The need to optimize IT operations is almost universal in business today. According to more than 100 IT executives from large U.S. organizations recently surveyed by IDG Research, just nine-percent of companies have operations that are running optimally. The remaining 91-percent have room for improvement.
Organizations with optimized IT operations are more efficient and effective, which can help them be more profitable. Yet, so few would describe their current environment as being fine-tuned for success. The question that naturally follows is, “Why?”
What’s Keeping Your Organization from Optimizing IT Operations?
Based on the Datalink-commissioned IDG Research survey, a report titled “Data Centers in Flux: The IT Optimization Challenge” provides some answers on why companies aren’t optimizing operations. It lists the biggest challenges IT leaders face in achieving truly optimized operations. Here are the top six:
- Balancing day-to-day operations with innovation/business initiatives (62-percent). The administrative tasks that “keep the lights on” cannot be neglected. However, time spent on these tasks results in less time spent on innovative efforts that help deliver positive business outcomes.
- Assessing new technology choices like cloud, flash, converged, hyperconverged, etc. (55-percent). Today’s technology landscape seems to be changing faster than ever before. No sooner has a powerful, new platform been released than a challenger that promises even greater advances is nipping at its heels. Assessing these options is important, yet time consuming.
- Ensuring that internal IT skill sets match IT operational management needs (53-percent). To support changing business needs, including the expectation of a services-orient model, the skills of IT teams must evolve as well.
- Aligning operations with business strategies/outcomes (49-percent). IT can and should be focused on enabling strategic initiatives that help the organization achieve its objectives and gain a competitive advantage. Alignment between operations and business needs is critical.
- Managing data growth and related operations (46-percent). The volume of data that businesses require to operate effectively is increasing exponentially – and pushing the limits of the systems and people involved in managing it. Staying on top of this information explosion is challenging.
- Evaluating public, private, and hybrid cloud platform options (44-percent). With the wide variety of platforms available today and a new recognition that processing speed, workload requirements, security concerns, and other issues must be accommodated, companies today are likely to leverage multiple cloud models. The key is properly aligning workloads and platforms.
There are, of course, ways to meet all of these challenges and the many others that companies face. The key is to understand which ones are most pressing for your organization, make a detailed plan for addressing them, and act on it. The longer you wait to optimize your IT operations, the more you risk falling behind your more proactive competitors.
Check out the full IDG survey results