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IT And The Line Of Business (LOBs) To Shape Technology Consumption Together

rajeshregecisco-209x147 In only a few short years, Cloud Computing has altered the information technology (IT) landscape for both large enterprises and midsize businesses — and this is the beginning of a larger transformation. Cisco estimates that there were “only” about 200 million things connected to the Internet in the year 2000. Driven by advances in mobile technology and the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend, among others, this number has increased to approximately 10 billion. A dramatic upsurge to 50 billion connected people, processes, and things is expected by 2020. The resulting Internet of Everything (IoE) will drive the next wave of explosive Internet growth, with Cloud as a pillar of this transformation. 

it-life-cycle-management-becoming-complex-task-for-cio-ciscoBut what is the current state of IT Cloud consumption? What will IT organization of the future look like, and what will IT decision makers do to be successful in this changing environment? In a wide-ranging global study, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) along with Intel, sought to pinpoint just how Cloud is impacting IT. The study surveyed 4,226 IT leaders in 18 industries across nine key economies including 600 from India. Here are some of the key findings:

In the Eyes of IT Decision Makers, Cloud is gaining traction. Despite its challenges and disruptions, Cloud is creating solutions. In the eyes of our respondents, this is considered a positive development for their organizations. (Case in point: security may be an inhibitor to Cloud, but it is also viewed as a solution to security fears.) In India, more than four out of five respondents believe that Cloud will positively impact their organizations.

Emerging Markets Upbeat About Cloud. Despite the overall positive attitude toward cloud, important distinctions arise between emerging and developed markets. IT leaders in emerging nations like India, Brazil and China are more upbeat about cloud given its transformational and innovative potential; in developed markets it is mostly seen as a tool for cost-cutting.

High Marks for Cloud Providers. Despite existing and potential Challenges, India respondents cited a high level of satisfaction with their existing cloud providers. About 83 percent of respondents In India were “very satisfied” and another 13 percent “somewhat satisfied,” representing a total 96 percent positive rating. Given such high ratings, cloud providers in India are well positioned today, though they must be prepared to operate in an increasingly demanding marketplace. In a competitive marketplace, cloud providers will need to offer end-to-end solutions while orchestrating an ecosystem of partners. Accordingly, high ratings for cloud providers in our survey come with high demands: for security capabilities, custom solutions, and guarantees on service levels.

IT Wants To Feel Safe in the Cloud. No matter which vertical industry or global region was surveyed, security and privacy issues are top of mind and seen as a clear inhibitor to cloud growth. Robust security and data protection capabilities are also seen as the most critical factors for cloud service providers. In India, complexity of managing third parties was seen as a major limitation.

One Size Does Not Fit All. The cloud market is evolving rapidly, and companies can choose from many different approaches for sourcing, deploying, and operating cloud solutions. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Rather, companies will need to formulate an approach that enables them to meet the overarching goals for their organization. IT leaders should consider how best to partner with key stakeholders, such as LOBs and third-party providers, with an approach that is tailored for their unique needs.

IT Seen as Front and Center… Despite the rise of LOB influence, our IT respondents — especially those in emerging markets like India, China and Brazil — believe that IT will maintain a centralized and well-funded role, managing cloud solutions with consistent policy and security solutions. (Respondents in India, China and Brazil are nearly twice as likely to project an increase in the size of their IT organization than were their counterparts in Europe and North America. itvoice

But LOBs Are Gaining Influence. Over 90% of respondents in India feel that the influence of LOBs will extend across all IT lifecycle stages and create unprecedented complexity for IT organizations as they grapple with security and technical support. As IT transforms to an “as-a-service” model, the interlocks and relationships between IT and the LOBs will need to change.

The IT – LOB Partnership. Whether centralization and greater resourcing for IT is realistic remains to be seen. Regardless, IT will need to partner with LOBs in complex new ways. In the view of the IT leaders surveyed, IT will evolve to be a broker of services to LOBs, acting as a critical intermediary and orchestrator of internal and external cloud solutions within the business, while also providing technical support and security.

A Wake-up Call for IT. Given the rising influence of LOBs, IT must step up to new challenges: moving rapidly, fostering innovation, enabling new end-user experiences, and positively impacting business outcomes in a measurable way.

These insights — and the sweeping changes they are likely to bring about — represent a clear call to action for IT leaders. Robust security and data protection capabilities; the ability to build custom solutions; and guarantees on service availability and quality would be t important parameters for successful cloud adoption. For CIOs, the results highlight the need to embrace an emerging role: facilitating productivity; negotiating complex deals; managing constituent expectations via close partnerships with LOBs across all IT consumption lifecycle stages; enhancing organizational skills to support cloud service delivery; and understanding a rapidly evolving IT landscape.

Executive Quote:

Neeraj Arora, Director, Cloud Computing, Cisco Consulting Services, APJC, said, “As cloud adoption in India is becoming mainstream, it is interesting to see that a number of cloud adoption decisions are being initiated by the business heads. IT departments need to increasingly re-model the way in which they partner with business. This will involve acting as a “broker,” or intermediary, of cloud services, orchestrating the planning and procurement process for LOBs across internal and external clouds.

They must facilitate productivity; negotiate complex deals and manage constituent expectations via close partnerships with LOBs across the entire IT consumption lifecycle. It is clear from the survey that IT leaders in emerging economies such as India and China are more enthusiastic about cloud adoption and impact, compared to their counterparts in the developed world.

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