Why CIOs are worrying about the future of their IT infrastructure – and their own role

CIOs continue to mop their brow over whether their IT infrastructure is good enough to meet their organisation’s long term requirements whilst worrying about where they fit in, according to a new piece of research released by EMC.

The survey, of more than 2700 business and IT professionals in EMEA, examined the CIO’s perspective of what is to be expected in five years’ time, and found that three quarters believe they need to launch new products and services in half the time it takes today. Extracting value from increasing volumes of data is the top IT challenge for organisations, according to 41% of respondents, while accommodating rapid scaling was seen as the next greatest challenge.

In many organisations, the research argues, CIOs are at risk of isolation, managing increasing expectations from IT and finding little common ground with the rest of the C-suite. With increased expectation comes paranoia over whether their business is good enough for the job. More than two in three (69%) of those polled said business growth could reveal weaknesses in traditional IT operations leading IT to hang back as opposed to embracing innovation.

Four in five (80%) of respondents argue implementing a more agile IT infrastructure would reduce risk, while almost half of those polled say they are training IT professionals in the likes of cloud computing and converged infrastructure. The trends are more indicative in smaller businesses; employees with more than 1000 employees tend to have fewer of these issues and are more likely to have invested in training.

“The research casts new light on current attitudes towards IT within businesses of all sizes,” said Nigel Moulton, VCE EMEA chief technical officer. “To reclaim full control, CIOs and their IT teams need to stop spending so much time building and managing different infrastructure components.

“Instead they need to transform IT into an efficient business-focused engine that can scale rapidly in response to changing business needs,” he added.

According to a recent analysis from IDC, EMC and parent company Dell have a combined 19.9% share of the global cloud infrastructure market, ahead of the market leader, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.