Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Growing Integration of Business and IT

Over the past few years, business, traditionally a reluctant courtesan of IT, has come to recognize that IT is fundamentally critical to corporate strategy. And much has changed. While many of the basic elements, such as desktop solutions, servers, multi-processors, laptops and so on are still being used, they have been enhanced and augmented by the Cloud, mobile units, social networking and the concomitant growth in availability of reams of data - unstructured data - that is useful to the enterprise. And so the concept of data visualization grew into prominence as a means of capturing and using these vast amounts of data.

Much has changed in the technology, which has led to big changes in the management issues and in the way data can be used for strategic purposes. For example, the availability of unstructured data, properly visualized, can be used to enhance BI and CRM systems, among others, leading to better marketing and strategic decisions.

Among the major management issues that arise from these changes is that of privacy and security. When data become available through social networks, for example, they are utilized through data visualization and often the privacy that should be awarded these data is not sufficiently considered in configuring its uses. Security management in this new environment is often a nightmare. Not only is there often minimal security around the unstructured data that is used, the security in the platforms and applications is scattered, varying and unreliable. To make it worse, it is often managed by different organizations because of the outsourcing involved. So the job of the security professional and the IS Auditors is made more difficult.

Deloitte has released an excellent white paper reviewing all these changes, and providing expert direction on the strategic implications. Check it out with this link.

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