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European CIOs Focus on IT Security and Transformation

CIOs in Europe see themselves moving away from routine IT operational roles and thereby becoming true leaders of digital transformation. They're also guiding their organization towards more strategic business technologies, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Similar to their peers in other parts of the world, the bar of expectations has been raised. IDC analysts believe that CIOs are now focused on commercial innovation-related goals -- such as enabling new business models, streamlining business processes, increasing competitiveness and improving their overall customer experience.

That being said, legacy IT custodian tasks such as reducing costs, ensuring operational continuity and basic service efficiency are not among their top priorities.

Current Focus of IT Investment

Big Data analytics, enhanced cyber security, mobile apps, and private cloud represent the emerging IT trends in the region. Necessary operations that should secure current business workflow include enterprise asset management, social collaboration, and smart operations.

On the other hand, subject-matter experts and managers in charge of IT teams consider public cloud, cognitive systems, virtual reality, and 3D printing as potential threats to their IT security.

Concerns about cyber threats can't be overstated. IT security is now a top investment priority in 2016, given the increase in importance compared to the previous year, when it was ranked fourth among other relevant technologies.

"The major trends impacting the European security market, in addition to digital transformation, include regulatory upheaval," said Zoltan Komaromi, associate vice president ar IDC.

IDC says that the relentless proliferation of malware -- both in type and severity -- make signature-based approaches ineffective. Moreover, the introduction of security regulations for online services provision and data privacy places additional demands on security operations.

Market Outlook for IT Investment

A third of CIOs in the region are planning to increase the use of external services. Public cloud computing is an accepted model for the external delivery of IT functions. About one in five companies plan to expand public cloud usage for at least one of these key service areas.

Automation of transaction processes is another highly important area. Mobile and cloud service integration, plus the expansion of data involved in workflows, is also recognized as a key area of ongoing projects.

IT budgets will grow faster in 2016 than in 2015, with 44 percent of surveyed companies reporting increasing budgets. Furthermore, 61 percent of the CIOs either owns or approves the IT budgets and associated with key projects.

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