The biggest challenge confronting most chief technologists today is how to fund the transition to new emerging technologies that are needed to enable strategic initiatives such as private cloud computing.
As noted in a survey of 560 worldwide IT leaders and business executives conducted by Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of Hewlett-Packard, both business and IT executives are painfully aware that their organizations suffer from IT gridlock where the cost of supporting what they have in place today is preventing them from funding new strategic initiatives.
Yet, everywhere you look across the IT organization, there are redundant systems, under-utilized servers, and mountains of application code that contribute to situations where 70 to 90 percent of the IT budget is chewed up by existing applications and systems.
In order to drive a renaissance in enterprise IT, chief technologists need to first embark on a renewal process across the entire IT organization that is designed to take real cost out of IT. This means a lot more than simply reducing costs by 10 percent to meet a mandate from the finance department; it means fundamentally reassessing every component and application in relation to its value to the business and then thinking through how that function might be accomplished more cost-effectively.
Once that task is completeted, only then are IT organizations going to have the funds on hand necessary to invest in the next generation of IT applications and systems. Without making a fundamental commitment to rethinking how IT services are delivered in their organization, the IT organization is going to continue to be seen as a hindrance to, rather than enabler of, business innovation.
With the advent of virtualization, a host of open source technologies and more automated IT products than ever, we live in a time of almost limitless IT possibility. Unfortunately, far too many IT organizations can't see the possibilities that exist today because they're too busy maintaining legacy IT systems that have either outlived their usefulness, or are simply too expensive to maintain in their current incarnation.
The challenge isn't finding the right combination of technologies to solve these problems, but rather gathering the intestinal fortitude needed to take on an end-to-end overhaul of outdated and outmoded IT applications and systems that should have, in all candor, been replaced years ago.