How Can CIOs Cope with The Four Forces of IT in 2014?

With the rapid consumerisation of technology, network convergence and the increasingly growing need for storage, the world of Information Technology has evolved dramatically. Logicalis’ Data Centre Solutions Architect, Rob Gee, explains how CIOs and IT departments are operating in an entirely different ball game. Some of the forces they are subject to include:

1. IT budget cuts

Despite research showing that IT budgets have been steadily growing since 2011, CIOs are still at risk of cuts to their budgets. Harvey Nash’s research in 2013 shows that IT budgets have always required heavy lobbying based on clearly demonstrated value to the organisation. As a result, C-level executives continue to demand more from less.

2. Pressure to predict costs

With such budgetary limitations, it is important for C-level executives to understand all the costs involved for any project the company plans to undertake. IT and CIOs are expected to be able to show the business exactly the technology costs that will be incurred for any requirements needed by the business.

3. Pressure to deliver

Businesses are always looking to be one step ahead of the competition and IT is always expected to deliver infrastructure improvements much faster and more optimally than the last. Ultimately, organisations expect IT to think beyond day-to-day IT management and towards innovation, to help the organisation become a frontrunner in the industry.

4. Shadow IT

The rapid consumerisation of technology has enabled business unit heads to become increasingly savvy with technology. This has led to the rise of Shadow IT, wherein individual business units make decisions on IT technology investments without any involvement from the CIO or the IT department. However, some of these consumerised technologies aren’t suited to the enterprise environment and may come with serious security risks, which must be managed by IT.

CIOs are struggling to keep up with the above forces, due to their commitment to ‘keeping the lights on’. In previous articles, we’ve pointed out that CIOs spend over 70% of their time managing day-to-day technology issues, and only allocate a small proportion of their time to strategic initiatives.

As a Data Centre architect, Rob can see that many CIOs want to focus more on strategic IT initiatives to drive innovation and growth, but are unable to due to their time being tied up with daily IT management. The organisations in question acknowledge that they need to do something to be more strategic, but they don’t know exactly how to do it.

Rob believes that the right data centre can help organisations overcome many of the IT management issues they face and enable CIOs to manage IT more strategically, as well as cope with budget cuts, shadow IT, the pressure to predict costs and the pressure to deliver.

However, selecting the right data centre is not easy.

Data centres have evolved over the past two decades, from simple silos with smaller storage and less network points to virtualised silos with complex networking and larger storage requirements.

Today’s organisations have a few options to choose from: virtualised, public, private and hybrid. Each type of data centre will meet a different set of needs. Therefore, it is important that CIOs review the following elements before selecting a data centre for their organisation:

  • The infrastructure of their data storage system;
  • The applications, programs and software used in the organisation;
  • Specific requirements and restrictions such as compliance laws and storage regulations; and
  • The value and confidentiality requirements of their data.

It is only when CIOs have considered the above that they can work out a complete set of requirements to determine the data centre best suited for the organisation, as well as the most appropriate location to store the data centre.

To take a step toward strategic focus, ensure your data centre is performing at the optimal level. Take the Logicalis data centre assessment to get an objective review of your environment in terms of its ability to perform and support your mission-critical applications.

Tags Digital Transformation, Data Centre, role of CIO, Shadow IT, strategic IT


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