IBM Study: Majority of CIOs and CTOs Not Prepared for IT Needs of the Future

Many corporate IT leaders say their organizations are not prepared for the future IT needs of the business and nearly all are moving to advance their transition to cloud infrastructure, according to a new IBM (NYSE: IBM) survey of leaders at mid-sized and large companies in the United States and United Kingdom. Of the 380 CIOs and CTOs who participated in the survey, 60% say their company’s IT modernization program is not yet ready for the future

Nearly a quarter of CIOs and CTOs (24%) surveyed say their company is just starting its IT modernization journey or has yet to begin modernizing, with about a third surveyed saying they are still in the midst of transformation.

As a result, more than 95% of CIOs and CTOs surveyed said they are looking to adopt public, hybrid or private cloud strategies. Of those, many are moving at an aggressive pace – the study reveals that 53% of respondents are aggressively pursuing a public cloud strategy, 48% a hybrid cloud strategy and 45% a private cloud strategy. The IBM survey was conducted online by Teneo Research.

“Our clients are looking to accelerate IT modernization by leveraging cloud models – both public and hybrid, data, AI, automation and other key technologies to help shape, scale and manage more effectively massive, complex, global architectures,” said Archana Vemulapalli, General Manager, IBM Infrastructure Services – Offerings and CTO. “In this rapidly changing digital business environment, organizations can bring in the right technology and the right partners to help aggregate, integrate, build and maintain a scalable digital business, while also enforcing effective governance.”

COVID-19 Pandemic

The pressures on IT infrastructures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have further accelerated the need for cloud infrastructure, professional skills development, and security upgrades, the survey found. More than 60% of technology leaders surveyed say they expect increased demand for cloud infrastructure to be permanent.

Even as CIOs and CTOs are feeling increased urgency to accelerate their organizations’ transformation, migrating to a multi-cloud environment can present significant challenges to organizations with legacy applications running large data pools.

What’s more, many surveyed CIOs and CTOs are not sure they have the right teams in place. A full 40% of survey respondents do not feel their teams have the right skills to fully meet their IT ambitions, and more than three in four surveyed say they will rely more on trusted partners that can provide managed infrastructure services.

Photo Archana Vemulapalli, General Manager, IBM Infrastructure Services - Offerings and CTO
“Our clients are looking to accelerate IT modernization by leveraging cloud models – both public and hybrid, data, AI, automation and other key technologies to help shape, scale and manage more effectively massive, complex, global architectures,” said Archana Vemulapalli, General Manager, IBM Infrastructure Services – Offerings and CTO.

Most CIOs and CTOs (67%) surveyed cite the need for increased infrastructure flexibility as driving the digital transformation, followed by the need for competitive advantage (61%), cost savings (58%), increasing globalization (54%) and meeting client demands (45%).

While the majority (60%) of CIOs and CTOs surveyed say their company’s IT modernization is not yet ready for the future, the study revealed significant differences in the U.S. and U.K. markets. For example, while approximately 56% of U.S. respondents say they are aggressively moving their IT infrastructure to hybrid cloud, only 38% of respondents in the U.K. describe their approach as aggressive. And while 56% of CIOs/CTOs surveyed in the U.S. say their IT infrastructures were completely prepared for the business changes brought on by COVID-19, only 23% of U.K. managers surveyed felt as prepared.

The IBM Survey

Between November 19th and December 1st, 2020, the Managed Infrastructure Services unit of IBM’s Global Technology Services division surveyed 380 CIOs and CTOs at mid-sized ($/£50 million – $/£999 million in annual revenue) and large corporations ($/£1 billion + in annual revenue) in the United States and the United Kingdom (210 in the U.S., 170 in the U.K.).

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