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Irish businesses are holding back from taking advantage of modern technologies because they are concerned about potential risks.

According to new research from CA, 100 per cent of Irish IT managers surveyed said risk-related concerns were enough to stop them implementing new technologies.

This figure fell to 80 per cent among European/Middle eastern businesses, but still remained a significantly high number.

The survey took in some 715 senior IT managers in Europe and the Middle East, including 20 senior IT managers in enterprise-sized organisations in Ireland.

The study found that many firms across the region are failing to adopt an integrated business risk management service, leaving IT departments out of the decision making process.

Not only does this create the potential for unforeseen vulnerabilities throughout a business, it also holds companies back from deploying new technologies that could give them an advantage over competitors.

EMEA-wide, some 60 per cent of company technical officers said although risk was considered "broadly" across their businesses, they were only involved in discussions about risk requirements at a senior level about 30 per cent of the time. This figure fell to 50 per cent among Irish IT managers.

"Across EMEA, a fairly staggering 55 per cent of respondents have no overall risk management budget for the business or IT, and in Ireland, this figure rises to 65 per cent, while in both EMEA and Ireland only 30 per cent [of businesses] involve senior IT management in discussions about business risk," CA country manager for Ireland Frank Kennedy said.

"This disconnect will continue to drive a wedge between the business strategy and the IT strategy, undermining or even preventing the business from competing or evolving in their market," he said.

Top of the list of concerns among the senior business managers surveyed was loss of critical business information and operational downtime as a result of an IT system failure. Around 95 per cent of Irish executives specifically considered this threat in their business risk management planning.

Some 60 per cent of Irish respondents said illicit use of confidential information was also a major concern, closely mirroring the Europe/Middle East figure of 58 per cent.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

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