Independent analyst house IDC has revealed its forecast for the European Software Industry in 2012, predicting that social capabilities, Big Data and the consumerisation of IT will all leave their footprints on the industry, which will experience moderate growth of 3.1% in 2012.

IDC further predicts that the IT security industry will outgrow its niche status as deployment of third-platform technologies and increasing cyber threats escalate risks. In response to these predictions, the expected increase of personal mobile devices being used in the workplace, coupled with the rise in human-to-human sharing of information, will add significant pressure on data security management within organisations.

Organisations are aware of the trend of employees bringing their own mobile devices to work, but very few are actually looking at the management of the security risks involved, which are considerable.

Employees who choose to access the corporate network by using their own mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones – and share competitive and, in many cases, confidential data – not only put organisations at great risk for data loss and leakage, but also make those organisations an easy target for hackers.

On the flip side, Big Data and the consumerisation of IT are presenting organisations with a competitive advantage, if managed effectively. Effective management includes determining where files are coming from and why, whether files are appropriately secured, whether the organisation has visibility into the point at which those files enter or exit the enterprise, and how one can leverage all of this information to understand the underlying business context.

Data security has never been as relevant as it is today, and organisations looking to reap the benefits of these new trends will need to ensure that IT security is central to their business strategy. To achieve that, they must secure interoperability between information systems, whether on premise or in the cloud.

In order to regain control of this diverse set of mobile devices, IT managers will need to invest in mobile device management and mobile application management tools,” said Carla Arend, program manager, European Infrastructure Software at IDC. “This will ensure an excellent user experience across a diverse set of devices, to reduce security risks from unmanaged devices and to contain operational cost through a solid and efficient management framework based on policies.”

In 2012, IDC expects that organisations will turn to cloud-based solutions as a fast and easy way to get mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile data management under control.