CIOs: Social Computing Is The Most Risky Emerging Technology

IBM recently published it’s 2010 Global Risk Study and the findings confirm that IT leaders today are very concerned about IT security and business resiliency.  The report found that 88% of those surveyed say that their company’s approach to risk is less than expert.  This comes at a time when there are increasing demands on IT leaders to accelerate their implementation of emerging technologies like cloud computing and social computing.

IBM surveyed 560 IT managers and CIOs from all types of companies located all over the world to talk in order to understand issues surrounding IT risks from the perspective of IT leaders.  IBM wanted to understand what their biggest obstacles are, where their biggest challenges lie, where they see the greatest potential for adding business value.

What caught my eye was a couple of questions in the survey that dealt with the risk involved with implementing emerging technologies.  Respondents to the survey were asked how their organization is positioned to acquire and deploy five emerging technologies

  1. Social computing/networking tools
  2. Mobile platforms
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Virtualization
  5. Service-oriented architecture (SOA)

Of these five technologies, social networking, mobile platforms and cloud computing were rated the most risky emerging technologies.    Social networking tools (64% respondents) came out on top as the technology that posed the greatest risk.  Second was mobile platforms (54%) followed by cloud computing (43%).  See the graph of the survey results below.

IBM Risk Study 2010  

According to the survey report, IT leaders say that the risks of these emerging technologies include issues related to accessibility, use and control of data (especially regarding social computing/networking), and the danger of having unauthorized access to confidential, proprietary information.

It’s not surprising that social networking/computing technologies is perceived as a risky emerging technology.   Most enterprises are still trying to figure out how to leverage social computing and extract business value.  There needs to be a greater focus by IT and Business leaders on establishing social computing processes, methods, and professional roles.   Once this is done, the risks can be minimized and social networking tools can be fully integrated into the IT infrastructure and business process workflow.

For More Information

Get the report  The evolving role of IT managers and CIOs Findings from the 2010 IBM Global IT Risk Study

Browse for more related information at the IBM Smarter Security & Resilience website.