With 2015 drawing to a close and the new year inching ever closer, now is the time for business leaders to make a few tough decisions. While these considerations will likely extend to many different areas of the company, some of the most important will be connected with the organization's spending next year.
As executives and stakeholders put the finishing touches on their enterprise's 2016 budgets, now is the time to ensure that all bases have been covered and nothing falls through the cracks. Let's take a look at a few of the top factors and considerations business leaders should make when it comes to IT spending next year:
Creating a new position: Data protection officer
In its 2016 Security Predictions report, Trend Micro noted that there will be a distinctive need for a new role solely dedicated to the protection of corporate data. This role, known as the data protection officer, can be created as a new position within the company, or, these responsibilities can be added to the chief risk officer role. Overall, the main objective here is a higher priority on data kept both inside and outside of the organization. How a company divides the labor here will depend on the size of the organization and its available budget.
"The iron cage put up by the EU Data Protection directive will mandate a high standard of protection on data and the role of the DPO/CISO will be vital in ensuring the integrity of data and compliance with rules and regulations of countries where company data is stored," Trend Micro noted. "DPOs and CISOs must be experts in data protection and data security regulations and must [know] how these should be effectively implemented."
Despite the need for this new role, Trend Micro found that just over 22 percent of survey respondents were unaware of the EU Data Protection directive and its mandates. Another 50 percent said they did not have plans in place to review or update their current policies according to the new guidelines.
As the sensitivity of data stored and utilized by an organization grows, businesses must ensure that maintaining the safety and integrity of this data is a responsibility that is kept at the forefront. When reviewing procedures, policies and next year's budget, decision-makers should take the time to look into the EU Data Protection initiative, and discover what it means for their company. Having a data protection officer in place could be a considerable boon for the enterprise's overall information security.
Continued BYOD security and support
While mobile device initiatives have likely been a part of budget considerations for at least a year in many companies, the face of BYOD will considerably change in the near future. Many businesses will cease supplying endpoints to their workforce and begin requiring staff members to bring their own. In fact, Gartner predicted that by 2017, this would be the case with about half of all employers.
"We're finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for nonwork purposes," said David Willis, Gartner vice president and analyst. "They often use a personal device in business. Once you realize that, you'll understand you need to protect data in another way besides locking down the full device."
Requiring employees to bring their own devices brings a number of new responsibilities to the table, including expanding security and preventing shadow IT. Ensuring that key resources and applications are not only accessible, but secure on the mobile platform will become even more critical. In this way, 2016 budgets will continue to include BYOD, and may even expand to encompass additional security and accessibility measures.
Cloud spending: Adoption, migration and security
The cloud will also continue to be a significant budget consideration, particularly for organizations that are still in the process of adoption or migration.
In 2016, the focus of many migration and adoption processes will center around hybrid cloud deployments. Gartner predicted that within the next two years, about half of all large businesses will have a hybrid cloud in place. VMblog contributor Troy McAlpin noted that the cloud and associated security measures – including encryption, firewalls and malware detection – will play a big role in IT spending.
"The days of IT spending relatively small amounts to piecemeal cloud implementation are coming to an end," McAlpin wrote. "In 2016, companies will move to cloud solutions in a major way, with budgets from inside and outside IT, and expenditures will move to above-board operational expenditures."
Next year's IT budgets will include new as well as familiar initiatives. While organizations may have to make room for new roles and responsibilities, they will also continue to deal with cloud and mobility.
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