Cloud is now a viable option for many IT projects, requiring infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to expand the scope of systems as they actively consider those that are cloud-based, according to Gartner, Inc.
This is the first of four major I&O impacts identified by Gartner from its 2015 CIO Survey, “Flipping to Digital Leadership: The 2015 CIO Agenda.” The 2015 survey polled more than 2,800 CIOs that accounted for $397 billion of IT spend and $202.5 billion of I&O spend.
“The survey results show that, for most CIOs, public cloud is an option for projects, but only a first consideration for a small minority,” said Dave Russell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “I&O leaders have been more protective of their existing infrastructure and, in many cases, have been the biggest obstacle to cloud-based solutions, often resorting to cloudwashing as an excuse to not seriously pursue a true cloud-based solution. Instead, I&O leaders should institute a ‘cloud-first’ consideration for every project on an application-by-application basis.”
According to the survey, nine percent of users today are not even considering cloud computing for software-as-a-service (SaaS) projects, a number that increases to 15 percent for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) projects.
While a larger percentage view cloud as something to consider on an exception basis, nearly half have quickly moved from viewing cloud as a concept to a viable option.
“While the best solution for the business may indeed be an on-premises, noncloud deployment model, I&O teams need to include all options in order to make the best use of available resources and to ensure that service requirements are met,” said Mike Chuba, research vice president at Gartner.
“Rather than ignoring the cloud outright, or only reluctantly considering it, evaluating all implementation models at the outset of a project can help save time and produce better results.”
The CIO survey responses indicate that mobile devices are now the primary or secondary interface for a significant number of IT investments. The survey also showed that 71 percent of CIOs felt an increasing need for context-aware services.
For I&O leaders, this means mobility must now be a top concern in system design. It also means that simply making a service available on a mobile device is not enough. Instead, services must be specifically built for those devices, so they are useful and not a hindrance.
I&O leaders should assume that a variety of devices will access every application and build those applications accordingly as well as viewing mobility as not just being about devices and infrastructure, but about the individual and their experience with IT systems.
Need for modern, advanced analytics
To support the changing analytics game, I&O leaders will need to lay an IT foundation for predictive analytics — an effort that is difficult but decreasing in cost thanks to parallel processing frameworks that can run analytics solutions. They will also need to run data-led experiments, working with their business unit colleagues.
For example, I&O leaders can run a social-listening activity to better understand the needs of the end customer.
In supporting new information initiatives such as social listening, I&O leaders will need to better manage unstructured data so that it can be exploited by the business and look for additional and/or new data sources specific to the project and begin mining them. CIOs must also refocus on analytics for their own teams where new metrics will be needed to drive the business forward.