There is growing evidence of a a substantial gap developing between what businesses would like to achieve and what their IT infrastructure can support. Businesses want to strike the right balance between increasing profitability and responding to changing customer needs. The question is, how do you meet daily operational demands and also adapt to future business requirements while restricted by limited resources and static budgets?
Mind the gap
Those without an answer are discovering a gap between the services the IT department is capable of supporting and the services which customers are demanding from the business. This 'gap' or tech deficit emerges when additional demands are placed on a technology infrastructure supported by static budgets and business approaches.
Colt recently commissioned research based on the responses of 852 technology decisions makers throughout Europe to assess how European organisations are supporting their business, and in particular, how ready their technology infrastructure is to support future ambitions. The report established the existence of this 'tech deficit', how it is affecting the industry and what steps are available for IT decision makers to address the challenges it presents.
Real impact of the tech deficit
Enterprises are under constant pressure to balance the needs of their customers against the commercial realities of running a successful business. In the digital economy, businesses are demanding IT to increase pace in enabling new business models and tools, in such areas as analytics and e-commerce. This is essential to respond to customer demands, innovate, and grow profits.
The results of Tech Deficit Report showed that areas where tech deficits were felt to be most prevalent were network performance (40 percent), infrastructure performance (30 percen ) and mobile access / device flexibility (26 percent). A quarter (26 percent) of enterprise organisations surveyed as part of the tech deficit study said that they felt their infrastructure was ready to support future complexities, half (51 percent) said that the infrastructure currently was not ready, but that there was a plan in place. However, one in five of IT decision makers across European enterprise organisations said that their infrastructure was not ready and that there was no plan in place to support change.
Different decisions will be needed about the infrastructure foundations, what and how to buy as well as ensuring support for business needs both now and in the future. Cost ranks amongst the most prevalent considerations when addressing the tech deficit. Most IT departments are acutely aware that increasing demands from the business go hand-in-hand with budget and resource constraints. Cost is cited as having the greatest impact on infrastructure and forcing structural changes (40 percent) across European organisations. The need to 'do more with less' is driving new approaches to corporate IT and the adoption of new strategies.
Cost pressures are helping businesses move to more flexible, service-driven deployment models, such as cloud services. The Tech Deficit Report shows a marked rise in the adoption of cloud and service-based deployment. Infrastructure-as-a-service, Software-as-as-service, and data centre colocation are all expected to grow in the next two years, by 52 percent, 55 percent and 33 percent respectively. On-premise software and hardware deployment will rise just 12 percent.
Cloud and service based IT
This shift from on premise to cloud and service-based IT is part of a significant trend to introduce greater simplicity and flexibility into business models. 63 percent of enterprise IT decision makers say they see a benefit in having a single supplier to provide a range of different IT service and infrastructure options, and 'ease of management' is cited as the number one drive for this consolidation.
Enterprise IT departments are ready to evolve from technology ownership towards more efficient methods of delivering services. So too we expect to see this attitude adopted within the IT organisation itself. IT will increasingly act as a broker or a service provider within its own organisation, providing scalable, on-demand and flexible services to users.