The research and benchmarking contained in our Little Book of IT provides both solace and insight into our IT profession. The solace is that you are not alone in the fight to create an effective, efficient and ever-transforming IT estate. And the insight is in showing the nuances of IT strategies, and how your peers and competitors face their obstacles and challenges.

Some readers will find that the research results offer validation that their IT strategy is on the right path. Others will gain insights about emerging issues that aren’t yet on their radar. This study is designed to prompt internal debate and inspire examination of the ways in which IT services can be delivered. How does your organisation compare to the research findings? What is the balance of budget and staffing investments in innovation versus legacy infrastructure? Is your IT function on a different path than the majority of the market — and if so, can you justify that path given the uniqueness of your business model?

It’s important to ask the right questions within your organisation. With data from this survey providing a baseline understanding of what your peers and competitors are doing across many aspects of IT, the Little Book of IT may help you gain insights that support a stronger foundation for decisions. The results highlighted in this global survey include insights in the coming year into how decision-makers invest and innovate, where they allocate IT budget and staffing resources, and which technologies they adopt, as well as their organisational priorities and business drivers.

Modernisation headaches

One of the key findings speaks to a constantly discussed challenge: the pain of transformation and modernisation headaches. In this age of IT disruption — where digital technologies are transforming how, where and when business gets done — the speed at which we can embrace those technologies determines our ability to compete. Today, remaining relevant means picking up the pace of technology adoption and transformation.

The results tell of significant pressures — and great opportunities. New business models are driving requirements, while IT leaders leverage new approaches to IT service delivery and renovate legacy systems to prepare for the challenge at hand. The IT function is looking to build expertise in areas such as security, cloud and mobility, yet it’s never been more vital to maintain a sharp focus on the everyday operations that define the traditional role of IT.

61% of respondents believe that current strategies to manage modernisation requirements are limiting efforts elsewhere in innovation. The transformation challenge is top of mind. Maybe it’s time to re-think or question the markets’ solutions. This requires a high degree of fluidity, which is not a word often associated with traditional IT environments. Designed for stability and longevity, rather than agility, IT is the workhorse of the organisation. To enable innovation and speed, organisations look to more flexible IT infrastructures, like those found in the cloud.

Bimodal IT a potential solution

One approach, often referred to as ‘bimodal’, delivers a predictable platform for the applications and workloads that exist today (Mode 1), as well as a platform for exploring and experimenting with new agile technologies and ways of working (Mode 2). That can include leveraging anything from the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to big data analytics with real-time results and the immersive experiences of virtual reality.

Although this study reveals a funding conflict, with the majority of organisations surveyed reporting they lack the funds to invest in innovative technologies, funding is not the only challenge. The data has shown that managing both traditional and newer, more agile environments at the same time poses a huge resourcing issue, especially for legacy IT environments.

These are just some of the insights found in the Little Book of IT. Register to receive your copy to find out more about how executive peers are tackling the big issues of the day and ensuring their organisations remain relevant in the future. And if you’d like to see how you compare to your peers, complete the short benchmarking survey here.

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