Software-defined data center driving vision of IT as service broker

A majority of IT departments agree  that a software-defined approach to implementing and managing data enter resources (servers, storage, networks) will create a significant impact on how they enable change in their organizations over the next two to three years, finds the VMware Cloud Index 2013.

While the perception of IT remains positive, 64 percent of companies revealed that their business units would still go around IT in order to source technology or business applications directly. Additionally, 80 percent of respondents agree that IT must more quickly and cost-effectively provision services to the business or risk getting marginalized.

IT departments however, are facing pressures of their own, with 50 percent indicating that internal resistance to change was hindering their organization’s adoption of cloud computing. In addition, 53 percent agree that their companies have concerns deploying strategic or mission-critical applications to a public cloud and 61 percent say that data residency and compliance requirements will have a significant impact on their organization.

“The software-defined data center is the IT architecture for the mobile cloud era, and can help IT realign and help drive business transformation across the region,” said Sanjay Mirchandani, senior vice president and general manager, VMware Asia Pacific & Japan. “During the past 12 months, we have created an advanced architecture for private, hybrid and public clouds where compute, network and storage infrastructure is fully virtualized and the control of this data center is automated by software.”

The study asked specifically about IT priorities in storage and networking, foundational components for software-defined IT.  Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents (72 percent) flagged meeting networking performance within their IT organization as a high priority, with 71 percent eager to deliver a flexible and agile networking platform for their businesses over during the next 12 months. Similarly, time-to-delivery and availability trump performance when it comes to storage with 73 percent saying that fast provisioning and zero downtime is their highest priority.

“It is clear from the VMware Cloud Index 2013 that a software-defined approach is disrupting the industry, but also providing tremendous opportunity and growth prospects for both IT departments and the ecosystem in general to add value to organizations and grow businesses,” said Michael Barnes, Vice President & Research Director, Forrester Consulting.

IT becoming a service broker

The software-defined approach will help better enable IT to become a service broker to the lines of business in their organizations. A majority (62 percent) agreed that provisioning services or capacity on demand by enabling self-service access to IT resources and capabilities was important to business and/or IT operational improvements.

The study revealed that there needs to be an improvement in the delivery of IT services, a simplify management of IT environments and increase transparency into the cost of IT services. The importance of management is underscored by the high rate of respondents (62 percent) who agreed that if their company doesn’t improve the way they deliver or �?provision’ services to the business, then they will risk falling behind their competitors. Also, 72 percent agreed that Cloud and �?as-a-service’ approaches will help their organization become more efficient and operate with leaner IT resources.

The VMware Cloud Index 2013 revealed that only 55 percent of respondents currently have operations management for virtualized workloads in their organization. Only 15 percent have a single solution that spans across all workloads, while 19 percent currently do not have operations management for virtualized workloads but are interested in a single solution.

The Rise of IT as a Change Enabler in APJ

Organizations in Asia Pacific are increasingly looking to cloud or as-a-service approaches to accelerate business transformation.

The VMware Cloud Index 2013 found that 65 percent agree that cloud or �?as-a-service’ approaches will help their organization compete more effectively in the marketplace with almost a third (30 percent) saying cloud or �?as-a-service’ approaches are a top priority for their organization and significantly impacts business transformation. Additionally, 84 percent see it enabling their organization to optimize their existing IT efficiency and effectiveness.

Asia-Pacific has reached a significant level of cloud maturity, with 72 percent saying they have already deployed or are planning to deploy cloud-related initiatives in the next 12 months. This suggests that the region is ready for the next phase of IT transformation to prepare for the mobile cloud era.

The study also pointed to a marked change in the perception of IT, with 78 percent of respondents responding that IT is viewed as a change enabler and source of business value to the organization.

“The Asia Pacific region is showing signals that it’s ready to enter the new era of IT and drive business transformation through IT transformation,” said Mirchandani.  “The next era in Asia Pacific will be defined by a mobile-cloud and software-defined approach that is tightly connected to delivering business value.”