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What you can learn from the way revenue leaders handle enterprise security

‎09-17-2012 08:44 AM - edited ‎09-17-2012 02:03 PM

By Daniel Dorr

 

(Daniel Dorr leads HP's CIO Agenda workshop program. He is responsible for conducting workshops to help CIO clients prioritize key business initiatives, the technology to address those problems and the financial impact of doing so. To participate in HP’s CIO Agenda workshop, contact your account general manager.)

 

We tend to think of security as something we use to keep the bad guys out and protect the good guys that are inside. But that attitude may be costing your company revenue.

 

HP recently surveyed 650 companies around the planet for 50 different IT attributes, and compared the results to revenue. We looked to see if there really is an IT difference between revenue leaders and followers. If there is a difference, what is it? When it comes to security do revenue leaders really use security as a competitive edge? And does security really matter when it comes to business performance?

 

Of the 50 attributes we tested, those that rose to the surface included capacity, legacy and custom applications and information.  I’ve already written about the 4 things that leaders do differently when it comes to information management.  But today I want to talk about how revenue leaders handle security.

 

Security that’s integrated throughout IT

Both revenue leaders and laggards report having security on the perimeter; things like firewalls to keep the bad people out. But revenue leaders also reported a much higher degree of security built into their applications as well. 

 

Revenue leaders also have a stronger culture for security, making it an integral part of how they do IT.  Revenue laggards on the other hand tended to have a very formal security policy, but it wasn't widely integrated into their actual culture. 

 

How more security translates into more revenue 

I recently spoke with the Chief Information Security Officer for a global manufacturer. He shared an interesting point of view with me.

 

"I don't have brakes on my car so I can stop."  He said.  "I have brakes so I can go fast."

It's a great analogy.  At the time his company was looking to expand into China. But they were concerned about protecting their intellectual property. With secure infrastructure and practices in place, the company could expand into the new market. Security was the key enabler that meant they could finally take this significant business risk, and grow revenues by an estimated $250M annually.

 

Risk management is a critical C-level issue that affects the entire organization.  These survey results should give you incentive to have a conversation with your business counterparts about the business risks they are taking and the role IT can play in helping them mitigate those risks.

 

For more insights on the future of IT and how you can optimize IT performance to drive business results, subscribe to the Discover Performance ezine.

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