds when they lose a mobile phone with 39 percent of those asked claiming they were most worried about incurring costly bills due to telephone calls.

And it seems our keenness to get online is also letting us down with over a third
admitting to not always downloading applications from trustworthy sources, and 28 percent claiming that they do not use secure payment methods when making purchases from their mobile device, leaving their sensitive information such as credit card details vulnerable.

According to the survey, seven percent of UK mobile users have already fallen victim to mobile cybercrime.

Most adults also admitted to using free or unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, and half of them were concerned about the potential risks of using free or unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, but yet still go ahead.

Just over a third said they used free public Wi-Fi spots to check their personal emails and 16 percent of respondents said they accessed their bank details online through free, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, exposing their sensitive financial details to mobile sniffers.