Research commissioned by cloud and data centre specialist Node4, has a sad tale to tell, especially if you’re an IT manager in a small and medium sized business. Because according to your bosses you’re on your way out, you have just ten more years to go and then you’ll be as dead, as a dead parrot, in a dead parrot sketch, and that’s pretty dead.
The independent research “Facing up to the IT infrastructure challenge” found that 57% of SMEs agree that the role of IT manager will be dead in 10 years time. Part of the reason for this pessimism could be down to the systems the IT managers currently provide. Their IT infrastructures continue to be a source of worry for a significant minority (40%) and 31% of respondents said their current IT provision is not fit for purpose. There is increasing frustration with the ability of technology to meet the broader aims of the organisation. Over a third of people (37%) said that their IT infrastructure is holding back growth. Furthermore, when asked about concerns for the business as a whole in 2014, the top concern was IT issues (34%) with generating enough orders to ensure survival in a surprising second place(33%).
Unfortunately - for our extended Parrot sketch metaphor - Node4 believe that those surveyed are getting it wrong and actually the IT manager will be key to driving business success in the coming years and companies that ignore this do so at their own risk.
With the advent of Cloud and outsourced IT, the media has been rife with predictions around the imminent death of the CIO or IT manager. According to some, the simplification of technology and the increased trend towards outsourcing technology services means that the IT manager will become superfluous, if not entirely obsolete.
Commenting on the report Paul Bryce, Business Development Director (pictured), at Node4 said. “The truth of the matter is that the IT manager is now more important than ever. Change is the new norm for IT departments and successful organisations need a technology expert who understands the IT landscape and can marry this expertise with the needs of the business. Rather than being someone who controls all the technology within the organisation, IT managers must take on a role resembling a ‘steward of risk’. A well informed member of the organisation who helps its employees use technology to win more business, beat the competition and succeed in the post-recession economy.”
The good news – for cloud suppliers – is the research shows that many SMEs are rapidly embracing cloud solutions and they’re willing to invest in solutions.
One in ten of those questioned already have a fully cloud-based infrastructure and 57% have moved at least some of their IT provision into the cloud. SMEs are also being much more proactive than has been assumed by many commentators when it comes to meeting employee demands.
Remote access, mobile working and collaboration are well on their way to being standard practice - 63% already offer access to work files and systems while on the move, 57% enable employees to work from home and 43% allow employees to use shared drives.
This adoption of cloud technologies and services is being backed by rising budgets. Nearly three quarters (70%) of those questioned expected their IT budget to increase in 2014. One in ten expected their budget to increase by more than 10% and just 5% were expecting a cut in budgets this year.
BTW there are no prizes for guessing where we were on Sunday night. I wish to make a compliant….