We consider the key trends that will define 2018’s key business challenges… Plagued by cyber-attacks and skills shortages...
Research from Sungard Availability Services® finds that organisations are struggling to control their increasingly complex IT environments
Research from Sungard Availability Services® (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, has revealed that the majority (83 per cent) of UK organisations feel they have a shortage of several of the skills essential for managing a Hybrid IT environment successfully. The research questioned 150 senior IT decision makers in UK organisations with more than 500 employees; with an average IT spend of around £36m per year.
The rise of cloud computing has placed IT into an era of transition, with organisations looking to embrace cloud and move away from the traditional approach. Many now find themselves in a state of Hybrid IT: with three quarters making a strategic decision to run their business across a number of different IT platforms – whether that is private or public cloud, on premise servers, or data centre services. Unsurprisingly, compared to an approach in which infrastructure runs on a single platform, today’s Hybrid IT estate is complex, and defined as such by all UK respondents.
“Hybrid IT is here to stay – two thirds of organisations believe they will always operate a Hybrid IT estate – so in 2016 organisations, and employees, should be ready to re-valuate the skills, expertise and attributes they think will be valuable for the future.”
Skills for Security
The research found that matters of IT security were the biggest concern, with 38 per cent of organisations reporting they lack the necessary skills to deal with security issues. Integration and interoperability were also cited as critical concerns: 27 per cent of organisations felt they struggled to integrate private cloud environments into their IT estate, falling to 22 per cent for public clouds. 22 per cent of respondents also admitted to difficulties in managing different IT systems across separate business departments.
Critical to Organisations
The issue is present at even the most fundamental level in Hybrid IT, with a fifth of respondents having experienced a shortage of the right skill sets needed to run different applications and environments. In fact, more than one in ten (13%) organisations felt their Hybrid IT system has required an expanded IT team to cope.
Hybrid IT is, however, viewed as a necessary part of staying competitive within their industry by 77 per cent of respondents and as such, nearly three quarters (74%) of organisations claim they are willing to invest to ensure they have the correct levels of skill sets within their organisation to successfully run their Hybrid IT estate.
Commenting on the findings, Keith Tilley, Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Customer Services Management at Sungard Availability Services, said: “Investment in Hybrid IT is a critical part of any modern enterprise’s journey towards cloud computing. While it offers a stepping stone towards a longer term IT strategy, it should not be dismissed as a stop-gap or temporary fix. Legacy applications make Hybrid IT a necessary transition in the adoption of cloud services.
“It is heartening that organisations can see the value of Hybrid IT, but at the same time it is very worrying that half of organisations feel the complexity is too much for their IT teams. With the New Year round the corner, what better time for organisations to rethink the way they approach their infrastructure strategy? Hybrid IT is here to stay – two thirds of organisations believe they will always operate a Hybrid IT estate – so in 2016 organisations, and employees, should be ready to re-valuate the skills, expertise and attributes they think will be valuable for the future.”
“In the public sector, IT complexity is inevitable. Resources are stretched, yet we’re expected to remain at the cutting edge of technology, delivering the latest services as well as highly confidential data with no room for disruption in service. With a Managed Services Provider looking after our infrastructure, my team has more time to concentrate on internal projects. Allowing a third party to take responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of our system has enabled us to be far more flexible in how we run our IT estate. Strategically, it has been very good for us.”
“For many organisations, going it alone simply isn’t an option. Interestingly, our study found that 60% of businesses said that having support from a partner ensured that their Hybrid IT implementations were a success. Working with appropriate Managed Services Providers can help to augment existing expertise whilst plugging any skills gaps. It can be the difference between a sophisticated IT environment weaponised for competitive advantage, and one of sprawling complexity and business frustration,” concluded Tilley.
The full report is available to download here.
About the research
Interviews were carried out in September and October 2015 by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Sungard Availability Services®. 500 interviews were conducted altogether: 150 from the UK, 150 from France and 100 each from Sweden and Ireland. The research spoke to IT decision makers in businesses of over 500 employees across a variety of sectors – including financial services, business process management and retail.