Information Security Management will be the most important initiative affecting IT strategy, investment, and implementation in business organizations over the next 12-18 months, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' 19th Annual Top Technology Initiatives survey.
IT Governance moved up the list from sixth to second place this year, reflecting the market's renewed emphasis on corporate governance and responsibility.
"We believe this year's list is reflective of our environment, with the top four technology initiatives relating to strategies that safeguard an organization's assets and ensure its well being," said Barry Melancon, President and CEO of the AICPA.
"This survey enables CPAs to stay up-to-date on the latest technology initiatives to advise their clients, customers, and employers on the strategies they should consider undertaking," Melancon said. The AICPA poll was conducted in late 2007 with ISACA, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Information Technology Alliance (ITA). Respondents identified the Top 10 most important technology initiatives for 2008 as follows:
- Information Security Management
- IT Governance
- Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery Planning
- Privacy Management
- Business Process Improvement, Workflow, and Process Exceptions Alerts
- Identity and Access Management
- Conforming to Assurance and Compliance Standards
- Business Intelligence
- Mobile and Remote Computing
- Document, Forms, Content and Knowledge Management
IT Governance moved up the priority ranking to second place from sixth place last year. "Recent studies show that investors are willing to pay a premium of up to 20 percent more for shares of enterprises with reputations for good IT governance practices; properly governed IT is critical to an organization's success," said Lynn Lawton, International President of ISACA.
Business process improvement was number five on this year's list, reflecting the significant focus placed on internal controls to reduce error and fraud by both public and private companies. "Clearly, business process and workflow documentation has increased in importance within organizations today," said Heriot Prentice, Director of Standards and Guidance for the IIA.
Mobile and remote computing was also cited as a priority. "Organizations are realizing substantial gains in efficiency and worker productivity through the extended office hours and increased flexibility that mobile and remote computing solutions bring," said Ron Eagle, ITA President.
For a complete list of definitions and more information on the list, visit www.aicpa.org/toptech.
In addition to its Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) Credential holders and IT Section members, the AICPA collaborated with the IIA, ISACA, and the ITA because their members share similar perspectives on the top technology initiatives impacting business today. The survey was conducted in Fall 2007 under the supervision of a task force led by David M. Cieslak, CPA.CITP, GSEC, and Chairman of the AICPA's Information Technology Executive Committee. A selective group of 1,169 finance, accounting and technology participants ranked 29 technology initiatives they felt would have the most significant impact on their organizations in the next 12 to 18 months.