Survey: Tech-empowered users produce better biz outcomes

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[/caption] According to a survey of more than 1,900 business and IT leaders, written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and conducted by Vanson Bourne, 84 percent of business and IT leaders worldwide agree that empowering employees drives greater efficiency in the business. Business and IT leaders at the fastest growing companies in the world also believe that providing technology choice to employees can increase revenue and profits by more than 35 percent, according to the survey. But, securing the technology while empowering the business requires a new approach to security that is not just about what IT prevents but also what it makes possible, the survey indicated. ?Security has traditionally been steeped in fear ? of the unknown, of new technology, of loss of control ? and that fear has driven a rigidity that stymies growth in the business,? said Greg Clark, CEO at Blue Coat Systems. ?To empower the business, the security model needs to change to one that makes it possible for employees to individually optimize on the technologies that best allow them to perform their jobs.? According to the survey, 52 percent of business leaders believe IT policies slow innovation while 53 percent believe they slow customer service. Worldwide, 68 percent of the fastest growing companies increased profitability by using new technologies compared to only 39 percent of slow growing companies. Likewise, 66 percent of the fastest growing companies in the world have used technology to empower their users, compared with only 48 percent of slow growing companies. ?CIOs need to be business enablers who can align IT with strategic corporate initiatives,? said Phil Hochmuth, program manager for security at research firm IDC. ?When the partnership between IT and business leaders is successful, the organization can innovate and deliver new products and services, reduce costs through greater efficiency and ultimately drive revenue growth.? Globally, 76 percent of IT leaders believe that security is the biggest obstacle to enabling employees to choose the best technology in the world at-will. US-based Blue Coat System unveiled the results of the survey as it introduced its Business Assurance Technology blueprint, which is composed of five ?technology centers? that enable enterprises to deploy trusted applications and quickly remediate data breaches. The technology centers are:

? Security and Policy Enforcement Center delivers business continuity by protecting against threats and data loss, allowing enterprises to provide a safe and productive Internet and network experience for users.

? Mobility Empowerment Center extends protection and policy to users in any location on any device, allowing organizations successfully drive mobile business initiatives. For example, airlines can reduce costs by replacing emergency flight manuals with iPads for all pilots.

? Trusted Application Center enables organizations to safely deploy and consume all types of applications. Businesses can achieve closer relationships with customers through the innovative use of applications. For example, insurance companies can accept photos of damages to speed claims processing.

? Performance Center aligns IT infrastructure with business priorities to assure network performance and optimize user experience across the extended enterprise. For example, retail stores can provide a more tailored customer experience.

? Resolution Center provides businesses with advanced threat protection by combining deep security intelligence and analytics with a large network effect from 75 million users worldwide. Enterprises can adjust security policies based on in-depth security analytics and quickly recover from a data breach.

?The proliferation of apps has fundamentally changed the Web, driving a shift away from browser-based Web traffic to application-based Web traffic, making trusted applications a crucial focus for empowered businesses,? said Greg Clark, CEO at Blue Coat Systems. ?With the introduction of new products in our Trusted Application and Resolution Centers, we are extending our ability to leverage a global network of millions of users at more than 15,000 organizations to provide threat and application intelligence.?]]>

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