While almost all organisations are now working on their infrastructure transformation initiatives, more than one third (38%) are still only at the very beginning of their journey. Another 44% have work well underway, but have yet to complete their infrastructure transformation, according to a new study from IT market analysis and consulting firm, PAC – CXP Group.
Although digital transformation can definitely drive efficiencies and potentially cut costs, these are not the primary motives for European organizations. PAC’s study, which was based on discussions with 200 CIOs and IT decision-makers across Europe, showed that market pressures are the main impetus for infrastructure transformation. The top ranked factor (rated a major driver by 57% of organizations) was customer demand, just ahead of the opportunity to respond to new market opportunities (a major driver to 49% of organizations surveyed).
The study ‘Transforming your Infrastructure for Digital’ highlights that infrastructure has become a truly critical business issue, with infrastructure transformation an essential enabler of digital transformation. This is not to minimise the core operational priorities of infrastructure teams – indeed over 60% of CIOs sampled rate “performance and availability” as major priorities for their transformation. IT operations management (including operations analytics, infrastructure as code etc.) also heads the list of new capabilities that CIOs endeavour to wrap into their transformation initiatives.
Although hyperscale clouds are very high profile, Europe’s CIOs are looking for less radical solutions for their infrastructure transformations. There remains a strong preference for on-site solutions, with 42% indicating a preference for public-cloud style technologies, but delivered to the customers’ own premises. To date, solutions aimed at this market segment have seen limited success, but there is growing interest within the industry to provide solutions that enable ease-of-use and public-cloud levels of flexibility into on-site solutions.
Commenting on this, Mathieu Poujol, Head of Cloud & Infrastructures at PAC – CXP Group said: “Businesses have always wanted the best aspects of private and of public cloud. Now that public cloud on premise is beginning to become a reality, the market is very interested – and I fully understand why.”
Asked about the key challenges they confronted in transforming their infrastructure, cyber security is the elephant in the room. 65% see this a major concern for their infrastructure transformation initiatives, far ahead of any other issue.
Simon Abrahams, Senior Analyst at PAC – CXP Group, said: “CIOs across Europe are under pressure – pressure to innovate, pressure to drive efficiencies, but most of all to unlock incremental value for their business. Infrastructure transformation is a critical part of this, enabling organisations across all sectors to respond better and more quickly to their end-customers’ needs, and to tap into new market opportunities.
For most European organisations, this is clearly still a work in progress. While there’s a lot more to do, infrastructure transformation has the potential to enable dramatic changes within the business. Ultimately transformation can help organizations both protect their existing markets, and also expand into completely new market sectors – which done well, can have a huge impact on the overall fortunes of the business.”
‘Transforming your Infrastructure for Digital’ is based on a study conducted during September 2017. CIOs and IT decision makers at more than 200 larger organizations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, the DACH region, the Nordic and Benelux regions were surveyed by telephone (CATI).