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Legacy infrastructure stifling agility and innovation

Legacy infrastructure is holding companies back from achieving their businesses goals according to a new survey, which says legacy networks are preventing business agility and innovation.

The Brocade Global CIO Survey 2015 shows 75% of CIO respondents believe their network is an issue in achieving their organisation’s goals. For almost a quarter of CIOs polled it was a ‘significant’ issue.

Ken Cheng, Brocade CTO and senior vice president of corporate development and emerging business, says the role of IT is changing from being an administrator of infrastructure to becoming an enabler of the business, driving innovation and new ways of working to revolutionise customer engagement and transactional processes.

“More than ever, the CIO has a critical role in advising the board and senior management on strategic business investments, but legacy infrastructure remains a major roadblock, prohibiting business agility and innovation.”

Cheng says the more innovative solutions to business network needs are required and the ‘new IP’ – innovation centric, software enabled networking – offers a way of addressing this and enabling business objectives to be met.

The survey, which polled 200 CIOs across the UK, US, China, France, Russia and Germany, also found that CIOs are distracted by the business of simply keeping the lights on, with over half spending more than 50% of their time reactively. Network downtime/availability was cited as one of the most likely reasons, especially for CIOs with more than 1000 employees in their organisation.

Top concerns were security and fast deployment of, and access to, new applications and services, ahead of big data and analytics, communication and collaboration, or compliance with regulations.

The report says the top four technology issues CIOs said they needed to address were operational platforms, such as Oracle and SAP, data centre upgrades/expansions, virtual, security, network upgrades/expansions.

Meanwhile, 40% of CIOs admitted being concerned about choosing the right vendors to deliver what their business was asking for.

Cloud featured high for the CIOs, with 90% already having some form of cloud in their organisation. Control of cloud acquisition is a different matter altogether, however, with more than one-third stating that cloud adoption without involvement from IT is not allowed – but does or may happen anyway.

And the future doesn’t look that good either, with 83% saying they believed procurement of cloud services without IT engagement will increase, and 82% admitting this leads to fears about their job security. One in five said such activities cause them ‘extreme stress’.

As to why CIOs were concerned about non-authorised cloud, CIOs polled cited its negative impact on owned infrastructure performance, inability to manage the network, and IT disputes with cloud providers.

These are more likely to be worries, than security, compliance, poor SLAs, inability to access data or the cost to the business of duplication of spending, Brocade says.

Topping their list of concerns, were the delivery of new services to support business growth (79%), delivering better analytics/data mining (77%), improving delivery of services and fast deployment of new applications (both on 68%) and reducing their organisation’s operational expenses (65%).

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