Here at Google Enterprise, we're always wondering what's on the minds of IT professionals and end users. So we asked them. An annual tradition started by Postini, this year's survey on message security and compliance was conducted by a third party and involved 575 IT professionals. Questions ranged from "What productivity challenges does IT face?" to "Who is responsible for security and data leakage?"

Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents (53%) believe that IT holds ultimate responsibility for their organization's communications security and compliance, as shown below. They also realize that organizations need to have policies and mechanisms in place to help achieve this.

These results and more are now available in a white paper called the 2008 Communications Intelligence Report. The report also includes sections on Google's expectations for security in 2008 and security and compliance best practices.

We hope these findings will help shed light on the forces that are influencing the growing adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS), which is taking the place of in-house solutions that tend to require significant internal resources to maintain. The results suggest that one reason SaaS is gaining momentum is that the problems it solves are top-of-mind for IT departments, such as spending too much time or money on troubleshooting and maintenance.

By using service providers, organizations can offload capacity challenges, get real-time updates, and benefit from the economies of scale of a large network. And there's more good news: With Google's recent launch of new security and compliance products, organizations of all sizes can afford and easily implement best-in-class security and compliance.