shutterstock_251313145 When it comes to upgrading their digital platforms, a majority of companies focus on the benefits to employee productivity—while neglecting to think much about security. That’s the conclusion of a new survey (login required) of 631 IT decision-makers that Dell commissioned in conjunction with Dimensional Research. Some 97 percent of respondents said their businesses were investing in transformative digital technologies. Around 75 percent indicated that the effort was meant to increase employee productivity, while 67 percent also said that business growth was a prime motivator. However, only 18 percent of respondents indicated they’d integrated security planning into their digital-transformation initiatives. That’s despite 85 percent of respondents saying that companies should bake vulnerability-elimination into these sweeping projects as early as possible.

Security in Demand

The Dice Hiring Survey, released earlier this year, listed security experts as some of the most challenging talent to hire due to demand. Dice job postings for such professionals have grown year-over-year, with network security jobs up 19 percent and engineering positions up 22 percent. Companies are spending billions of dollars on security talent and tools: research firm Gartner, for example, predicted that global spending on information security hit $75.4 billion in 2015. Moreover, the past few years have seen high-profile breaches of corporate databases big and small, with some of the largest brands on the planet hugely embarrassed by cyber-attacks on their precious data. In light of those breaches, one would think that playing defense would rank high in the minds of many IT decision-makers. Yet this Dell survey shows that, when it comes to plotting a digital transformation, eliminating vulnerabilities takes a backseat, despite a near-universal acknowledgement that such actions are key. And unless those decision-makers prioritize IT defenses when building out new platforms, they potentially put their systems at increased risk.