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Will the Consumer IT Revolution Sweep Away Corporate Data Privacy?

September 21, 2011

The implications of the latest Gartner predictions are clear: a string of user-empowering consumer-IT technologies are steadily loosening the modern organisation’s grip on its workforce practices and on its most sensitive data. By 2012, 73% of the enterprise workforce will be mobile, and some 20% of companies will no longer own any IT assets, by 2013 80% of businesses will support a workforce using tablets and by 2014 almost all businesses will supply corporate data through smart-phone apps, as data migrates beyond office walls to the remote realms of virtual reality and cloud-services.

Gartner’s latest predictions conjure up images of a data-security nightmare, providing a porthole into a future digital workspace of informational chaos, with endlessly multiplying mobile endpoints, sensitive data handled on home laptops and mobile devices, a growing stream of unencrypted, unprotected user data on employee endpoints, i-workers” closing lucrative deals in Starbucks, remote boards thrashing out mergers in virtual meetings and corporate data flowing, unfettered, across public networks. We know where these changes are coming from.

The markets have shown for some time that the fixed PC endpoint is falling out of favour with the modern consumer, which means that, this year alone, 42 million tablets and 330 million new mobile devices will have been sold worldwide while the PC market continues to stagnate. But as corporate IT is increasingly infiltrated by consumer trends, with mobile data storage replacing fixed endpoints, the implications for data security are potentially disastrous.

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Will the Consumer IT Revolution Sweep Away Corporate Data Privacy?

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