Harvard Business Review study outlines CIO struggles with digital disruption

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Study finds digital disruption for enterprises leads to an increase in ‘hybrid IT’ environments

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Enterprises today are employing “hybrid IT” as they struggle to keep up with digital transformation, according to the just released Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report “Hybrid IT Takes Center Stage”.

Sponsored by Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the report survey of 310 business and IT executives worldwide and found that most say their organizations are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in business today while working to ensure the complexity of their IT systems do not jeopardize performance, agility or security. 

In fact, 63 percent of respondents indicated they are pursuing a hybrid IT approach to keep up with their existing infrastructure that consists of a mix of private clouds, public clouds and legacy data centers – either on-premises or managed by service providers.  

To enable hybrid IT, the report singles out the need for a secure, high-performance network architecture that can deliver the kind of security, flexibility and responsiveness required to stitch all these systems together.

“The vast majority of CIOs and line of business owners are working within the constraints of legacy apps, networks and investments,” said Chris Yousey, vice president of managed services for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “And while the move to hybrid IT is about protecting their investments, it’s really more about improving performance, availability and above all, agility in today’s business climate.”

The realization of the cloud environment

In fact, the majority of CIOs – 59 percent – say that their organizations’ use of cloud computing has improved their marketplace competiveness.

Top challenges preventing organizations from employing more cloud solutions are security (35 percent); integration with other systems (32 percent) and integrating multiple clouds (25 percent).

According to Carl Lehmann, research manager in charge of enterprise architecture, integration and business process management for the 451 Group, “Everyone is talking about digital transformation in the enterprise, improving the customer experience and adopting new business models to respond to disruption from established rivals and new entrants. And hybrid IT is how you do that.”

Survey respondents indicated the technology-related benefits of cloud include: flexibility (77 percent); faster implementation (66 percent); ease of deployment (58 percent); increased reliability (28 percent) and better functionality (26 percent).

The business benefits attributed to cloud -- increased application availability, enhanced business continuity, lower total cost of ownership, and ease of collaboration -- continue to be drivers for cloud deployments.

What’s next for enterprises?

Many companies recognize that outsourcing infrastructure management will help them keep pace with technological change and allow them to become more responsive to the needs of their business.

In addition, respondents from the survey indicated that outsourcing more infrastructure management would improve the following:

  • Ability to stay on top of technology change: 72 percent
  • Responsiveness to business demands: 67 percent
  • Speed to resolve problems: 57 percent
  • User experience: 57 percent
  • Access to required skills: 57 percent
  • Reliable control of costs: 56 percent
  • Management control systems integration: 51 percent 

The report concluded that today the majority of companies struggle with hybrid IT. While some enterprises have had isolated success, repeatable, reliable and consistent hybrid IT approach remains the exception rather than the rule. 

“We believe hybrid IT is the right model for many organizations as they transform digitally,” said Verizon’s Yousey. “This approach helps meet the business demand to support and accelerate innovation while enabling the IT function to plan for the future. It also helps reduce the risks associated with the complexity inherent in most systems today.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps clients improve customer experience, drive growth and business performance and manage risk. With industry-specific solutions provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking, Internet of Things and advanced communications platforms, Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation.