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Survey: Cybersecurity top priority in digital transformation journey

As businesses adapt to a surge in remote working as a result of Covid-19, cybersecurity has emerged as the number one technology priority for planned digital transformation projects. 

According to a new survey of more than 600 IT leaders attending the DTX: NOW event. , adapting culture quickly to new ways of working is the number one challenge IT leaders need to overcome in the next 12 months. 

More than one-quarter of respondents (26%) cited cybersecurity as the main focus for planned projects, followed by cloud (21%), data analytics (15%) and network infrastructure (14%). 

According to separate research there were more hands-on-keyboard intrusions in the first half of 2020 that in the entirety of 2019.

IT leaders revealed that adapting digital culture for a new world of work was the main challenge they need to overcome in the next year (18%), followed by automation of business tasks and processes (14%), and choosing the right cloud strategy (12%).

According to the survey, the biggest barriers to delivering digital transformation projects on time and on budget reflect changing organisational dynamics that are being intensified by Covid-19. The most significant barrier to projects was revealed to be changing scope (29% of respondents), reduced budgets (24%) and changing team structure (17%).

The data also indicates that digital transformation has become a priority for businesses of every size. The majority of projects (58%) are anticipated to come in at less than 250,000, and just 22% have a budget of over 500,000 and 10% over 1 million.

"Covid-19 is a catalyst for digital transformation, but its a leveller too," says James McGough, managing director of Imago Techmedia, the company behind DTX:NOW.

"We are hearing from IT leaders that there is a shift in which technologies businesses are investing in," he says. 

"Ensuring the vast majority of employees could work from home practically overnight has exposed issues with IT strategy, and modernising the core tech stack has become an immediate priority for just about every organisation."

McGough says many businesses have found that areas like cybersecurity measures, network infrastructure and cloud strategy need urgent adaptation for a distributed workforce. 

"Some companies might be in a position to consider the likes of AI, blockchain and quantum computing, but the reality for most is that the future-looking, big ticket tech projects are on the back burner for now," he says. 

"Companies of every size are finding themselves restarting their digital transformation journeys."