Enterprises Look to Hybrid Cloud for Transforming Operations
A growing number of enterprises believe hybrid cloud strategies will help bring their operations and customer service into the digital business era. However, many of them haven't yet mapped out their plans for achieving those goals, according to a recent analysis by EMC and VMware.
Released last week, "The State of IT Transformation" report draws on comments from more than 660 EMC and VMware customers across 18 industries. The analysis found that more than 90 percent of those enterprises believe it's important to have plans for IT transformation, although 55 percent have not yet documented their own roadmaps for change.
Companies from different industries are responding to the IT transformation challenge in dramatically different ways, according to the report. Businesses in healthcare, for example, see the greatest number of opportunities for improvement, while retailers are already leading in areas like desktop virtualization.
'More Validating Than Surprising'
"Our analysis of hundreds of EMC and VMware customers was more validating than surprising in that nearly every organization that participated shared with honesty, very common gaps and target goals to deliver IT services more efficiently as the best way to help enable their organizations better compete as full-fledged digital businesses," Kevin Roche, EMC's president of global services, said in a statement.
The report "shows that organizations in a variety of global, vertical industries can benefit from the implementation of a robust IT service strategy, powered by software-defined technologies," added Loretta Brown, vice president of Federation for VMware.
The report's executive summary noted that the customers surveyed have demonstrated "admirable improvement" from lower levels of IT just a few years ago, although some sectors like telecommunications and retail have advanced more slowly than other industries.
"The area where most organizations want to improve is in service strategy," the report stated. "They want to run IT like a customer-focused business. They want to empower users with self-service and enable them to make value-based consumption decisions. This means packaging IT services for easy consumption by the business, providing financial transparency through unit-based pricing and billing, and developing processes, roles, and skills to successfully manage the supply and demand side of the portfolio."
Seeking Faster Application Development
While the EMC/VMware survey found that 90 percent of responding companies were in the process of evaluating hybrid cloud solutions, a near-equal proportion -- 91 percent -- had no systems in place for evaluating hybrid cloud workloads. Seventy percent, however, expected that to change over the next 18 to 24 months.
The largest challenge identified by many enterprises across geographies and industries was the "ability to provide and manage user requests through a service catalog and self-service portal," the report noted. Eighty percent, though, said that situation was likely to improve over the short term.
Another goal identified by numerous companies was the ability to develop and deploy new software applications more quickly. For 68 percent of respondents, the application development lifecycle currently takes between six and 12 months, although most said they would like to reduce that to just a few weeks.
Image Credit: Screenshot of Unified Hybrid Cloud graphic via VMware.>