6. Active Defense. Daugherty thinks companies are moving away from just monitoring and understanding cyberattacks and quickly reacting to minimize the damage. Active defense tactics include knowing employee tendencies and restricting access if a person suddenly starts downloading sensitive data or hitting files he normally wouldn't. This isn't full-blown offensive security; we warned earlier this year about the risks of striking back at hackers with countermeasures. But Daugherty sees more companies taking more cautious offensive steps, such as identifying attackers and delivering "honeypot" files and the like that are meant to look like valuable assets and thus alert a company of a security problem.
7. Cloud. Accenture says the debate is over and declares cloud "enterprise-ready." CIOs now need to focus on changing their architectures and staffs to make hybrid cloud/on-premises software environments the standard model, according to Daugherty. Most IT shops haven't done that, he says -- they've treated cloud projects on a one-off basis.
The big missing piece from Accenture's list is mobile. Daugherty says mobile's no longer a trend -- it's an element in most of the seven factors above. Want a closer digital relationship with customers? Better collaboration among employees? Analytics that salespeople, repair staff or factory workers can actually use? Mobile is part of the answer. No debate there.
But in terms of IT's readiness, I'd say Accenture's a bit ahead of the market in not making mobile its own priority. Most companies are still in the early stages of crafting a strategy for ongoing development and support of mobile apps -- and each app is even more of a one-off effort than their use of cloud software or infrastructure is.
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