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Brocade survey: IT decision makers prioritize efficiency
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Brocade survey: IT decision makers prioritize efficiency 

IT professionals must do more with less, as over two thirds of those surveyed expected their budgets to stay the same or decrease in the coming year. Moreover, less than a third of IT decision makers responded that they feel confident that their IT infrastructure can support the growing demands to be placed upon it in the coming year.

In spite of the worries about budgets, IT decision makers who participated in the survey showed a clear drive to take a more innovative approach to networking. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are popular paths. Thirty percent of respondents plan on deploying SDN in the next three years, while 40 percent would like to deploy it in the next five years. Twenty seven percent of respondents would like to deploy NFV technologies in the next three years, and 34 percent of respondents would like to do so in the next five years.

Cloud, a relatively affordable and readily available technology, seems set to take centre stage in the meantime. Nearly two thirds of IT decision makers surveyed said that the cloud will have the biggest impact on their business in the coming year. The three other technologies which survey respondents predict will have a significant affect are Big Data, server virtualization and 3D printing.

The survey also highlighted other important findings. Subscription models will become more common in the IT industry. Over a third of respondents expressed an interest in purchasing network infrastructure through this model. The skills IT leaders will need in the next ten years will also change. Thirty seven percent of respondents answered that “understanding how users want to use technology” is almost as important as technical skills. It is even more important to those surveyed than administering policy controls, using data to deliver business insight or engaging with business leadership or other departments. The skill gap is of great concern to IT decision makers, as less than a quarter of respondents felt confident that their companies would have the necessary requisite competencies to succeed in 2025.

Marcus Jewell, VP, EMEA, Brocade, shared his perspectives on the findings in the press release announcing the survey results. “It is clear from this research that IT departments are under growing pressure to do more with less,” he commented. “With the majority of network architectures predating today’s most influential technologies – from cloud services to mobile computing – it is not surprising that many organisations simply do not have the infrastructure they need to support the business effectively. With budgets remaining tight, the focus for many in 2015 will be on driving greater efficiency. However, a significant number of businesses are looking to SDN and NFV to help create a network fit for the demands of the future. While our findings show that there is growing enthusiasm among IT leaders for these technologies, a significant number still do not fully understand the potential benefits. It’s clear therefore that more education is needed if SDN and NFV are to truly realise a new kind of IP network that is better aligned with the evolution of the rest of IT.”

“Given the focus on efficiency, it is not surprising that many organisations expect to be increasingly reliant on cloud services in the coming year, as this is potentially a great way for IT departments to deliver more value without increasing capital expenditure,” Jewell added. “Cloud computing – in conjunction with pervasive mobility and the Internet of Things – will also have a major impact on the role of the New IP. These are all network-centric computing models and so will only add to the need for fast, flexible, and reliable connectivity. It is therefore vital that the network is fit-for-purpose so it can enable, rather than inhibit, the expected growth of cloud services.”

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