Netskope Research Finds Poor Collaboration Between Security and Networking Teams Holding Back Digital Transformation Projects

May 5, 2021 Santa Clara, Calif.

Research reveals that – despite shared goals – ‘combative’ and ‘dysfunctional’ relationships are jeopardizing projects estimated to cost $6.8tn globally between 2020 and 2023

  • 50% of global CIOs state that a lack of collaboration between specialist teams stops their organization from realizing the benefits of Digital Transformation
  • 43% of security professionals and 45% of networking professionals describe the relationship between the two teams in strongly negative terms
  • 45% of security professionals and 44% of networking professionals have never met anyone on the other team

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – May 5, 2021 – Netskope, the SASE leader, today revealed new research showing a significant breakdown in collaboration between two of the central components of the IT team: networking and security. While 49% of security teams and 44% of networking teams report to the same manager, 37% of global IT professionals state that ‘the security and networking teams don’t really work together much’. Even more concerning, 44% of network and 45% of security professionals describe the relationship between the two teams as ‘combative’ (13%), ‘dysfunctional’ (9%), ‘frosty’ (11%) or ‘irrelevant’ (9%). 

These insights are particularly unsettling given that 51% of total research participants agreed that a lack of collaboration among specialist teams stops their organization from realizing the benefits of digital transformation (including 50% among CIOs). Industry analyst IDC recently valued the upcoming global spend by enterprises on Digital Transformation projects between 2020-2023 at $6.8 trillion, indicating the scale of the potential wastage caused by these poor working relationships. 

The research also found that network and security professionals identify similar priorities driving their team’s activity in 2021, and share at least two of their top three priorities: ‘Supporting increased productivity for the organization as a whole’ and ‘Improved efficiencies within my team and its processes’. 

Digital Transformation projects are being pursued by both teams (87% of research participants are either working on a DT project currently or have just completed one). Sixty two percent of these projects involve both networking and security transformation, and 60% have a sponsor within both networking and security teams.

Additional findings highlighted the role that security should play within the networking teams. Eighty four percent of survey participants state that security is part of the network team’s responsibility, specifically answering that ‘security is built into the network architecture’. When looking at the last year’s growth in remote working, 44% of security professionals and 42% of networking state that security has been their biggest challenge. 

“The evident divide between Networking and Security teams has been an issue for some time, but has been even more amplified with the rapid acceleration to remote work,” said Mike Anderson, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Netskope. “These findings show the immediate need for IT and security teams to work collaboratively and transparently, without politics or bureaucracy. The good news is that there is much that leadership can do today to achieve that collaboration.”

To download a complimentary copy of the research report, “Digital Transformation Needs a More Perfect Union” from Netskope.com, click here.

About the research

Research undertaken in February and April 2021 by Censuswide on behalf of Netskope, polling 2,675 IT professionals across North America (Canada and USA), Europe (France, Germany and the UK), and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico). 

Participants all work in IT for organizations with more than 5,000 IT users. Job titles / roles for participants included ‘CIO / IT Director’,’IT security professional’ and ‘network architect / administrator’. All data points in this press release relate to the global findings. 

About Netskope

Netskope, the SASE leader, safely and quickly connects users directly to the internet, any application, and their infrastructure from any device, on or off the network. With CASB, SWG, and ZTNA built natively in a single platform, the Netskope Security Cloud provides the most granular context, via patented technology, to enable conditional access and user awareness while enforcing zero trust principles across data protection and threat prevention everywhere. Unlike others who force tradeoffs between security and networking, Netskope’s global security private cloud provides full compute capabilities at the edge.

Netskope is fast everywhere, data centric, and cloud smart, all while enabling good digital citizenship and providing a lower total-cost-of-ownership.