Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 7th 2016 Contents Many IT departments find
down by the burdens of
Cries to fix, check or
replace can frustrate
efforts to focus on becoming strategic rather
than reactive in the deployment of crucial
information technology (IT) services.
Too often, as a consequence, IT is relegated
to a mere provider of services, rather than an
essential strategic partner in the creation of
business value. This positioning reflects itself
in corporate IT spending.
Based on Gartner s research, of all recent
IT budgets: 67 per cent were spent on com-
modity IT running current infrastructure; 20
per cent on business value IT to help growth;
but only 13 per cent on new opportunities.
Yet, what companies---particularly small
businesses---are doing with technology today,
was simply unimaginable up to a few years
ago. Every enterprise is becoming an infor-
mation enterprise. The power of mobile com-
puting and the Web are driving today s busi-
ness innovation revolution.
The usability and usefulness of smart
phones, tablets and mobile apps---combined
with the power accessibility of software as a
service (SaaS) platforms, business continuity
solutions and data analysis tools---are fueling
almost all of the new business development.
But the fuel s effectiveness is a function of
the engine that consumes it.
Today s IT executives can aggressively pur-
sue a strategy to minimise the cost of com-
modity IT services and maximise their capacity
to focus on things that help increase value to
the business, taking advantage of new inno-
Of course, such a strategy will require the
support of the entire executive team. And
such support will require the C-suite, par-
ticularly the chief executive officer (CEO) and
the chief financial officer (CFO), to recognise
and embrace the business value of technol-
A survey by Forbes Insights measured IT
priorities across the C-suite. The results show
that other CEOs recognise the need for chief
information officers (CIO) to take a leadership
role in charting the business s future.
The results also confirmed that CFOs are
key allies to the modern CIO, helping push
for investment in new, innovative solutions.
The partnership is best solidified when CIOs
help CFOs understand how technology can
help provide insights and support decision
making by serving up important metrics and
financial reports for the organisation.
It is clear that IT is a vital enabler of business
growth and business competitiveness. How-
ever, IT adoption can go only as far as the
organisation s gatekeepers allow it to. Winning
the support of departmental heads and oper-
ations staff is as important as winning exec-
Fortunately, as the lines between personal
and corporate technology continue to blur, it
is becoming increasingly easier for the con-
nection between IT investment and business
benefits to be made at every level of the organ-
2016 state of IT
The IT professional network Spiceworks
has just published its 2016 State of IT report,
including survey results from over 800 IT
Approximately, 59 per cent of these IT pros
were from North America, with the remainder
(41 per cent) coming from Europe, the Middle
East and Africa (EMEA).
Spiceworks survey has a strong SME focus,
with 91 per cent of the survey population
from companies employing fewer than 1,000
people. The leading industry sectors in the
survey sample were: manufacturing (13 per
cent), IT services (11 per cent), healthcare (10
per cent) and education (8.0 per cent).
Hardware and software projects will account
for most of the 2016 IT spend (37 per cent
in North America and 31 per cent in EMEA).
Spending on managed service projects and
hosted/cloud-based projects both show
increases over the figures for 2015.
Interestingly, 21 per cent of hardware budg-
ets will go on desktops in 2016, compared to
19 per cent on servers, 16 per cent on laptops,
10 per cent on networking, 6.0 per cent on
external storage and 6.0 per cent on
tablet/mobile. In this SME-heavy survey, its
seems the desktop computer is alive and well.
Another noteworthy finding from Spice-
works survey is that, although 59 per cent
of IT pros feel their organisation does not
adequately invest in IT security, they only
plan to spend nine per cent of their software
budget---six per cent of their total budget---
on security in 2016.
Given the increasing dependence businesses
must place on networked service delivery, IT
managers will do well to ensure their networks
and devices are properly secured and that
their users are appropriately sensitised.
Overall, the Spiceworks survey predicts
that IT budgets remain flat, with planned
spending expected to rise by just 0.7 per cent
overall. This is despite the fact that more than
half (56 per cent) of IT pros expect their com-
pany revenues to increase next year.
Only a third (34 per cent) of IT pros expect
their headcounts to rise in 2016. The impli-
cation is that companies are expecting to
achieve more with less internal IT resources.
Enabling the future
Advances in the tech sector now enable
organisations to create a competitive and
adaptable internal IT environment. From more
reliable and affordable cloud computing solu-
tions to the consumerisation of IT products
and services, businesses can leverage tech-
nology solutions that were once the sole pre-
serve of large, multinational enterprises.
Organisations now have the option of meet-
ing their IT needs through a strategic com-
bination of outsourcing and in-house resourc-
In considering the role and future of cor-
porate IT, you don t have to put too much
cycles in trying to figure out the best tech-
nology to acquire. For IT to best serve your
company, the most important question to
answer is: what kind of organisation do we
want to evolve into?
Business leaders must first come to an
agreement and common understanding of
what the organisation is trying to accomplish
and what that means for the entire business.
When that is clear, you can better empower
your IT department and your workers with
the vision, the technology tools and business
processes to make it come to pass.
Bevil Wooding is an internet strategist
at Packet Clearing House, a US-based tech-
nology research firm. He is also the chief
knowledge officer at Congress WBN (C-
WBN) a faith-based, international, non-
profit organisation where he is responsible
for technology-education, knowledge man-
agement and outreach initiatives. Twitter:
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JANUARY 7 • 2016
Evolving corporate IT
Aligning relationships and budgets for success
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