Digitally Speaking
Data storage

Gary Lomas
April 5, 2019

Three quarters of UK enterprises with 500+ employees think their current data environment/ storage infrastructure ‘does not meet their needs well’: but what are they planning to do about it?

The storage landscape is changing rapidly as businesses strive to deal with an ever-increasing volume of data. To discover more about the challenges of operating current storage infrastructures and what this means for near-future storage strategies, we surveyed those at the sharp end of the data explosion to create ‘The State of Data Storage in UK Enterprises’ research report.

Download the report

 A snapshot

The three biggest challenges of operating current storage infrastructures

  • Security and compliance
  • The complexity of diverse systems
  • An over-stretched IT team

The three biggest storage headaches for 2019

  • Security and compliance
  • Increasing volumes of data
  • Choosing the right storage option for specific business needs

These pressures are creating major headaches for IT professionals, who must manage and monitor ever-expanding storage infrastructure while keeping an accurate and up-to-the minute view of available capacity. The task is further complicated by the multitude of storage options now in common use – including on-premise, public and private cloud, and hybrid solutions – and exacerbated by the current scarcity of skilled and experienced IT staff.

Preparing for the challenge of Artificial Intelligence and IoT

The report highlights a spike in the accumulation of unstructured data. New technology – from machine learning to IoT and AI – is creating an avalanche of digital information. And of course, new data compliance regulations mean that more information must be safely stored in a way that also makes it easy to find, retrieve and, if necessary, delete.

For respondents who indicate an intention to adopt new storage technology in 2019, the drivers behind investment mirror the challenges they currently face. The highest number (22%) want to replace legacy infrastructure, while 16% want to add capacity and 13% want new storage technology to help them fulfil security or compliance obligations. 15% of respondents want to simplify their storage management processes and 20% are keen to add scalability to their storage infrastructure, so they can easily boost or reduce capacity as circumstances dictate.

Explore our in-depth research on the biggest challenges associated with operating current storage infrastructures and how your peers are planning to tackle them.

Category: Hybrid IT

Gary Lomas
March 13, 2019

The role of the CIO is transforming, from its position in the C-suite hierarchy to the very footprint it covers. This week, we welcome guest blogger Paul Pugh, Mason Advisory Director, to give his view on the Logicalis Global CIO survey findings and tell us what’s keeping his clients awake at night.

Security is top of the agenda

We live in an age where IT is no longer just an enabler but is now becoming an integral part of the business. In many cases, IT is actually the business’ competitive advantage. And with the growing importance of IT to the operation and continued growth of the vast majority of business sectors, it’s little wonder that the number one concern and biggest source of investment for CIOs is information security.

The more we digitise our businesses; the more we empower the end user, the more important information security becomes. And with the growing threat of intrusion the more proactive CIOs must be.

Historically, information security was all about being reactive. But in this ever-changing threat landscape, CIOs are focusing on proactive security, channelling investment into systems that stop threats happening.

Cyber resilience combines defence with detection and recovery; accepting some attacks are going to make it through the toughest of barriers. This move to a cyber resilience posture is a growing trend among our clients. Effective cyber risk management involves a much wider approach to information security, and this year we have certainly witnessed the human dimension of cyber security gain more attention.

According to research from the recent CIO Survey, while ransomware, crypto-jacking and social engineering remain a key focus for CIOs, there has been growing concern over the lack of staff training and awareness, data breaches and malicious insiders. CIOs are now considering the ‘human firewall’ alongside traditional security technology.

Innovation earns IT its place at the top table

Over the last ten years, we’ve witnessed the changing role of the CIO and this trend is really gathering momentum. The need to innovate is possibly the biggest catalyst for change. One area of focus is within DevOps. There seems to be a growing mentality of continual release where newer, richer functionality is continually being delivered to the end user, and the CIO is integral to that.

Today, better, faster, more scalable technology is almost a given. Now, innovation is how we can support the business to provide a better experience to the end user, and how we can make sure our internal processes are more agile, more secure, more available and performant.

The new breed of CIO is coming to the table with an appetite to understand more, to adopt new ways of working and to drive business strategy.

The anatomy of the IT estate is changing

The Global CIO Survey talks of the expanding footprint but shrinking core of the IT estate, in which the core – technology and services hosted on-premises and managed in-house – now accounts for less than two thirds (64%) of the IT estate. We have certainly witnessed this trend of CIOs moving services to the cloud and into the hands of third-party providers.

Lots of organisations are looking at SaaS products which allow them to manage costs more effectively. There will always be services that organisations have to customise or develop in-house. But for the more common services, there are benefits – not least financial – to moving to a SaaS system, as long as the appropriate governance is in place, otherwise the move to the cloud can offer additional service and commercial challenges.

As cloud security and reliability grows, many organisations are putting their faith in cloud services, from email and security to CRM and data storage. The CIO Survey results show that 24% of the IT estate is now in the cloud, whether that be managed in-house or by third parties.

The move to outsourcing and moving services to the cloud is driven, in part, by the need to devote more time to innovation and activities that drive business growth. As this movement continues, we will see the role of the CIO continue to be shaped by the need to innovate with technology, delivering better communication, more transparency and improved security. The pressures are certainly growing – but so is confidence to decide which systems and services to keep in-house and which to migrate to the cloud and third-parties. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a CIO.

Category: News

CIOs: Agents of Innovation

Gary Lomas
November 19, 2018

The role of the CIO is shifting dramatically away from day-to-day activity and ‘keeping the lights on’ towards a long-desired strategic focus, according to the findings of the sixth annual Logicalis Global CIO Survey. The global survey of more than 840 CIOs has identified long overdue, significant change in the role of CIOs across Europe, the Americas, the Far East and Australia.

Key Findings:

  • Innovation accounts for around 25% of the modern CIO’s role, with strategic activity (including innovation) accounting for around half of the role.
  • 94% of respondents spend between 10% and 50% of their time on innovation and other strategic activities, 38% spend at least 30% of their time on this area.
  • 73% of CIOs are measured on system availability and 62% on their success in reducing the cost of IT and risk mitigation
  • 22% of IT is now managed by external suppliers, and 24% is outside the corporate footprint.
  • 31% delegate day to day IT tasks due to lack internal resources or know-how

With great(er) power comes great(er) responsibility

This time last year we were hearing from CIOs that their roles were dominated by day to day IT management. In the 2017-18 survey, the majority of CIOs were spending between 60% and 80% of their time on ‘keeping the lights on’ and remained frustrated in their desire to spend up to 70% of their time on strategy.

It seems that their progress towards that goal over the last 12 months has been significant. Today, 94% of these IT leaders spend between 10% and 50% of their time on innovation and other strategic activities, and 38% spend at least 30% of their time on this area. On average, innovation accounts for around a quarter of the modern CIO’s role, with strategic activity (including innovation) accounting for around half of the role.

But, with this shift comes a seeming increase in expectation when it comes to measurement. Tellingly, half of CIOs (50%) now see their performance measured according to their ability to deliver service innovation and more than a third (35%) are expected to make a direct contribution to revenue growth – perhaps through digital transformation and by enabling product and service innovation through digital technology.

Against this backdrop it’s no surprise, then, to see CIOs more willing to seek outside help to manage day to day IT.  Overall 22% of the average CIO’s IT estate is now managed by third parties. What’s more, CIOs’ success in taking on a more strategic role appears to be enabling new, more agile and adaptable approaches to organisational innovation.

The way organisations think about innovation is changing, with strategies for innovation now most commonly about enabling small scale, everyday experimentation. Over a third (34%) of organisations now take that approach, with the large-scale projects that once dominated now accounting for less than a quarter (23%).

CIOs are playing a crucial role in this new approach to innovation.  When asked what role they play in organisation-wide innovation, 32% said they played a leading role, while a further 51% pointed to an enabling role. Innovation isn’t for all it seems, though, with an unlucky 13% admitting to playing only a peripheral role and 4% playing no role at all.

How CIOs are now spending their time

Positive signs for the future

These findings complement a number of key takeaways in a recent survey of CIOs by Gartner (2019 CIO Agenda: Secure the Foundation for Digital Business). It reports that digital progress has reached a tipping point where a half of respondents say their organisation’s business model has already changed or is changing. 95% of the Gartner respondents believe security threats will increase and calls for CIOs to: “Build relationships with the business and other stakeholders while communicating the value of IT for digital business”, something the Logicalis survey shows they are doing as “agents of innovation”.

We’re delighted to see CIOs enjoying success in taking on a long-desired more strategic role – no doubt helped by their increasing reliance on trusted third parties to take on more of the heavy lifting associated with day to day activities.

Most importantly, this shift seems to have enabled CIOs to take central roles in innovation. This is essential given that digital technology now sits at the heart of innovation, not just enabling better service delivery, communication or collaboration, but defining entirely new business propositions.

There is still a long way to go if organisations are to realise the full benefits of digital transformation. But the fact that CIOs and technology leaders are central to this innovation – rather than struggling to keep up – can only give us real optimism for the future.

The results of the global survey of more than 840 CIOs can be accessed here: https://www.logicalis-thinkhub.com/

Category: News

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