The old tag (News - Alert) from the U.S. tabloid The Enquire, “Inquiring Minds Want to Know,” is very appropriate these days. In fact, in many ways it is the justification for big data and sophisticated analytics as sellers seek to gain greater insights into consumer behavior to improve the targeting of their marketing. It is also critical in the business sector where the needs, desires and plans, particularly of the IT departments of large enterprise, are important to solutions providers.
I bring this up because there is an extremely worthwhile strategic white paper, A window into large enterprise IT, based on a comprehensive survey of top U.S. IT decision makers done recently by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), on behalf of Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert). As noted, this was an extensive survey, so this posting is the first in a two-part review of the key findings.
In this first installment attention will be paid to the following topics:
- IT as a Strategic Investment: The results proved how information technology is increasingly being viewed as a strategic investment that is helping the company achieve a competitive advantage, and how this view differs across segments.
- New Technology (News - Alert): The survey determined which technologies were expected to have the greatest impact on large enterprises, the different methods to deploy new technology, and the factors that were considered the most important when evaluating new technology.
- The Cloud: The cloud is one of the main technologies expected to have an impact and is being increasingly implemented by large enterprises. However, the types of cloud adopted differed depending on the information the enterprise wanted to store.
- BYOD: Another key technology trend, bring your own device (BYOD), had companies and their employees divided. Enterprises were mainly concerned with the security implications of BYOD, though this varied by industry.
Hopefully as an inducement to download the full report, below are a few highlights.
Starting at the top of the list, the good news for solutions providers is that a vast majority of respondents believe that investing in IT provides a strategic advantage. Not surprisingly, IT professionals were most enthusiastic, but the C-suite response is certainly encouraging.
Also enlightening were the respondents’ views on the technologies that will have an impact on their organizations today, versus in three years. They were:
- The move toward cloud-based services: 24 percent today vs. 27 percent in three years.
- The alignment of IT to the company’s strategic agenda: 24 percent today vs. 20 percent in three years.
- An increasingly mobile workforce of employees: 15 percent today vs. 20 percent in three years.
- The velocity of change for new IT requirements: 14 percent today vs. 12 percent in three years.
The move to the cloud confirms what many are predicting for the market; however, the increased alignment with company strategies seems hopeful, too, as it shows progress over historically insurmountable roadblocks for IT departments. Indeed, it validates the view from C-levels that they appreciate the need to invest in new technologies. There is also granularity provided on how respondent segments felt about technology deployment strategies, the desire to go with something new, the speed of adoption and the factors that go into evaluating new technology options.
The report goes on to provide instructive insights about cloud adoption and the impacts of BYOD. Cloud momentum is strong across all vertical markets, with 59 percent of all large enterprises saying they are cloud proponents. In the vertical market breakdown, healthcare and manufacturing were the strongest supporters, although the “other” category topped the list. In addition, there is a chart on on-site versus cloud comparison by application that readers may find useful.
The BYOD section first asked whether respondents had a policy in place and whether it was being followed. 34 percent said they have no policy they were aware of that forbids BYOD use, and that they use the technology at work to help. 21 percent said there was no policy, but they did not use BYOD for work. And, despite the worries about “shadow IT,” only 4 percent said there is a policy that forbids BYOD but they use it at work anyway.
The top reasons why BYOD is forbidden should be familiar. They include: data protection, fear of infiltration of viruses and malware to the network, and concern over distractions or abuse of personal technology.
Stay tuned as the next posting on the report will look into the critical large enterprise IT issues of security, budget and investment, top concerns and purchase drivers, and will also include Alcatel-Lucent’s five recommendations to large enterprises looking to take advantage of these trends.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere