IDC Directions Recap: Security Tops AI Adoption Challenges

Last week, IDC hosted its annual Directions event in Boston to share their latest research related to trends impacting the IT industry. The event theme “The Digital Business Impact of AI Everywhere” was focused on the future of AI, including key initiatives, barriers to success, and growing cybersecurity concerns.

Here’s what we learned.

1. Data is king.

Data is everywhere and dependence on it is growing. Our ability to process that data, securely, and in real time determines our ability to implement impactful AI initiatives. Prioritizing data protection while retaining sufficient usability is the new paradigm of enterprise cyber-defense.

Board of Directors top priorities, according to a 2022 IDC survey1, is Data Sovereignty and Cybersecurity Threats. A 2024 IDC survey2 stated that 42% of surveyed companies said Security, Privacy and Trust of Data and AI Systems were the top AI Initiatives needing services expertise. This means that data security initiatives, including advances in encryption technology, will be at the forefront as AI use surges.


2. Companies are betting big on AI.

No surprise here—the biggest spending in 2024 will be on GenAI. IDC research indicates that large enterprises plan to spend on average $28M on GenAI in 2024 and that GenAI is the top technology for new investments for the next 12 months3.

Behind GenAI and automation, the next largest spend for organizations is security. And that’s no coincidence. You simply can’t have success with AI without security. Read our blog post to learn more about the risk LLMs have on data privacy: GenAI Security: The Problem with Private Data in LLMs – Paperclip Data Management & Security

IDC research4 revealed that the top investments immune to budget reductions, despite the economic environment, are Security, Risk & Compliance at #1 while AI and Automation Initiatives are #3.


3. GenAI needs governance.

GenAI cannot thrive without proper governance. In fact, it’s one of the top-three drivers for AI success. 75% of Forbes Global 2000 Companies will have implemented review boards specifically responsible for management and oversight of ethical and responsible AI use by 2025. And the top issues around AI ethics are 1. Privacy and consent, and 2. Security.5

Unfortunately, analysts predict that compliance and governance will likely fail to keep pace with the rapid rate of AI growth. It’s likely we’ll see security incidents as a result of GenAI before there are adequate regulations to prevent them.

IDC analyst Jennifer Glenn said companies need to “expand usage of existing tools to log and enforce data security policies for GenAI, including data loss technologies, encryption, and data posture mapping.”6


4. AI is here to stay.

One of the main takeaways from the event, outside of an imminent need for security, was AI’s rapid growth and longevity. This may seem obvious, but by ‘here to stay’ we mean that GenAI is expected to have an $11 Trillion economic impact by 2027.7

Many people are worried about AI taking their jobs. What they should be worried about is people who understand AI better taking their jobs8. Read that again. AI ready skills are becoming critical to an organization’s competitive success and growth.

AI will fuel productivity and, in turn, drive revenue growth. But it also brings with it new data security risks. Paperclip solutions help clients move into the next era of AI and GenAI, fueling modernization. From SAFE encryption enabling better data security and privacy, to data optimization with our portfolio of SaaS solutions, Paperclip works hand-in-hand with your key AI and GenAI initiatives.

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1 Worldwide CEO Survey, IDC, January 2022

2 Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey Wave 1, IDC, January 2024

3 IDC Worldwide Generative AI Study, August 2023

4 Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey Wave 11, IDC, December 2023

5 Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey Wave 6, IDC, July 2023

6 The Renewed Significance of Data Security for GenAI Initiatives, IDC, January 2024

7 IDC AI Forecast 2024; Total Economic Impact Estimate – IDC Analysts of Various Sources

8 IDC CEO Interview Series 2024