Maintenance Burden Keeps IT From Demonstrating Innovation Capabilities

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Maintenance Burden Keeps IT From Demonstrating Innovation Capabilities

All too often skilled IT department professionals are primarily perceived as a “maintenance squad” for critical infrastructure and systems, according to a recent survey from Ivanti. The resulting report, titled “The CIO’s Conundrum,” reveals that relatively few organizations view IT as a go-too resources for high-priority digital business initiatives or top-level strategic innovation. If this dynamic changes, however, tech teams should be up to the task, as enterprise IT organizations considered either “strong” or “excellent” when it comes to initiating tech projects to drive innovation. More than 300 global CIOs and IT decision-makers took part in the research. The following slideshow presents highlights from the survey, with charts provided courtesy of Ivanti, which produces IT management software. 

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IT’s Top Priority: Infrastructure Maintenance

The maintenance of critical infrastructure and IT systems remains the top expectation of IT teams, as cited by 56 percent of survey respondents. One-half cited the reduction of IT spending as a major expectation.

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Agile Business Processes Sought

More than two of five respondents said the support for agile business processes is a top expectation of IT. Nearly as many cited the need to take leadership in driving innovation.

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Reduced Focus for New Tech Initiatives

Only one-third of respondents said the support of new digital business initiatives was a top expectation of IT. Less than three of 10 cited the enabling of executive leadership’s strategic innovation as a major expectation.

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Tech Budgets Positioned for Growth

A clear majority of respondents–67 percent–expect their IT budget to increase this year, with 15 percent anticipating an increase of no less than 6 percent. Only 8 percent expect a budget decrease.

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IT Spending Decisions Emerge as Enterprise-Wide Efforts

Nearly nine of 10 respondents said the decision-making for at least 10 percent of their organization’s tech budget is conducted outside of IT. Almost one of five said no less than 30 percent of this spending decision-making is conducted outside of IT.

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Retention Remains Steady

Generally, enterprise IT workforce continuity appears positive with one-half of respondents describing their staffing stability and retention as either “fair” or “good.” In contrast, only 31 percent described these as “weak.”

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Companies Focused on New Cloud Infrastructure, Services

New cloud infrastructure and services leads all tech investment plans over the next two years, as cited by 53 percent of respondents. Improved analytics ranks second, as cited by 46 percent, followed by the maintenance and modernization of existing infrastructure and services, which was cited by 39 percent.

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Budget Boost Expected for Identity-Based Security Controls

Identity-based security controls also ranked high among tech investment plans for the next two years, as cited by 38 percent of respondents. This was followed by compliance-related processes and tech improvements (as cited by 37 percent of respondents); emerging tech experimentation (36 percent); traditional security controls (31 percent); and cost-related controls (29 percent).

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IT Gets High Marks for Threat Remediation

Three-quarters of respondents describe their IT department’s ability to quickly remediate after a breach or malware infection as either “strong” or “excellent.” Seven of 10 describe their IT department’s ability to meet internal governance and regulatory compliance standards as either “strong” or “excellent.”

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Tech Staffers Rise to Innovation Challenges

Two-thirds of respondents said their IT staffers are either “strong” or “excellent” at identifying and recommending technologies and projects to drive innovation. About the same portion gave similarly high appraisals of their staffers’ ability to act as a partner to business leaders and support top-line business objectives.

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CIOs Focusing on 'Keeping the Lights On' Instead of Digital Strategies

To help their organizations rise to “digital vanguard” status, CIOs must spend more time leading change and less time overseeing relatively routine tech functions.