Predictions for IT Consumption – Reflections From 2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 3.58.10 PM.pngIn the year 2000, 200 million devices were connected to the internet on a global scale. Today, there are approximately 10 billion connected devices. By 2020, it’s estimated we’ll see 50 billion devices connected worldwide. And at the heart of that connectivity lies the cloud.

In 2013, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) partnered with Intel to explore the powerful changes affecting IT consumption at all stages. The “Impact of Cloud on IT Consumption Models” study surveyed 4,226 IT leaders in 18 different industries across nine key developing and emerging economies. As cloud technology has proliferated the enterprise, organizations are being challenged with a fundamental shift in the IT consumption lifecycle. So what will the IT organization of the future look like, and what will its leaders have to do to be successful in that environment? Here were the top 10 insights, with my takeaways in bold:

  1. In the eyes of IT decision makers, cloud is good.
  2. Cloud is here ... and growing.
  3. Emerging markets: A greenfield for cloud-driven innovation.
  4. Satisfaction with cloud providers is high, but so are expectations.
  5. IT wants to feel safe in the cloud.
  6. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
  7. IT views itself as being front and center…
  8. …but lines of business are gaining IT influence.
  9. A renewal of business-IT partnership.
  10. A wake-up call for IT.


These insights represented a clear call to action. While IT perceives its role as being critical to the enterprise, the fact is lines of business are gaining more influence over technology matters. Leading me to the tenth insight: It’s time to wake up. IT must act proactively now or risk losing value to the business in the end. As part of the tenth insight, researchers stated collaboration, value creation, and innovation will be the drivers of IT success in the future. I couldn’t agree more.

Forbes just published a two-part interview series surrounding cloud technology in 2020, and it largely reiterated the call to action in last year’s study. “We’re talking about creating a digital culture that has a digital DNA. That means helping people understand the difference between right-brain and left-brain functions. It means understanding where design and creativity come into play, and how we can use our products and services to create new experiences and new outcomes for our customers.”

As we move towards the promise of 2020, it’s imperative that IT leaders start thinking differently and challenging the status quo. The cloud is here to stay, so how are you going to distinguish your strategy from others? If the enterprise as a whole is to evolve into an entity designed for digital, CIOs need to be embracing differentiators and encouraging the business to collaborate on tech-driven growth. The true value creation will come from fostering a company culture that embraces the future of the digital world.

For the full study, please read “Impact of Cloud on IT Consumption Models: Top 10 Insights.” For a closer look at the statistics, check out this presentation by Manjula Talreja, VP of global cloud practice for CCS. And to continue the conversation on Twitter, use the hashtag #ITCenter to stay connected.

Chris Peters

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