Optimisation drives digital transformation

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1 January 2017

2 Executive summary Forward-thinking business leaders are challenging their organisations to achieve transformation by harnessing digital technologies with organisational, operational, and business innovation to create new ways of operating and growing businesses. Optimising IT infrastructure and operational processes through automation is key to successfully achieving digital transformation. Leveraging new technology models such as cloud and hybrid IT requires continued investment in people, process, tools, and technologies to enable businesses and their IT departments to differentiate, compete more effectively, and increase agility and productivity. Flexible, scalable, and agile infrastructures are essential to support these new developments. Optimisation of infrastructure as well as operational processes will be table stakes for success. To understand the trends and challenges around infrastructure and organisational optimisation on the path to transformation, IDC conducted a web-based survey of 275 enterprises in 10 different countries. This IDC Infobrief illustrates study findings that highlight the following: Organisations need to deliver IT more efficiently. Leveraging external partners coupled with new automation technologies can help drive efficiencies in IT operations as well as align IT and business objectives more effectively. Automation is a key enabler of optimised IT operations. The study cites the improvement in a networking professional s ability to support 2.5x more devices through the use of automation, thereby allowing IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. As organisations move along the path toward digitisation, adopting automation accelerates the journey more successfully, with less risk, greater productivity, and increased ability to innovate. pg 2

3 IT operations and infrastructure are core Approach to IT transformation on the journey to hybrid IT IT operations are elegant, innovative, and potentially disruptive. Projects are measurable, defined, and linked to business outcomes. IT operations are strategic and linked to business outcomes. Major investment in people, process, automation, and third-party resources. Strategic Asset 26% 17% Linked to Outcomes Minimal 10% 27% IT and Lines of Business are not aligned/minimal automation and staffing. 20% Planned Underway IT investing in infrastructure on a project basis with limited but some linkage to the business. IT operations are planned and strategic to the business. More investment in people, process, tools, and services, which is supported by management. IT infrastructure is an important strategic asset for organisations that seek to compete in a digital world. Investments in people, process, tools, and automation are the drivers for the successful adoption of hybrid IT. These investments help organisations differentiate themselves and 52% of survey respondents state an increase in their productivity, agility (42.3%), and ability to compete (25.3%). Over 2/3rds of organisations currently state that their IT infrastructure is core to their business. Question: Please indicate which response best characterises your organisation s approach to IT infrastructure on its journey towards hybrid IT. pg 3

4 An optimised infrastructure is imperative for transformation Automation of monitoring and support systems is an essential step towards digitisation The successful transformation of hybrid IT requires an optimised infrastructure. Silo 11% Holistic 15% Regularly monitoring 27% Continuously monitoring 17% On the path 17% Positioned for digitisation 14% However, organisations are at different levels of maturity on the path towards optimisation, with most only monitoring and tuning IT infrastructure to support workloads. Treat each element as its own silo (server, storage, networking) Optimise and monitor infrastructure as holistic virtual resource for uptime Regularly monitor/tune IT infrastructure - supporting critical workloads is a challenge Continuously monitor IT infrastructure and utilise 3rdparty services to improve performance Supporting workloads is critical to the business Infrastructure is highly virtualised and positioned for digitisation Only 14% of survey respondents say their IT infrastructure is virtualised and positioned for digitisation. Question: Which statement best describes your organisation s attitude towards optimising your IT infrastructure? pg 4

5 Automation enables optimisation and transformation 9% Approach to architecture for IT infrastructure transformation journey No Automation Functional infrastructure with no automation 13% Limited Automation Functional infrastructure with limited automation 32% Medium Level Automation Investments in infrastructure, optimisation - medium level of automation and orchestration 25% Highly Automated Infrastructure is highly automated and optimised in some areas 20% Fully Automated Infrastructure is fully virtualised and software defined to maximise performance, efficiency, and cost; metrics assist with continuous improvement Automation enables IT to become more efficient in its delivery of services to the business and is a part of the IT transformation story. It encompasses the entire infrastructure stack including architecture. Automation helps organisations to: Free skilled IT staff to focus on high value projects Increase cost savings Improve efficiency Reduce human error and greatly mitigate risk Increase agility Improve profitability 20% Only 20% are fully automated, so there is still work to be done in fully automating IT environments for efficiency. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Question: Which of the following best describes your organisation s approach to architecture in your IT infrastructure transformation journey? pg 5

6 IT staff spend most of their time on routine support tasks % of IT staff time spent on... SLA management Monitoring Troubleshooting Installation and deployment of hardware Compliance Installation or virtualisation of O/S Asset management and analytics Patching and updating Performance management and tuning Interacting with outside support organisation or managing the support process Other management tasks 13.8% 12.9% 12.6% 10.7% 9.8% 7.1% 7.0% 6.9% 6.9% 6.0% 6.5% IT needs more time to drive innovation to enable the organisation to differentiate itself in today s competitive digital business landscape. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding. pg 6

7 IT needs to deliver workloads more efficiently and effectively IT is still inefficient in today s complex environments. Indeed, fundamental IT operations are still lacking efficiencies and end up consuming the bulk of resources. % of IT staff time spent weekly on % 20.7% 13.8% 15.1% 15.9% 14.5% Vendor and internal meetings New service requests and approval management Monitoring, troubleshooting, and remediation Source: IDC Converged Systems: End-User Survey Report 2015 N=300 Storage, server, and/or network provisioning Software installation/ updates, patching, and configuration management Innovation and new projects Question: What percentage of total IT admin and operations staff time is spent on the following six general tasks? IT has little time to allocate to driving the business forward: just 14.5% of staff time is spent on innovation and new projects. pg 7

8 Highly automated systems allow IT staff to manage more devices Systems per IT staff FTE Traditional Highly Automated Servers Network Systems Storage Systems Highly automated systems allow IT staff to manage more devices up to 2.5x per FTE thus significantly reducing the time and costs allocated to system support. pg 8

9 Value of support elements varies based on where organisations are on the transformation journey Path to Transformation The IT infrastructure and business objectives are not aligned The IT infrastructure is becoming a business asset The IT infrastructure investments are planned and strategic to the business The IT infrastructure is a strategic asset linked to business outcomes The IT infrastructure initiatives are continuous, elegant, innovative, and potentially disruptive Support Components Valued Performance monitoring Automated integration of service management system with vendor service management Contract management (ability to easily manage adds, changes, and deletes)/asset management Support of operating systems or hypervisors Real-time visibility into ticket status Multiple ways to contact support (telephone, , web chat for incidents) Ability to monitor across the entire hardware environment (including hardware from multiple vendors) Proactive/preventive support services (notifications, health checks) Availability and simplicity of upgrades/ updates/patches Ability to monitor across the entire hardware environment (including hardware from multiple vendors) Proactive/preventive support services (notifications, health checks) Real-time visibility into ticket status Remote monitoring and remote access with automated ticket generation and dispatch Support of operating systems or hypervisors Performance monitoring Proactive/preventive support services (notifications, health checks) Real-time visibility into ticket status Performance monitoring Automated integration of service management system with vendor service management Remote monitoring and remote access with automated ticket generation and dispatch pg 9

10 Trust issues inhibit use of external optimisation services Loss of control Governance, risk, and compliance Cost rationalisation Security Lack of management support of MS Provider does not understand our IT infrastructure Provider does not understand my business Top trust issues 45.3% 37.7% 30.2% 30.2% 26.4% 17.5% 7.5% Trust emerges as a critical concern in leveraging external optimisation services from a third-party partner. Top trust issues cited include loss of control and concerns around governance, risk, and compliance, among other key factors. Building and maintaining trust is key for selecting and working with IT services partners. Respondents could select multiple responses. pg 10

11 Benefits of automation vary by approach and region Managing IT environments internally vs. externally Perceived benefits of internal management Perceived benefits of external management Security Efficiency of our own internal IT resources and staff 58.8% 52.9% Improved workload provisioning Improved cost saving 52.6% 63.2% Cost savings 41.2% US Increased staff productivity 47.4% Define our own IT processes and procedures Greater control over compliance and governance requirements Faster time to innovation 11.8% 11.8% 41.2% Faster deployment times Greater business agility Improved security Improved performance and availability 36.8% 26.3% 26.3% 47.4% Reduced downtime 21.1% Question: What are the key benefits your firm achieves by managing your IT resources internally? Question: What are the key benefits your firm achieves by having your IT infrastructure managed externally? pg 11

12 Benefits of automation vary by approach and region Managing IT environments internally vs. externally Perceived benefits of internal management Perceived benefits of external management Cost savings 78.6% Increased staff productivity 60.0% Efficiency of our own internal IT resources and staff Security 35.7% 42.9% Improved workload provisioning Greater business agility 50.0% 46.2% Faster time to innovation Greater control over compliance and governance requirements Define our own IT processes and procedures 28.6% 28.6% 35.7% APAC Improved cost saving Improved security Improved performance and availability Reduced downtime 46.2% 46.2% 44.9% 44.9% Faster deployment times 38.5% Define our own IT processes and procedures Cost savings 59.3% 51.9% Increased staff productivity Improved workload provisioning 46.1% 40.0% Security 44.4% Greater business agility 40.0% Efficiency of our own internal IT resources and staff Greater control over compliance and governance requirements Faster time to innovation 37.0% 29.6% 18.5% EMEA Faster deployment times Improved security Improved cost saving Improved performance and availability 35.9% 34.6% 33.3% 32.1% Reduced downtime 26.9% pg 12

13 Conclusion and methodology This study illustrates the benefits of considering optimisation and adopting automation services from a trusted third party to help accelerate business goals. Data is from Trends for Support, Management, and Optimisation of IT Infrastructure for Digital Transformation, an IDC web-based study, sponsored by Dimension Data and Cisco, that surveyed 275 enterprises in 10 different countries. The study was conducted with IT managers and IT senior managers at organisations that employed over 1,000 people, across 16 verticals, and found the following key insights: IT infrastructure and operations require continued investment in people, process, tools, and technology. However, enterprises have varying rates of investment, highlighting that most adopt automation for monitoring and support only, which is just the start of the optimisation journey. Automation helps to lower risk, improve agility, increase cost savings, reduce human error, and, most importantly, free expensive resources to focus on more strategic and innovative projects. In order for organisations to capitalise on the benefits of automation on their journey to hybrid IT, they need to trust their IT services partners. Study participants cited loss of control, governance, risk and compliance issues, and security concerns as the greatest inhibitors of fully adopting automation. Leveraging a trusted third-party partner provides the assurance and technical expertise required to invest in automation tools and processes to drive optimisation of infrastructure and capitalise on the digital transformation journey. pg 13

14 Taxonomy IT Automation: The linking of disparate systems and software in such a way that they become self-acting or self-regulating. The use of automation technologies is central to freeing IT from manual, error-prone, repetitive tasks across the IT landscape. These technologies include but are not limited to IT service management, software distribution, IT asset management, and IT hardware and software support-related processes. The adoption of automation enables IT personnel to focus on higher value activities. Additionally, automation within the data centre enables infrastructure and application performance at scale using policies, metrics, and machine learning to drive near-real-time provisioning, scaling, and migration of resources and workloads in response to changes which depend on agility and performance. The software defined, cloud, and container era will accelerate these types of automation technologies as traditional manual processes could never keep up with the pace of change in these new environments. pg 14

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