Earlier this week, SiliconAngle’s analyst partners at Wikibon released the results of the inaugural edition of the annual IT Transformation Survey, with data on how the market landscape is changing drawn from 261 respondents. And while there’s ton of granular data to draw from, here are my picks for the three most pressing CIO action items to come out of the report, across cloud, Big Data and DevOps initiatives.
Action Item #1: 2012 is the year of the cloud, so keep up or get left behind. “By 2015, 95% of organizations will have a clear cloud computing strategy and hybrid cloud deployments will predominate in mid-to large companies,” the survey suggests, and coming up with governance policies for the same is going to be absolutely vital. By a similar token, CIOs and IT organizations need to really get fundamental, reusable cloud service building blocks (Compute, block store, database) in place now ahead of later innovation and business model development – lest “cloud creep” and a mishmash of public cloud services leak into the organization.
Action Item #2: Data is valuable, so partner up. The Big Data movement is helping organizations of all size draw valuable insight from mountains and mountains of existing data. But the market is still shaking out, and customers are struggling to meet the challenges that Big Data presents. The best thing, suggests Wikibon’s survey, is to find a technology vendor that can support you with products and services while your own internal staff get up to speed with the best ways to support Big Data initiatives.
Action Item #3: If you have a need for speed, you have a need for DevOps. Under the current model, there’s a lot of wasted time and effort between developers and operations. Developers will hand off code to operations, and to get it to deploy onto the infrastructure, operations will have to use a hack, often breaking the application in the process, sending it back to the developers. But if you can spend the money now to train both departments in both fields and implement what we’re now calling DevOps methodologies, the back and forth ends, productivity skyrockets, and rapid iteration becomes a reality. And with 42 percent of respondents claiming that they’ve never heard the term “DevOps” before, there’s still a lot of work to be done to spread the good word.
The real takeaway here, as Wikibon notes, is that IT organizations are under a lot of pressure to deliver service and simplicity on a par with Amazon Web Services (for sheer simplicity: swipe a credit card and you’re up and running) and other cloud service providers (Google Apps and other consumerized SaaS applications come to mind).
But for budget reasons, if nothing else, it’s often prudent for that midmarket-and-larger market segment to keep things in-house. For an IT organization, the customer is everybody else in the company. And to win the war for mindshare within your organization, well, you need the cloud – or else.