Hybrid IT is transforming IT architectures and the role of IT itself, according to Gartner, Inc. Hybrid IT is the result of combining internal and external services, usually from a combination of internal and public clouds, in support of a business outcome.
Gartner analysts explained that hybrid IT relies on new technologies to connect clouds, sophisticated approaches to data classification and identity, and service-oriented architecture, and heralds significant change for IT practitioners.
Cloud computing's business model -- the ability to rapidly provision IT services without large capital expenditures -- is appealing to budget-minded executives. CEOs and CIOs are pressuring IT organizations to lower overhead by offloading services to cloud providers. However, when IT organizations investigate potential cloud services, the market's volatility reveals that not all cloud services are created equal.
For critical applications and data, IT organizations have not adopted public cloud computing as quickly. Many IT organizations discover that public cloud service providers (CSPs) cannot meet the security requirements, integrate with enterprise management, or guarantee availability necessary to host critical applications. Therefore, organizations continue to own and operate internal IT services that house critical applications and data.
However, the public cloud has affected internal customers. Because of the pervasive growth of public clouds, many business units and internal customers have used and grown accustomed to IT as a service and have built business processes and budget plans with cloud computing in mind. Now these internal customers are demanding that IT organizations build internal private clouds that not only house critical applications, but also provide a self-service, quickly provisioned, showback-based IT consumption model.
IT organizations are becoming the broker to a set of IT services that are hosted partially internally and partially externally -- hybrid IT architecture. By being the intermediary of IT services, IT organizations can offer internal customers the price, capacity and speed of provisioning of the external cloud while maintaining the security and governance the company requires, and reducing IT service costs.
This model of service delivery challenges both the longstanding practices of IT organizations and the business models of traditional IT vendors. Gartner expects that most organizations will maintain a core set of primary service providers (cloud and noncloud) extended by an ecosystem of edge providers who fulfill specific solution requirements.
IT Departments Scramble to Keep Pace with Mobility Growth
As mobile devices and applications extend the boundaries of the workplace, information technology (IT) departments must create new policies and procedures to keep the mobile enterprise accessible, available and secure, according to research released today by IT industry association CompTIA.
While PCs continue to be a major part of the corporate IT landscape, CompTIA's Trends in Enterprise Mobility study reveals that laptops, ultrabooks, smartphones and tablets are increasingly essential to day-to-day business in a "post-PC" environment. Smartphones are in place at more organizations than standard cell phones, and tablets are the top choice for purchase intent in the next year.
The CompTIA study also finds that 84 percent of those surveyed use their smartphone for light work such as email or web browsing. Individuals using tablets have an even wider range of uses, including note-taking, giving presentations and using their tablet as a communications device in lieu of a phone. As a result, IT departments are building new policies governing behavior in a mobile environment; and implementing support structures and applications.
Only 22 percent of companies in the CompTIA survey currently have a formal mobility policy. Another 20 percent were building policies at the time of the survey. These policies typically cover guidelines for mobile applications and corporate data, along with device guidelines.
Security considerations are the greatest risk involved in supporting mobility, at least in the view of 70 percent of IT staff surveyed for the CompTIA study. Among the challenges they face:
Downloading unauthorized apps, cited as a serious concern by 48 percent of respondents
Lost or stolen devices (42 percent)
Mobile-specific viruses and malware (41 percent)
Open Wi-Fi networks (41 percent)
USB flash drives (40 percent)
Personal use of business devices (40 percent)
These types of incidents and others have prompted organizations to take various security measures. Requiring passcodes, installing tracking software and encrypting data on the device are among the most common steps taken.
Survey Reveals Continued Reliance on Outdated Workforce Management Tools
Noble Systems Corporation, a global leader in unified contact center technology solutions, today announced the results of its latest survey of more than 400 North American contact center operations, revealing that almost two-thirds of respondents have yet to adopt a Workforce Management (WFM) software solution to schedule, monitor and report on agent activity.
According to industry analysts, labor can account for 70 percent or more of an average contact center’soperating budget. Moreover, agent volume flexibility, skill set designation and real-time reporting are critical components of top-tier customer service. Yet the survey results indicate that the adoption of modern WFM technology may be slower than some industry watchers had assumed.
Impact of Mobility on Business Could Exceed that of the Internet, Accenture Survey Finds
Facing one of the most significant business challenges since the advent of the Internet, CIOs in emerging markets seeking to mobile-enable their enterprises are making mobility a higher priority and spending more money on achieving that goal than are their mature-market counterparts, according to a new study by Accenture.
The global study, The Accenture 2012 CIO Mobility Survey,found that two-thirds (67 percent) of CIOs and other IT professionals believe mobility will impact their businesses as much as or more than the Internet did in the 1990s. The research also found that over two-thirds (69 percent) of IT professionals surveyed would allocate more than 20 percent of their discretionary budgets that are delivering mobility capability for their business this year – with a striking contrast between IT leaders in emerging markets (94 percent) and in mature markets (35 percent). Similarly, the survey found that 48 percent of respondents in emerging markets have an extensively developed mobile strategy, while only 12 percent of respondents in mature markets claimed to have extensively developed strategies.
Accenture conducted the global survey of CIOs and other C-Suite IT professionals, and a companion online survey of mobile application developers, to understand the current state of enterprise mobility by identifying the top priorities of IT professionals, the obstacles to achieving them and the challenges faced by application developers.
The study also found a few areas of concern complicating the adoption of mobility by enterprises. Of note, security and cost led the list of IT professionals’ biggest concerns. Fifty percent cited security as the leading factor preventing them from addressing their mobile priorities; cost and budget ranked second (43 percent), while 26 percent cited either interoperability with current systems or a lack of understanding about the benefits of mobility. In addition, none of the most widely used smartphone operating systems received overwhelming security endorsements from app developers, but more than half (53 percent) said Apple’s iOS operating system had the best security, while Google’s Android operating system ranked second at 24 percent.
The results highlight the challenges created by the fragmentation of the market, including the large number of different mobile platforms and devices. App developers rated this fragmentation among device platforms as particularly difficult to manage and monetize. For IT professionals, fragmentation complicates a company’s ability to accommodate one of the strongest trends in mobility – employees bringing their own devices to work and wanting to run office applications on them.
In this frenetic market, IT professionals and application developers have various plans to generate revenue. In the enterprise arena, 42 percent of IT professionals indicated they want to improve field service or customer service delivery with instant access to corporate databases, relevant business data, and on-the-spot transaction processing. Application developers cited downloads (41 percent), in-app purchases (29 percent), traditional advertising (24 percent) and subscriptions (20 percent) as ways to monetize consumer applications.
The study also revealed some intriguing anomalies based on geography. Far more IT professionals in emerging markets focus on mobility compared to those in mature markets. Ninety-three percent of Latin American and 81 percent of Asian IT professionals indicated mobility will provide significant new revenue. But only 66 percent of European and 56 percent of North American respondents agreed. Similarly, half of Mexican and Chinese respondents, as well as 40 percent and 32 percent of Indian and Brazilian respondents, respectively, strongly agreed that mobility will impact their business as much as or more than the 1990s Internet wave. But only one in five (20 percent) of both U.K. and U.S. respondents strongly concurred.
Accenture’s study concludes that IT professionals must craft a comprehensive strategy for enterprise mobility. In order to do so, Accenture recommends a multi-pronged approach that includes three key elements: technology, business requirements, and management.
Study: Less Than 20 Percent of Businesses Have Achieved a Single View of the Customer
DataFlux, a provider of data management solutions, released results from a new survey highlighting that fewer than 20 percent of businesses have successfully leveraged their data to obtain a single view of their customers. The research is a result of 551 survey respondents (40 percent of whom are C-level executives).
While organizations understand the business value of obtaining a single view of their customers, few companies have actually achieved this feat. According to the survey respondents, only 17 percent have achieved a single view of their customer base. However, almost half (48 percent) are either in the process of – or have plans to – implement a system to deliver a single view of the customer in the next 18 months.
The survey also highlighted a gap in the implementation of data management initiatives. While there has been significant adoption of data quality (59 percent) and data integration (55 percent) projects over the past 18 months, master data management (MDM) initiatives lag behind at 31 percent.
As the value of data becomes more widely understood, an increasing number of businesses are moving toward implementing comprehensive data management strategies. Large businesses (greater than 10,000 employees) are leading the way with more than 65 percent stating they already have a well-defined data management strategy in place. The number falls to 49 percent when taking all respondents’ answers into account. Only nine percent have yet to formalize a strategy.
Despite a majority of respondents indicating that they currently have, or will be implementing, comprehensive data management strategies, executive ownership remains elusive. When asked to identify all the organizations that are accountable for managing and resolving data management problems, respondents stated: