Tech Leaders Unprepared for Future IT Needs
January 27, 2021
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More than half (60%) of IT leaders say their company's IT modernization program is not yet ready for the future, according to a new IBM survey in the US and UK.

Nearly a quarter of CIOs and CTOs surveyed say their company is just starting its IT modernization journey or has yet to begin modernizing, with about a third surveyed saying they are still in the midst of transformation. 380 CIOs and CTOs participated in the survey, recently completed by The State of IT Transformation Study conducted by the Managed Infrastructure Services unit of IBM's Global Technology Services division.

As a result, more than 95% of IT leaders surveyed said they are looking to adopt public, hybrid or private cloud strategies. Of those, many are moving at an aggressive pace — the study reveals that 53% of respondents are aggressively pursuing a public cloud strategy, 48% a hybrid cloud strategy and 45% a private cloud strategy.

"Our clients are looking to accelerate IT modernization by leveraging cloud models — both public and hybrid, data, AI, automation and other key technologies to help shape, scale and manage more effectively massive, complex, global architectures," said Archana Vemulapalli, GM, IBM Infrastructure Services - Offerings and CTO. "In this rapidly changing digital business environment, organizations can bring in the right technology and the right partners to help aggregate, integrate, build and maintain a scalable digital business, while also enforcing effective governance."

The pressures on IT infrastructures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have further accelerated the need for cloud infrastructure, professional skills development, and security upgrades, the survey found. More than 60% of technology leaders surveyed say they expect increased demand for cloud infrastructure to be permanent.

Even as IT leaders are feeling increased urgency to accelerate their organizations' transformation, migrating to a multi-cloud environment can present significant challenges to organizations with legacy applications running large data pools.

Adding to this, many surveyed technology leaders are not sure they have the right teams in place. A full 40% of survey respondents do not feel their teams have the right skills to fully meet their IT ambitions, and more than three in four surveyed say they will rely more on trusted partners that can provide managed infrastructure services.

67% of CIOs and CTOs surveyed cite the need for increased infrastructure flexibility as driving the digital transformation, followed by the need for competitive advantage (61%), cost savings (58%), increasing globalization (54%) and meeting client demands (45%).

While the majority — 60% of CIOs and CTOs — surveyed say their company's IT modernization is not yet ready for the future, the study revealed significant differences in the US and UK markets. For example, while approximately 56% of US respondents say they are aggressively moving their IT infrastructure to hybrid cloud, only 38% of respondents in the UK describe their approach as aggressive.

And while 56% of CIOs/CTOs surveyed in the US say their IT infrastructures were completely prepared for the business changes brought on by COVID-19, only 23% of UK managers surveyed felt as prepared.

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