Gartner defines the 'Nexus of Forces' as being "the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobility, cloud and information patterns that drive new business scenarios". The global IT analyst outfit has also just released details of research which suggests that the perceived level of maturity when it comes to the privacy activity of organisations has gone down since 2011, with many admitting their own existing privacy efforts are inadequate. Gartner insists that these companies need to refocus their efforts in order to deal with the impact of the Nexus of Forces.
According to Carsten Casper, research vice president at Gartner, more than a third of organisations still "consider privacy aspects in an ad hoc fashion" and admits surprise at so many saying they are not conducting privacy impact assessments before major projects. "62 per cent do not scan websites and applications, or conduct an organisation-wide privacy audit every year" Casper says "organisations must put these activities on their to-do list for 2014."
According to the research, 43 per cent of organisations have a comprehensive privacy management programme in place, which is good but puts them firmly in the minority. Some seven per cent admitted that they only do "the bare minimum" when it comes to privacy laws.
"Organisations continue to invest more in privacy due to ongoing public attention and a number of new or anticipated legal requirements" Casper admits "they also show that previous investments have not always paid off and that organisations need to refocus their privacy efforts if they want to raise the maturity level of their privacy programmes back to that of 2011."
The research also revealed that 90 per cent of organisations have one person or more responsible for privacy issues, which is encouraging news as Gartner insists it has consistently seen that privacy programmes only succeed if someone is actually driving them. Less encouraging is the observation that privacy programmes 'owned' by this designated individual is far from being the norm. Apparently only 66 per cent of survey respondents globally said that they have a defined privacy officer role, in Germany the number was 85 per cent however. Unsurprisingly this is because such a role is a legal requirement...
Other key statistics from the Gartner research includes:
Across the board, 32 per cent of survey respondents said that their organisations have increased privacy-related staff from last year to this, representing the most significant increase since Gartner started privacy surveys back in 2008.
38 per cent of organisations transform personal data before transmitting it abroad (with masking, encryption or similar), thus keeping sensitive data local, while allowing some functionality abroad. Domestic storage accounts for 29 per cent and remote storage with only local access is 27 per cent.
Analysts will further examine the outlook of privacy in Europe at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, in Barcelona, Spain between the 10th and 14th of November.