Thursday, November 23, 2017

CIOs struggling to find partners in digital transformation age

Survey finds main driver for transformation is the ability to reduce the cost of IT service delivery by optimising legacy infrastructure

CIOs are finding it increasingly hard to drive their companies’ digital transformation because they are struggling to find the right partners to do so.

According to a report from Level 3 Communications and IDG Connect, “Networks Drive Digital Ambitions”, digital transformation is a key focus for organisations across key Western Europe markets, with 60% of current IT investment designed to support future business expansion and growth.

However, the survey of 274 senior staff working for organisations headquartered in the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium has found that 64% of organisations have struggled to adequately implement cloud, mobile or big data analytics, as they are unable to keep up with the pace of change.

63% of those interviewed admitted that finding the right partner was also one of the biggest challenges they are being faced with.

Adding to that, 62% said that implementing effective data security is also a barrier.

alexSegregating IT resources from day to day operations (58%), lack of in-house experience/knowledge (58%) and defining a clear roadmap (53%) are the other top transformation challenges.

The primary investment areas for the next 18 months, according to those surveyed, are big data analytics for business intelligence (61%), cloud migration (58%), data security (57%), network modernisation (55%), digital devices and IoT (54%) and mobile devices management and bring your own device capabilities (50%).

The main investment driver, mentioned by 57% of those surveyed, is the ability to reduce the cost of IT service delivery by optimising legacy infrastructure.

Other investment drivers for digital transformation include supporting greater product/service innovation (51%), a need to improve customer experience and interaction (50%), address globalisation requirements (47%), streamline supply chain (39%), and meet government industry compliance guidelines and regulation (36%).

Respondents were also questioned about what drives them to use cloud services. The majority (56%) said the main driver is the growing data security requirements being thrown at them.

54% said the cloud helps to reduce the cost of IT service delivery and 53% said the need to scale IT resources quickly on demand are also a driver.

On the network infrastructure side, most of those surveyed said their infrastructure is capable or very capable to support business needs.

Within the networking space, software defined networking (SDN) is also becoming a more pervasive technology.

60% of respondents said the main advantage of SDN is a simplified network management and more resource control.

Consolidation of data centre and network hardware (58%) and greater visibility into network, computing and storage resources (57%) are the other two top advantages.

In the report it reads: “Organisations everywhere face complex challenges as they strive to make the best use of Big Data analytics, cloud computing, mobility, social network platforms, IoT and flexible working to reduce capex/opex and improve the customer experience as a source of that competitive differentiation.

“Being able to seamlessly connect people, locations, processes, resources and devices to improve staff productivity, partner collaboration and customer communication is vital in driving organisational and commercial agility.”

Kathy Schneider, senior vice president of marketing and product in EMEA at Level 3 Communications, said: “Digital transformation holds a wealth of opportunities for companies. By leveraging cloud, mobile and Big Data analytics, companies can better serve their customers while also improving their own business models.

Keeping up with the pace of change, particularly around digital transformation, hinges on the strength of a company’s underlying network.  At Level 3, we work closely with CIOs to provide the guidance and infrastructure their companies need to meet the challenges of today’s ever-changing world.”