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Why Legacy CIOs Block Digital Business Transformation

Cloud computing is now a potential fit for more IT projects, requiring Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) leaders to consider it as a viable option -- but it won't matter to the closed-minded CIOs that have already lost credibility at their company, according to the latest market study by Gartner, Inc.

This is the first of four major impacts identified by Gartner from its recent 2015 CIO Survey. "The survey results show that, for most CIOs, public cloud is an option for projects, but only a first consideration for a small minority," said Dave Russell, vice president at Gartner.

Gartner believes that many traditional IT leaders are too protective of their existing infrastructure and have been the biggest obstacle to cloud-based solution adoption. Moreover, the Shadow IT phenomenon is not the work of radical troublemakers. It's merely the result of Line of Business leaders refusing to accept the excuses of CIOs that have failed to transform their legacy practices.

Gartner found that legacy CIOs are still stuck thinking about now -- rather than the future. Case in point: 84 percent of CIOs surveyed are still focused on the near term of three years or sooner.

New digital business initiatives will require a higher caliber of IT talent, leadership and integration skills. CEOs will need to ensure that their IT organization spend less time on running the data center -- in order to grasp the upside opportunities to grow via meaningful and substantive digital business transformation.

Exposing the Passive-Aggressive Cloud Luddites

According to the survey, nine percent of users today are not even considering cloud computing for software-as-a-service (SaaS) projects, a number that increases to 15 percent for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) projects.

While a larger percentage view cloud as something to consider on an exception basis, nearly half have quickly moved from viewing cloud as a concept to a viable option.

"While the best solution for the business may indeed be an on-premises, non-cloud deployment model, I&O teams need to include all options in order to make the best use of available resources and to ensure that service requirements are met," said Mike Chuba, vice president at Gartner.

Chuba challenges the legacy CIOs to change their attitude, and raise the bar of expectations for their troubled organizations. He continued, "Rather than ignoring the cloud outright, or only reluctantly considering it, evaluating all implementation models at the outset of a project can help save time and produce better results."

Three further impacts revealed by the survey:
  • The mobile delivery and experience of IT systems, both for internal and external customers, is now a top concern in system design, requiring I&O organizations to shift priorities and skill sets.
  • Some CIOs are recognizing the need for modern, advanced analytics and IT business value metrics, requiring new IT systems and ways of thinking.
  • I&O teams need to prepare today to deploy post-nexus technologies, which are already on the progressive enterprise radar.

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