Logicalis Survey: Three Out of Four CIOs are Embracing Software Defined Solutions

Solution Provider Says Move to “Programmable Infrastructure”
Will Drive Investment in Business-Focused IT Skills

NEW YORK, January 6, 2015 – Three out of four CIOs and IT leaders worldwide (83 percent) plan to make software-defined solutions part of their wider IT strategy according to a new study from Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com).

<To read the full Optimal Services report, “Establishing the Internal Service Provider,” visit http://bit.ly/1AZwkqM.>

Results from Logicalis’ second annual Optimal Services Study, a survey of top IT pros spanning 24 countries, show that IT leaders see software-defined solutions (SDx) as a vital component in a broader service-defined enterprise IT transformation, something many IT organizations are undergoing now.

  • 61%: Nearly two-thirds of the CIOs queried say they expect software-defined solutions to impact their IT services and delivery strategies over the next three years.
  • 34%: More than a third expect that to happen in the next two years.
  • 10%: One in 10 IT pros questioned expect to implement SDx in the next 12 months.

“While the speed with which CIOs plan to implement software-defined strategies may take people by surprise, the movement toward software-defined networking and software-defined data centers is not a new phenomenon,” says Mike Martin, Senior Vice President, Solutions and Services, Logicalis US.  “IT pros who want the flexibility to create an internal IT department that is able to function like a service provider, delivering complex compute resources as well as a reduction in overhead and management costs, have to look for ways to redesign their roles and the IT department’s function within the organization.  Using the kind of policy-driven, programmable toolsets made available through software-defined solutions, CIOs can free time and resources that can be better spent focused on IT service delivery and management throughout the enterprise and can both reduce cost and complexity as well as increase the speed and flexibility with which they can respond to IT requests going forward.”

New Skills

Investing in software-defined solutions will require CIOs to recruit a new breed of business-oriented IT professional who can translate business needs into policy frameworks that can support extensive IT automation.  This is a fundamental shift in the skill sets previously sought when hiring IT staff.

  • 34%: Just over one-third of the CIOs surveyed cited “technical skills” as their top priority when recruiting IT staff.
  • 64%: The remaining two thirds instead look first at business skills like communication, service management and business analysis, for example, which have become top priorities for 28 percent, 15 percent and 12 percent of CIOs respectively.
  • 65%: Nearly two-thirds of CIOs say they are prepared to pay more for the skills required to make the most of SDx solutions, though the amount varies: One-fourth expect to pay 5 percent to 10 percent more, and one-fifth (22 percent) say they expect to pay 10 percent to 20 percent more than they would for traditional technical professionals.

“The numbers tell us what we have already seen in practice,” Martin says. “CIOs are recognizing that, as they transform their IT departments to be internal service providers, they will need to embrace the move from technology management to business service delivery, something that requires a new type of skill set with an emphasis on melding technological understanding with business acumen.  This means each CIO will be examining the organization’s staff, investing in and cultivating the business skills of existing IT team members as well as replacing outdated technology skills and people with those that understand the shift to a world where business needs now dictate technology decisions.”

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About the Research

All figures are drawn from a survey of 177 CIOs and IT directors from mid-market organizations across 24 countries spanning Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration, data center and cloud services, and managed services.

Logicalis employs over 3,800 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers.  To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of $1.6 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of approximately $6 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

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