infoTECH Feature

December 22, 2011

Cloud Services and Virtualization Have CIOs Running Scared

Advances in virtualization and cloud services technologies have enabled executives to easily oversee the administration of their enterprise networks from a range of devices, including smartphones and tablets. But while this has empowered CIOs it has also made them afraid.

A new survey commissioned by Compuware (News - Alert), an application performance management tools maker, shows that CIOs are scared of regular consumers having the same potential access to information and the same powerful technologies that they possess. The survey was conducted by independent research firm Vanson Bourne.

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of CIOs believe their IT mobility tools and services rollout plans have been rendered impossible. These executives claim that consumer trends have driven the demand for more bandwidth on public wireless networks as well as the proliferation of public cloud services. And because this public cloud exists, businesses are compelled to adopt it. But this brings a Catch-22 of new dangers that the public cloud exposes organizations to, and consumers are ultimately responsible for those dangers.

Ultimately, the survey points to the need for more effective applications performance management tools, which serves the interest of Compuware and its own product lines. But the company believes that the greater and more surprising finding from its research is that public services are potentially creating more problems than opportunities for businesses.

Vanson Bourne spoke with CIOs last September hailing from the US, UK, France and Germany, as well as an additional 30 CIOs from Italy, Japan, Australia and the Benelux region - 520 in total. Of those surveyed, 68 percent worldwide and 77 percent in the US said security issues, support costs, and the risk of productivity loss brought on by greater consumer demand for services that enterprises require had all become risks for businesses in and of themselves.

Of worldwide CIOs, 74 percent said consumers have unrealistic expectations about the level of service IT departments can deliver, with 81 percent of U.S.-based CIOs echoing that sentiment. This has forced IT departments to deliver levels and functionality along with support for multiple devices that they are not truly ready to deliver.

A total of 79 percent of U.S. CIOs and 67 percent worldwide said technology acquisition projects are moving ahead within their enterprises based on demands coming from well above the CIOs, such as from boardrooms or CEOs. And these projects are being commissioned and implemented without the proper feedback and participation of IT departments.

According to Compuware's APM (News - Alert) business unit CTO, Steve Tack, the figures demonstrate “the age-old disconnect between business and IT is at risk of widening. Employees are clearly hungry to use the same technologies in their business environments that they are already using in their personal lives. This is creating more challenges for those responsible to keep these technologies up and running.”

“This is the only way to support end users,” added Tack, “as they look to take advantage of trends such as cloud and mobility, which can be tremendously beneficial to the business if managed well.”

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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