Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

A survey of 213 IT leaders based in North America and Europe suggests that as organizations become more dependent on IT to drive revenue, the business impact of downtime is becoming more costly than ever.

Conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Hitachi Vantara, a provider of IT infrastructure, the survey finds well over half (56%) reporting technology downtime now has a significant impact on revenue.

The survey also notes that half of organizations (50%) are also experiencing high total cost of ownership (TCO) and increased technical debt, with nearly as many as (45%) having difficulty navigating complex cloud landscapes.

Overall, the top five IT pain points identified are security (59%), being locked into to legacy IT platforms (53%), distributed data (52%), lack of internal expertise (51%) and an inability to quickly adopt new technologies (47%).

A full 80% also ranked an ability to better scale IT to the business and simplify IT infrastructure management as “very important” or “critical.” As part of that effort, 42% said they would be expanding their reliance of IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) platforms. More than half (56%) are already using ITaaS for all their primary infrastructure today, with 86% expecting this to be the case in the next three years. On average, that approach to IT infrastructure enabled organizations to reduce TCO by 20%, the survey finds.

However, ITaaS doesn’t always equate to moving applications to the cloud, notes Bharti Patel, senior vice president and head of engineering for Hitachi Vantara. Many of the mission-critical applications organizations depend on today run in an on-premises IT environment, either because of regulatory requirements or simply because migrating data to the cloud is simply too costly.

Instead of allocating limited capital budgets to acquire that infrastructure, many organizations are embracing cloud operating models that enable them to consume on-premises IT infrastructure. The end result is frequently a hybrid cloud computing environment where applications are deployed based on where data resides, says Patel. “Data has gravity,” she adds.

That’s an especially critical issue as organizations look to craft artificial intelligence (AI) strategies in 2024 that are wholly dependent on the quality of the data used to train a model. Much of that data today still resides in an on-premises IT environment, notes Patel.

Each Digital CxO working in collaboration with IT teams will need to decide where it makes the most economic sense to deploy applications based on where data is located. Migrating data from one platform to another is always an expensive proposition. Many IT organizations are building data lakes in cloud computing environments to normalize data in a way that makes it more accessible, but from an application latency perspective it generally makes more sense to process and analyze data as close as possible to the point where it is being created and consumed.

At a time when the volume of data being created continues to exponentially increase, organizations need to incorporate more “data intelligence” to their overall IT strategy, says Patel.

The one thing that is certain is that if data is the new oil that drives digital business transformation, then the location of where that data is being refined is a critical decision that should not be made lightly.