IT professionals have not yet moved beyond the traditional view of their technology infrastructure and risk overlooking the impact of new technologies and trends affecting businesses.
Professionals continue their focus on the IT concerns of the past, despite calls for aligning IT to changing business strategies and a need to reinvent IT amid the economic crisis, a TechTarget study on professionals’ IT priorities for 2012 has found.
IT administrators listed server virtualisation, data centre consolidation, cloud computing (particularly private cloud) and compliance as their main initiatives for 2012. But their views and concerns around these technologies including cloud haven’t changed much.
For most respondents, security continues to be a primary concern about cloud followed by reliability and data protection. While these are important concerns, IT professionals are overlooking other aspects of the cloud which are important in developing a holistic cloud strategy. Only a minority are concerned about other issues such as vendor lock-in, lack of management tools, and lack of demonstrated savings.
Vendor lock-in becomes a problem when the cloud service provider prevents the customer from taking their data back, according to Nigel Fortlage, from a customs brokerage firm in the US.
When it comes to security initiatives for 2012, the study showed that IT professionals are still pre-occupied with traditional security-oriented projects such as data protection (43%) and network-based security (40%). Virtualisation security and identity and access management (IAM) were listed low in the priorities list despite experts insisting that IAM in the cloud is a “multi-faceted challenge.”
According to experts, poorly controlled IAM processes could result in regulatory non-compliance because when undergoing audits, businesses will not be able to prove that their data is not at risk of misuse.
Separately, more than half of respondents (58.5%) said that the external cloud service they plan to use in 2012 is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) followed by business continuity and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) both at 30% and Storage-as-a-Service at 28%.
SaaS has been an increasingly prevalent delivery model since 2006 and it is time IT pros look beyond it. However, only a minority of respondents are looking at cloud for services such as Datacentre-as-a-Service (DCaaS), or Security-as-a-Service or for collaboration.
Another telling factor was that, among the desktop initiatives, IT professionals prioritised migrating to Windows 7 (61%) over other strategic desktop initiatives such as implementing application virtualisation (17%) or adopting online productivity apps such as Microsoft Office 365 (10%).
And lastly, among the mobility initiatives outlined by businesses for 2012, adoption of smartphones and tablet PCs ranked highest at 29% and 30% respectively whereas other initiatives such as mobile virtualisation took low priority at 5%.
All these factors demonstrate that businesses and their IT teams are still reactive to technologies that are now mainstream and are still playing catch up.
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