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Enabling the Enterprise Cloud Roadmap: Strategies for CIOs

April 20, 2015

Today’s CIOs are facing an evolving set of priorities and challenges. They need to deliver strategic value to the enterprise, and often this means ensuring the organization can react quickly – at the “speed of business” – and stay relevant.

Today’s CIOs are facing an evolving set of priorities and challenges. They need to deliver strategic value to the enterprise, and often this means ensuring the organization can react quickly – at the “speed of business” – and stay relevant. But the reality is that 78% of budgets are consumed by infrastructure and essential software, leaving only 21% available for new strategic initiatives. (1)

Further compounding the challenge is the fact that 17% of IT spend is on shadow IT products. (2) Cloud applications make the procurement, implementation and management of technology more manageable for non-technologists. This means it’s easier than ever for IT’s customers – the employees – to bypass them. In fact, a recent poll showed that 28% of employees admit to going around IT to implement applications.

But even though the cloud is creating management challenges thanks to the increasing prevalence of rogue implementations, the cloud – along with outsourced data centers – is an essential element of a CIO’s innovation and agility strategy.

Hybrid service delivery has become mainstream and the use of multiple cloud services will continue to increase, with only core applications remaining insourced. We’re seeing a growth in the use of third-party data centers and IT’s role will evolve to become a broker and integrator of cloud services – IT as a Service Bureau (ITaaSB).

This transformation will drive reconsideration of the network. CIOs will be responsible for providing access to multiple data centers and/or cloud platforms. They’ll need to support rapidly scaling bandwidth requirements while at the same time managing security and data control – all while meeting application performance SLAs. In this environment, there’s simply no room for application performance problems resulting from unpredictable throughput and latency.

Ultimately, a cloud enablement strategy is about connecting users to applications. Today, that means:

  • Providing elastic scalable connectivity to enterprise and third-party data centers
  • Enabling on-net connectivity via physical and virtual cross-connects to leading cloud providers
  • Managing long-tail cloud through SaaS exchange providers

(1) Whalen, Meredith; IDC: “Creating the Technology-Imbued Business;” (June 2013)

(2) Ibid.

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