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Disruptive Technologies Force Strategy Change

16th March 2015

A new report(1) commissioned by Sungard Availability Services reveals that data analytics and big data are the most disruptive technologies driving change in their organisations, cited by over half of IT directors.The survey of 100 IT chiefs in small and medium-sized companies with between 500 and 1,000 employees and large companies of up to 100,000 employees, and in some cases more, reveals that digital disruption is becoming the norm.

Other key disruptive technologies identified by IT chiefs include bring your own device, or BYOD, (48%); social media (47%); and a mobile workforce (40%).

“However, while constant change is unavoidable, the survey reveals that IT leaders are understandably anxious to ensure any transition is pain-free, without disruption to users and a minimal risk of system downtime.”

— Sungard AS

They know that in a world that never sleeps, IT downtime means losing customers and business to rivals. Over a third (38%) of CIOs demand less than one hour of downtime a year for mission-critical IT systems; 8% require downtime to be no higher than one minute a year!

The research shows that increasing volumes of structured and unstructured data, and the adoption of new ways of working and interacting with customers, present opportunities and challenges that IT must respond to with agility, and without business disruption.

“The survey reveals over a third of IT chiefs regard software as a service, or SaaS, (33%) and cloud infrastructure services (35%) as disruptive technologies, particularly when IT departments are migrating from their legacy technologies.”

— Sungard AS

The most popular investments for around half of respondents is business intelligence technology (46%), cloud computing (44%), mobile computing (43%) and updating legacy hardware (43%).

Other plans include updating operating systems (27%); developing social networking technology (21%); moving to an internal service model provider (17%); and, perhaps with more optimism than some in the current climate of austerity, increasing the IT budget (14%).

Shadow IT is a thorny topic for many IT chiefs, with nearly a quarter (22%) actively discouraging other departments from deploying their own IT systems. For just under half (46%) of respondents, the IT department is responsible for all the IT in their organisation. Interestingly, more than a tenth (11%) of IT chiefs are aware of the existence of shadow IT but turn a blind eye, which has potential implications for security and efficiency.

“The report shows organisations are not embracing change for the sake of change but are pursuing disruptive technologies for the identified benefits they can bring. For instance, improved customer experience is a goal for nearly three-quarters (73%) of organisations.”

— Sungard AS

The study also looks at corporate attitudes towards social media, the changing role of the CIO and differences between ‘digital natives’ and dare we say more mature users.

Download the report here