IT Must Adapt to BYOx
February 06, 2014

Lawrence Garvin
SolarWinds

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Consumerization of IT, namely the emergence of BYOx (where x is anything from apps, data to the latest mobile devices), is having a significant impact on business operations and the strategic implementation of emerging technologies, according to the New IT Survey conducted by SolarWinds.

One in four survey respondents indicated that BYOx is the emerging technology most likely to cause disruption, in terms of its impact on the business and the time and energy IT professionals dedicate to solving related issues. The results also reveal that IT professionals are playing an increasingly valuable role in the strategic decisions that lead to the implementation of such emerging technologies, with 97% of those surveyed being relied upon to extend their responsibilities and make informed business decisions.

The days of IT's limited impact on business are long gone, replaced by the modern era of almost complete reliance on technology, especially the emerging technologies that threaten to disrupt the status quo. The shifting expectations from employees, who want to use consumer devices and applications in the workplace, are leaving an indelible mark on business processes.

As a result, more businesses recognize that IT holds an important key to success, particularly when it comes to the implementation of disruptive technologies. Likewise, IT professionals can no longer be content to stay within their traditional role. Instead, they must be prepared to take on new levels of responsibility within strategic business initiatives.

Fielded in November 2013, the survey yielded responses from 214 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the UK from small, mid-size and enterprise companies.

Survey Findings:

The evolution of technology means that IT professionals must adapt their skill-sets and levels of responsibility in order to cope with the demands of emerging and disruptive technologies.

- One in four of those surveyed suggested that BYOx is the emerging technology that is most disruptive to business

- Mobility, cloud computing, data analytics and compliance round up the top five emerging technologies

- Over 50% of respondents suggest that cloud/SaaS and information security are the top IT skill-sets that will be in high demand over the next 3-5 years, followed by mobile apps and device management

Foremost among the results of this evolution, modern IT professionals are now expected and must be prepared to help their companies make informed, strategic business decisions with regard to emerging technologies.

- 97% of all IT pros are confident that they can provide the guidance and expertise necessary to help their company make informed decisions with regards to emerging technologies

- While 97% of survey-takers said they feel at least somewhat confident in their ability to provide such advice, only one-third of those are completely confident in doing so

- To feel more empowered to provide strategic advice, slightly more than half of respondents said they need more training in their area(s) of responsibility, and nearly 40% said they need a better understanding of their company's overall business

Technology's rise in importance as a core business component may have only been outpaced by the complexity it created. This increasing infrastructure complexity has affected the role of nearly all IT professionals.

- Over half (53%) of all IT departments now manage virtualization, mobility, compliance, data analytics, SDN/virtual networks, BYOx, cloud computing and self-service automation

- 40% of respondents said increasing complexity has greatly affected their responsibilities over the past 3-5 years, and an additional 49% said it has somewhat affected their role

About the survey: The survey was conducted from November 12-18, 2013, resulting in 214 survey responses from IT practitioners, managers and directors in the UK from small, mid-size and enterprise companies.

Lawrence Garvin is a Head Geek and Technical Product Marketing Manager at SolarWinds.

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