Solution providers should not only be aware of what customers perceive as their IT challenges but also understand what their actual operations issues are.
Top challenges included standardizing and streamlining business processes (34%), too many manual processes (33%) and keeping up with demand for app development (31%).
Among the most important changes needed were streamlining operational processes (56%), followed by increasing standardization (38%), moving away from legacy systems (37%) and changing operational skills/roles (35%).
70% of IT decision-makers feel the ability to link IT investments to key business outcomes is critical/very important. When making IT decisions, a full 68% said business goals take a higher priority over IT operational goals. But 47% believe their organizations are doing an excellent or very good job of communicating and demonstrating the impact of IT investments.
What affects IT strategy? Nearly two-thirds (65%) cited heightened risk of security breaches, followed by stricter compliance/regulatory mandates (43%), greater end-user expectations (41%) and smaller IT budgets (39%).
70% cited security—followed by improving customer experience (59%), managing costs (59%) and boosting operational efficiency (52%)—as key IT investment considerations.
Three-quarters (75%) said improving IT security is more important today compared with two years ago. Meanwhile, 51% cited managing costs, 49% the need to mitigate risks and 49% improving customer experience as being more important.
Among the leading initiatives, Agile development and process automation tied, at 22%—followed by migration to IT as a service (21%), converged data center infrastructure (20%) and cloud/virtualization management (18%).
Perception of IT difficulty can be daunting. Security tops the list, at 44%, followed by IT governance and compliance management, at 29%.
Regarding actual difficulty, process automation tops the list, at 49%, followed by application performance management, at 37%.
Planning, at 41%, was cited as the most difficult stage; following that were build (36%), test (32%) and run (25%).