Budget remained flat while strategic investment increased
Strategic business issues are now back on the agenda, in contrast with two years ago when IT execs were focused on simple survival and the need to navigate the difficult financial waters that still exist today.
Globally, CIOs reported that in 2011 their IT budget was less restrictive than in 2010, when more than half (55 per cent) of organizations faced the challenge of doing more with less IT budget. This dropped to 29 per cent in 2011, and has remained at a similar level (28 per cent) in 2012.
As IT plays a bigger part in business strategy and budget limitation remains high on the agenda, efficient IT leaders are finding opportunities to influence the board and embed IT at a strategic level in their organisation.
Two thirds of industry frontrunners admit to unnecessary infrastructure purchases
Another important piece of insight from the survey is that half of CIOs admit to having IT equipment that they now regret purchasing.
CIOs from the largest organizations are more likely to agree that owning IT infrastructure, instead of virtual hosting through a trusted provider, wasted resources and incurred unnecessary cost. 66 per cent of those with a global turnover of $50-$100billion agreed, compared to 56 per cent with a global turnover of $1-$25billion.
The finding coincides with IT leaders believing that new IT applications and services should be outsourced, suggesting it to be more cost-effective, efficient and competitive. 59 per cent believed this to be the case - an increase of 12 per cent compared to2011, when only 47 per cent agreed new IT applications and services should be outsourced. CIOs now say they expect to save a quarter of their entire IT budget through outsourcing IT.
Globally, the current top three areas to outsource are Test and Development, Back Up and Disaster Recovery and Websites (49 per cent, 44 per cent and 44 per cent respectively). As IT leaders look to the future, between 31 per cent and 38 per cent of organizations are considering outsourcing each area of IT.
A cloud is coming over the horizon in 2013
Looking back over the past year, CIOs have regrets over some IT decisions. Businesses are looking more and more to CIOs and their technology expertise as the engine to drive them forward. Businesses will also be evaluating newer and emerging technologies introduced on a mass adopted scale, such as Big Data analytics, implying the trend for outsourcing IT will have to continue if enterprise IT leaders are to marry business needs and operational IT budgets.
CIOs indicated cloud IT outsourcing will be a major force within 10 years and those who plan to use cloud for the majority of their infrastructure will increase from 4 per cent today to 43 per cent in 10 years’ time.
Concern about data security remains the main impediment to cloud adoption, but CIOs are also worried about their ability to manage and control cloud deployments, and some have concerns about the legal and compliance issues that could arise when storing or processing workloads remotely. 2013 could see cloud-first adoption double for the first time, becoming the year that companies visualize the silver lining in the virtual hosting cloud era.
One of the most interesting findings from the 2012 survey is that at least one third of organizations worldwide are not outsourcing IT applications that they feel should be outsourced. IT leaders in the software industry are most likely to keep infrastructure in-house (80 per cent), probably for control reasons, compared to around half that (44 per cent) for the private healthcare sector.
Heads of IT that are working in the cloud interestingly had enhanced data security and reliability in the top three benefits of cloud computing. Scalability continues to drive cloud implementation.
However, for these forecasts to come true, organizations need to first address some key challenges: alleviating data security concerns and convincing stakeholders they can safely relinquish control of their IT infrastructure to a trusted provider in order to see enterprise IT play a dominant role in the future strategic direction on organizations operating around the world.