More CIOs To Opt For Software-Defined Strategies
Three out of four CIOs and IT leaders worldwide (83 percent) plan to make software-defined solutions part of their wider IT strategy according to a new study by research firm Logicalis.
The figures are drawn from a survey of 177 CIOs and IT directors from mid-market organizations across 24 countries spanning Europe,North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific show that IT leaders see software-defined solutions (SDx) as a vital component in a broader service-defined enterprise IT transformation, something many IT organizations are undergoing now.
Nearly two-thirds of the CIOs queried say they expect software-defined solutions to impact their IT services and delivery strategies over the next three years. More than a third expect that to happen in the next two years. One in 10 IT pros questioned expect to implement SDx in the next 12 months, the survey reveals.
“While the speed with which CIOs plan to implement software-defined strategies may take people by surprise, the movement toward software-defined networking and software-defined data centers is not a new phenomenon,” says Mike Martin, Senior Vice President, Solutions and Services, Logicalis US. “IT pros who want the flexibility to create an internal IT department that is able to function like a service provider, delivering complex compute resources as well as a reduction in overhead and management costs, have to look for ways to redesign their roles and the IT department’s function within the organization. Using the kind of policy-driven, programmable toolsets made available through software-defined solutions, CIOs can free time and resources that can be better spent focused on IT service delivery and management throughout the enterprise and can both reduce cost and complexity as well as increase the speed and flexibility with which they can respond to IT requests going forward.”
Investing in software-defined solutions will require CIOs to recruit a new breed of business-oriented IT professional who can translate business needs into policy frameworks that can support extensive IT automation. This is a fundamental shift in the skill sets previously sought when hiring IT staff.
Just over one-third of the CIOs surveyed cited “technical skills” as their top priority when recruiting IT staff. The remaining two thirds or 64 percent instead look first at business skills like communication, service management and business analysis, for example, which have become top priorities for 28 percent, 15 percent and 12 percent of CIOs respectively.
Nearly two-thirds of CIOs say they are prepared to pay more for the skills required to make the most of SDx solutions, though the amount varies: One-fourth expect to pay 5 percent to 10 percent more, and one-fifth (22 percent) say they expect to pay 10 percent to 20 percent more than they would for traditional technical professionals.
“The numbers tell us what we have already seen in practice,” Martin says. “CIOs are recognizing that, as they transform their IT departments to be internal service providers, they will need to embrace the move from technology management to business service delivery, something that requires a new type of skill set with an emphasis on melding technological understanding with business acumen.
This means each CIO will be examining the organization’s staff, investing in and cultivating the business skills of existing IT team members as well as replacing outdated technology skills and people with those that understand the shift to a world where business needs now dictate technology decisions,” he sums up.
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