Only a small minority of CIOs consider public cloud a first consideration for projects, with many CIOs clinging to their existing infrastructure, according to Gartner’s Flipping to Digital Leadership: The 2015 CIO Agenda Survey.
The survey, which polled more than 2800 global CIOs, shows cloud is now a viable option for many IT projects, requiring infrastructure and operations leaders to expand the scope of systems as they actively consider those that are cloud-based.
Dave Russell, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst says the results show that, ‘for most CIOs, public cloud is an option for projects, but only a first consideration for a small minority’.
“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 cloud washing as an excuse to not seriously pursue a true cloud-based solution,” he says.
“Instead, I&O leaders should institute a ‘cloud-first’ consideration for every project on an application-by-application basis.”
The survey also shows that 9% of users are not even considering cloud computing for software-as-a-service projects, a number that increases to 15% for infrastructure-as-a-service 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.
Mike Chuba, Gartner research vice president, says while the best solution for businesses may indeed be an on-premises, non-cloud deployment model, I&O teams need to include all options in order to make the best use of available resources and ensure service requirements are met.
“Rather than ignoring the cloud outright, or only reluctantly considering, evaluating all implementation models at the outset of a project can help save time and produce better results.”
Mobile and analytics
The survey also shows mobile devices are now the primary or secondary interface for a significant number of IT investments, and that 71% 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,” Gartner says.
“Instead, services must be specifically built for those devices, so they are useful and not a hindrance.”
Gartner says CIOs should assume a variety of devices will access every application and build those applications accordingly. Viewing mobility as being not just about devices and infrastructure but also about the individual and their experience with IT systems is also important.
CIOs are also recognising the need for modern, advanced analytics and IT business value metrics, requiring new IT systems and ways of thinking. This means I&O leaders will need to lay an IT foundation for predictive analytics – and effort that is difficult but decreasing in cost thanks to parallel processing frameworks that can run analytics solutions.
Unstructured data will need to be better managed, so it can be exploited by the business, while new/additional data sources specific to a project needs to be looked for and exploited.
“CIOs must also refocus on analytics for their own teams where new metrics will be needed to drive the business forward.”
The survey also highlights the need for teams to prepare today to deploy post-nexus (mobile, social, cloud and information) technologies, which are already on enterprise radar, but notes that CIOs on average are stuck thinking about now, rather than the future.
Post-nexus technologies include internet of things, thinking machines, augmented human, 3D printing and robotics.
“If they haven’t already, I&O leaders must ready themselves and their organisations for a culture of experimentation, innovation and deployment of post-nexus technologies.
I&O leaders will need to find ways to help not just the CIO, but the rest of IT, spend less time on running the business to afford opportunities to grow and, ideally, help transform the business.