Research Suggests Increased Enterprise Security Risk from IT Decentralization

A recent VMWare sponsored study conducted by Vanson Bourne suggests enterprises face an increased security risk from IT decentralization and IT professionals are not ready to deal with the security challenges that come from moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

Vanson Bourne conducted the study on 3,300 individuals in 20 industries from 20 countries. Respondents were asked about IT decentralization and use of the cloud computing.

69% of respondents said they believed the management of IT had become more decentralized over the past three years, yet 65% of IT professionals didn’t like it and wanted IT to be more centralized. The fact that IT departments do not welcome decentralization indicates that IT professionals are not yet ready to deal with the challenges that decentralization creates.

Part of the unease comes from purchasing of non-secure solutions, which leaves organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks. 57% of polled IT professionals said decentralization involved the purchasing of non-secure solutions.

The security risk from IT decentralization is a major concern. 60% of respondents said decentralization has resulted in applications being developed outside of corporate and government regulations, while 56% of respondents believe decentralization has resulted in a lack of regulatory compliance of data protection.

The study confirmed that key decisions are being taken away from IT departments. 74% of respondents believe the IT department should be responsible for enabling other lines of the business and driving innovation, yet lines of business are now purchasing IT as-a-service. From the perspective of 58% of IT professionals, decentralization has resulted in a lack of ownership and ill-defined areas of responsibility.

While the use of the cloud should mean a reduction in costs, decentralization has actually resulted in an increase in IT spending. On average, spending has increased by around 5.7% as a result of decentralization. The spending increase is, in part, due to increased duplication of IT spending across the organization. Decentralization has also made it harder to keep control of IT budgets due to a lack of awareness of IT spending across the whole business.

Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer for cloud services and products at VMware, said “These survey results reflect that cloud computing is continuing to move technology beyond IT, giving lines of business easy-to-use, flexible IT services to drive innovation within their domains.”

However, decentralization is making IT management more challenging for IT departments, which is increasing the stress on IT staff and resources.

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of