IT professionals are continuing to prioritise investments in cloud computing and hybrid IT as they grapple with how to leverage the benefits of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
This is according to a new study from SolarWinds (The IT Trends Report: The Intersection of Hype and Performance), which also revealed that there appears to be a misalignment between the IT investment priorities of the practitioners surveyed and their leaders.
95 percent of respondents indicated that cloud/hybrid IT are in the top five most important technologies to their organisation’s IT strategy today and 66 percent listed it as their number one most important technology - a stark contrast to SolarWind’s annual two years where more than a third of IT professionals stated that cloud computing was somewhat important or not important at all.
SolarWinds’ says while AI and machine learning are not currently of the highest priority, optimising cloud/hybrid IT environments creates a pathway to eventually deploy and reap the benefits of these emerging technologies.
However it’s not all rosy news of digital transformation as the rapid adoption of new technologies has resulted in environments that are not optimised for peak performance - 42 percent said their environments are not optimised and are spending 50 percent or more of their time reactively maintaining and troubleshooting.
Furthermore, IT professional respondents also cite inadequate organisational strategy (43 percent) and training (42 percent) as common barriers to system optimisation. SolarWinds says this is a problem that needs to be addressed for businesses to keep pace with changing environments.
An increasing trend that SolarWinds has noticed is the IT professionals are addressing the challenges introduced by the cloud and hybrid IT through investment in containers.
The 2017 report noted 15 percent of IT professionals planned to develop containerisation skills in the year ahead, and just one year later and now 49 percent ranked containers as one of the most important technology priorities today, a significant jump.
SolarWinds executive vice president and global chief technology officer Joe Kim says the narrative in today’s IT industry revolves around transformative technologies like AI, machine learning, blockchain, and more.
“These technologies are unquestionably important, but the results of this year’s study reveal that IT professionals are still prioritising investments in technologies that help run day-to-day operations, and choosing initiatives that deliver more immediate value,” says Kim.
“The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2018 shows IT professionals are focusing in on proven technologies that deliver value today, like cloud and containers, with an eye toward AI for tomorrow. This is how most IT professionals currently are optimising their environments to help unlock additional performance for their organisations.”