UK has appetite for server-centric approach, but not the funds

Dimension Data has announced the findings of new research, undertaken by analyst firm, Ovum, which looked at whether IT departments in UK enterprises are ready to deliver and charge for the services they deliver to internal customers on a per-usage basis. The research project, entitled ‘Why next-generation data centre technology is needed to adopt service-centric IT delivery’ was conducted in January/February 2015 and surveyed CIOs at 100 UK organisations employing more than 1,000 staff. Ovum found that, although 58 percent of companies have fully developed plans to introduce a service-centric approach to IT delivery, the majority are struggling to make the business case required to turn these plans into a reality.

The research shows that most CIOs have a good understanding of the need to change from traditional methods of IT delivery to a model that is transparently priced and tracked to actual usage. Despite this, less than a third (32 percent) of respondents stated they had secured funding to support their transformational plans. Some 31 percent of CIOs believe the low profile of IT was a key reason for this lack of funding, while 30 percent said it was due to the cost of change. Furthermore, almost three quarters (72 percent) of those surveyed said they were unable to articulate the value of the services they deliver to their line-of-business customers, with just 17 percent stating they were capable of comparing the costs of the services they deliver with those offered by third party suppliers or other industry peer groups.

CIOs also expressed concerns about a number of technical obstacles impacting their ability to move to a service-centric approach to IT. Exactly half of respondents said a lack of relevant skills was one of the top three issues holding up change, with CIOs worried about the costs associated with hiring and re-skilling staff. Some 46 percent of respondents said difficulties associated with managing new and old environments was one of their top three concerns, while 44 percent stated it was the complexity of integrating these new charging models with legacy systems.

“Today’s CIOs are tasked with steering their IT departments through a major period of transformation. This involves completely reshaping the way IT services are delivered, managed and charged for across the business,” said Roy Illsley, principal analyst, Ovum Software – Infrastructure Solutions. “Our research clearly shows that CIOs thoroughly understand and support this change, but often lack the tools and support to make it happen. To overcome these challenges, we expect to see IT departments assuming a much more ‘federal’ role, where they utilise the capabilities of third party service providers to scope and deliver more accountable and transparently-priced service models.”

Later this month, Dimension Data will launch its new Data Centre Development Model, which has been designed to guide enterprises through the process of changing the way they deliver IT services at the very heart of the transformation process – in the data centre. By enabling organisations to determine the most efficient operating model for their data centre operations, and by helping them understand the best ways to exploit public cloud, hosting and co-location services, the Data Centre Development Model will boost the agility and accountability of IT teams, placing them in a stronger position to identify, spearhead and support IT initiatives that are critical to business growth. This consultative process also helps enterprises assess whether their networks are geared to support the IT transformation process, while ensuring security is embedded at every step.

“Ovum’s research shows that UK CIOs see considerable value in moving towards a service-centric IT delivery model. Not only will this allow services to be delivered in a more nimble, cost-effective and accountable way, it will elevate the role of their IT departments, which will be in a stronger position to drive, rather than just react to, business change,” said David Leyland, Head of Business, Next Generation Data Centre, Dimension Data UK & Ireland. “Today, the data centre underpins an enterprise’s entire IT operations, so any IT transformation process needs to start there. Our new Data Centre Development Model has been designed to help CIOs architect change, and make their ambitions for service-centric IT a business reality.”

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