CIOs see SDx as vital to a service-defined transformation of enterprise IT

More than three quarters (83%) of CIOs and IT leaders worldwide plan to make software defined solutions part of their wider ICT strategies, reveals a study carried out by Logicalis.

Almost two thirds (61%) expect software-defined solutions (SDx) to impact their IT services and delivery strategies over the next three years. A third (34%) expect that to happen in the next two years, and 10% expect to engage with SDx in the next 12 months.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Rogers, President and COO at Logicalis, said: “These findings are entirely in keeping with CIOs’ priorities, as they strive to re-invent IT departments as service brokers and internal service providers.

“Innovations like Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Software Defined Data Centres (SDDC) have the potential to transform networks and data centers into dynamic service platforms – with policy driven programmability making it easier for the new breed of internal service providers to respond to business demand for agile IT whilst reducing the overhead and costs of managing ever more complex operating environments. This fly-by-wire transformation of core IT platforms is positioning software-defined technologies as something CIOs now have on their transformation agenda, and this survey may surprise many to the speed at which many CIOs see SDx becoming an investment priority.”

New skills

Alongside and in support of this intention to invest in software-defined solutions, CIOs are keen to recruit a new breed of business-orientated IT professional – with the skills required to translate business needs into policy frameworks that can support extensive IT automation.

Just 34% of CIOs cite ‘technical skills’ as the top priority when recruiting IT staff. The remaining two thirds instead look first at business skills like communication, service management and business analysis, which are top priorities for 28%, 15% and 12% of CIOs respectively.

What’s more, two-thirds (65%) of CIOs are prepared to pay more for the skills required to make the most of SDx solutions – a quarter would pay 5-10% more, and a fifth (22%) would pay 10-20% more.

Rogers commented, “All of the CIOs surveyed in some way recognized the transfer of focus from technology management to business service delivery and that is now being reflected in the skills ‘premium’ many are now expecting and willing to pay for more business aligned employees.  The CIO operating as an internal service provider will now be looking to invest in the business skills of existing people, and also have to take some hard decisions to replace outdated technology skills and people with those who can bring the skills needed to operate in a world where every more the business is driving technology choices.”