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Where Are IT Teams Spending Money to Meet Their Business Goals?

By Jordan McMahon

Rewind for a moment back to October of 2018. It’s hurricane season in the Atlantic, millennials are rejecting American cheese for fancier artisan options, and analysts predict that IT spend will increase in 2019—3.2% according to Gartner, which would mean total spend worldwide would be around $3.8 trillion.

Back to 2019! Where is that money going when it comes to datacenter technology? IDC recently completed research surrounding surviving (and thriving) in a multicloud world, and short answer: investments in cloud, security, and data are setting the stage for broad IT transformation, and companies that are investing in data integration, cloud, and AI are outpacing their peers.

Here, we take a closer look at the top 5 areas identified in the IDC Infobrief on Surviving and Thriving in a Multicloud World.

Cybersecurity protection

Companies have weighed in on where they’re planning to allocate spend over the next 5 years, and unsurprisingly, much of it is being directed to one of the most formidable, “keep you up at night” challenges: security.

We see the headlines every day, and there certainly seems to be no end in sight for the style and types of attacks being launched. More than three-quarters of organizations have been victims of one or more successful cyber attacks. According to security guru Bruce Schneier, in fact, this won’t change until governments across the world step in to support security initiatives, and technologists get more involved in public policy. (You can read his fascinating full article “Securing the Next Generation Internet” in the most recent issue of NEXT Magazine for IT pros).

Meanwhile, IT leaders are taking measures like looking at datacenter modernization with a security-first approach. Additionally, according to a survey by Okta, the fastest growing apps are security tools. Security considerations must be a core component of every step of the infrastructure lifecycle — from product development and deployment, through routine monitoring and remediation — and cover the entire infrastructure stack, including storage, virtualization, and management.

Cloud-based infrastructure and applications

Cloud infrastructure offers attractive benefits from unlimited scalability to elasticity when it comes to resource allocation and pay-as-you-go pricing that prevents waste. As companies embrace cloud infrastructure, however, they’re also finding that cloud cost visibility is an issue–particularly in a hybrid cloud environment—and therefore also need tools to maintain control over spend and see at a granular level which teams are spending what, when. As far as apps are concerned, IT continues to implement cloud apps as the norm—well over 100 for large companies (2000+ employees).

Bonus resource: If you’re looking to get greater visibility and remediation for cloud cost and security issues, here’s a tool that can help. And you can try it for free!

Customer experience management systems

In a culture of creating products and interactions that inspire customer delight, customer experience management (CEM) systems and platforms are making it possible to get a holistic view of an organization’s communications and interactions with contacts. It’s considered a differentiating factor in an increasingly competitive, fast-moving, and quick-to-change market that’s becoming more and more prone to personalizing experiences in the interest of gaining and retaining customers–and ideally turning them into strong, loud brand advocates. It’s harder than it sounds, however, including from an IT perspective. According to Gartner, it is a strategy that requires process change and many technologies to accomplish. Ergo why IT teams are investing and hedging their bets for success now.

Data integration across LOBs and platforms

“Silo” has become one of the dirtiest four-letter words in IT, and particularly where it comes to the ubiquitous data issues companies are experiencing in storing, surfacing, and mapping data living in disparate systems across an organization. Data integration is so hard due to a number of factors, but among the chief culprits is simply the massive increase in data sources and types, as well as the increase of hybrid environments where data could live in multiple clouds. In order to get greater control of data, companies are re-evaluating their data management strategies, rethinking storage (including new, better approaches to storing unstructured data), and investing in architecture that fosters proper integration and analysis—and provides a unified view of all data.

Agile software development processes

For developers, speed is key, and inability to deliver quickly is the enemy. (Here again, silos aren’t helping matters, as applications grow in number and complexity and run across diverse platforms whose processes disrupt one another). Hybrid environments add to the complexity due to non-interoperability of private and public platforms. All of this results in higher response times, longer release cycles, and a bunch of unfortunate finger-pointing internally. It’s no surprise, therefore, that one of the top areas of IT spend is in providing infrastructure, tools, and agile dev and test environments that foster productivity, improve time to market, allow greater levels of automation, and have a direct impact on revenue.

As companies prioritize what’s most important to them in the coming years in order to compete in a multicloud era, where are you focusing in your organization? Do your priorities fall in line with what IDC uncovered? To dig further into developing or evolving (or simplifying!) your multicloud strategy, read the IDC InfoBrief which shares cloud adoption trends, benefits, and challenges of multicloud environments, architectural considerations for cloud selection, and much more.

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