IT professional pensively looking out the window

Current IT Infrastructure Challenges According to Influencers

1 Jun 2017 by Amanda Best

In a city, there are freeways, a power grid, telecommunications and other integral parts that make up the infrastructure. Similarly, every organization has a highway that essential data runs through, a hub where it’s stored and portals through which users access it. We refer to this as the IT infrastructure and, these days, whether your servers are in a broom closet or hybrid cloud environment, your business’s IT infrastructure is the lifeline of the organization.

From small business to enterprises, all organizations have IT challenges. So, Insight surveyed IT professionals to find out their primary concerns, technology challenges, what decisions they are facing and more for our 2017 Intelligent Technology Index. Here, we will look at how IT decision-makers feel their organizations are performing.

What challenges are IT influencers facing?

Graph explaining the biggest IT challenges organizations are facing.
Figure 1

Before we dive into the responses, let’s look at a 2016 study of European organizations, as illustrated in Figure 1. When asked what challenges they are facing, 50% of organizations reported security and compliance, 46% reported ensuring IT can support a fast-changing business and 41% reported improving and optimizing IT. The rest of the findings show that a third to just under half of the organizations’ IT issues are related to mobility, supporting the business 24/7, increasing complexity, data storage and analytics, and enabling workforce collaboration.

If you look at these results, you will find they are centered around managing day-to-day operations and a reactive approach to needs.

Insight’s 2017 Intelligent Technology Index shows similar findings, in that, most companies are focused on keeping the lights on. With teams scurrying around data security issues and business continuity, how can IT drive efforts in infrastructure optimization?

When we asked IT professionals how their current infrastructure was performing we discovered that, “They give their current infrastructure a favorable rating, yet also express deep concern about ongoing maintenance and the addition of new capabilities.”

What does it take to innovate?

With so much of what’s illustrated in Figure 1 demonstrating a focus on current operations, it’s no wonder 29% of organizations report challenges innovating. How can a company innovate when it’s exhausting IT resources and budget on security and compliance, or keeping up with the demands of the business?

Innovation takes more than just a conversation about developing a cloud strategy. Although that’s important, the real prerequisite for innovation is a mindset shift that most companies are too taxed with daily demands to accommodate.

Adopting the bimodal IT approach

The answer some companies have found to this challenge is bimodal IT. This approach consists of one group focused on predictability and another group focused on innovation. Gartner’s glossary describes mode one as “improving and renovating in more well-understood areas.” And mode two is “experimenting to solve new problems.”

Graph showing percentage of innovation factors in IT for mid-market businesses in Europe in 2016.
Figure 2

In a 2016 study, as illustrated in Figure 2, 38% of midmarket organizations have a culture that supports innovation while 39% say innovation in their organization is driven by the IT department. It’s not clear whether these departments utilize the bimodal IT approach, but first and foremost they’ve identified innovation as a priority, and that is key to this approach.

According to Insight’s 2017 Intelligent Technology Index, 63% of companies begun to adopt a bimodal IT approach. Of the organizations using this approach, 97% of respondents feel their company has adapted to it somewhat well or very well.

Managing and transforming

In order to keep up with the disruption of how competitors are going to market, it’s important to keep an eye on the future. I wonder if the major taxi companies saw Uber coming, or the video store chains predicted the emergence of Redbox and Netflix? Probably not, but now we’ve all seen businesses in various industries get “Ubered”, when disruption hit and their client engagement model can’t survive.

Were the video chains ready to quickly pivot with the right infrastructure needed to act? Surely they were too focused on managing for today to rather than on transforming for the future. Whether or not a bimodal approach is right for your organization, you should see this as a fair warning — any industry is ripe for a more competitive model.

Find out how Insight can help you either manage your infrastructure or get ready for the future with custom, transformative client engagement and workforce enablement solutions.

What else are IT leaders facing?

For more findings from your IT peers, download a free copy of the 2017 Intelligent Technology Index. The report identifies major IT industry topics, including:

  • Technology Is the New Currency of Business
  • Infrastructure Challenges Straddle Today and Tomorrow
  • Cloud Migration is the New Frontier
  • IT Experts are Becoming Consumer Experts
  • Investing Smarter is Imperative

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