Security tops government IT agenda

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Security tops government IT agenda

Six times more important than upgrading systems.

Security tops the IT agenda for 43 percent of senior public sector IT decision makers, according to research from Citrix.

The software firm questioned over 30 senior IT decision makers at its Government Solutions Seminar in London in February 2007.

Other issues included 'providing adequate services' for staff (36.6 percent), closely followed by 'meeting efficiency targets' (33.3 percent).

These fundamental requirements came far above more high-profile projects, such as implementing shared services (three percent), upgrading applications or operating systems (seven percent) or implementing e-payments systems (three percent).

Half of those interviewed were 'deeply concerned' about data theft, 40 percent about employee negligence, 30 percent about password breaches and 20 percent about viruses.

"While in some ways it is surprising that major projects are not top of the IT agenda for public sector IT managers, it is understandable that getting the basics right is a priority," said Richard Jackson, area vice president at Citrix UK, Ireland and South Africa.

"Keeping systems secure and giving staff access to the resources they need creates an efficient workforce. This is vital to the well-being of public sector organisations, as it enables people to do their jobs without interruption."

Despite 70 per cent having systems in place to allow some staff to work away from the office, 63 percent are not currently making flexible working available to all employees.

Budget constraints and data security concerns were cited as the major hurdles to a more mobile workforce.

However, the public sector is ahead of the game when it comes to resources for remote workers, with 70 percent saying that those working away from the office had access to all the same resources as when at their desk.

"If these organisations took a strategic approach to delivering applications securely to staff, instead of dealing with these issues in isolation, getting the basics right would become less of a headache," concluded Jackson.
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