Enterprise IT is shifting in key ways, but many technology vendors are wrong about where the changes are headed and, consequently, send their customers down various wrong paths.
Bask Iyer, VMware’s CIO and a veteran IT executive (Honeywell, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft), spoke recently at the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony in Colorado Springs.
At the event, Iyer detailed how cloud computing is one of the most misunderstood technologies. Done properly, cloud computing delivers high-level security, extreme flexibility, and almost-unlimited scalability. Executed improperly, cloud computing can actually make problems worse by increasing fragmentation.
“IT has to manage the explosion of devices into the workplace. We know our data centers today are highly fragmented and full of rigid technology silos. And with the rapid embracement of cloud computing, we run the risk of adding even more silo’s – cloud silos,” Iyer said.
The nearly-30-year-old CIO 100 Symposium is hosted by CIO magazine and brings together a host of CIOs and senior IT and business executives. Iyer’s fellow speakers (from companies including Facebook, Dun & Bradstreet and Kimberly-Clark, to name a few) gathered to discuss leadership, innovation and business strategies as well as the latest opportunities and challenges presented by today’s rapidly shifting business landscape.
“If [IT] can’t partner with [lines-of-business], they’ll build their own shadow IT organization. In fact, according to IDC, some 44 percent of total IT spend goes to shadow IT. Your LoBs are technically savvy. They know what they want to get done,” said Iyer.
During his keynote presentation, Iyer argued that many early cloud deployments gave business units an easy way to sidestep IT and run their own technology projects on their own. Today, the trend of line-of-business (LOB) managers controlling their own tech budgets is becoming the dominant approach.
Industry experts also see this pattern, and estimate that by 2019, LOB spending on tech will increase to include the vast majority of all IT spending.
“If [IT] can’t partner with them, they’ll build their own shadow IT organization. In fact, according to IDC, some 44 percent of total IT spend goes to shadow IT. Your LoBs are technically savvy. They know what they want to get done,” said Iyer.
VMware has crafted its products and services to effectively and directly support LOBs. The company understands that the LOB hunger for technology is rarely just to cut costs. More often, it’s about being fast enough to respond to times to market that need to shrink rapidly. LOB chiefs often can’t wait for their projects to get to the top of corporate IT lists. It’s also about giving that LOB maximum control.
To that end, VMware “provides a cloud service while also selling the software stack [so that LOBs] can run their own private data centers,” Iyer said.
“This will increase agility and speed by delivering resources to the LOBs faster. It will also increase control and reduce security risks, by maintaining consistent set of standards and policies between their on-premises environments and their cloud environments.”
At no time has it been more essential for companies to partner with vendors who not only understand the technology issues, but future tech directions and helping LOB and IT executives in the ways that make the most sense for each.