Sunday, 22nd September 2019
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Legacy IT slows digital journey

Brocade has published the results of its latest global study ‘Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation: Freeing IT from Legacy Constraints’, which identifies that businesses are missing opportunities to unlock innovation more quickly and more effectively due to legacy technology and historical misperceptions about the role of IT departments. According to the report, more than 70% of IT teams felt that if they had more opportunity to be flexible in their approach to technology, benefits would include increased competitiveness (36%), more time to focus on innovation (31%), the elimination of shadow IT (30%), a 12% increase in revenue and 10% decrease in costs over the next 12 months.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way…
The new study, that looked at the current state and perceptions of the IT department in U.K, U.S., Germany, Singapore, France and Australia, reveals that daily tasks, such as maintaining data security and privacy and legacy systems, are taking so much time (73% and 63% cited as taking most time respectively), that opportunities to innovate and transform are being missed in many businesses. In addition, 72% of respondents felt frustrated when the IT department could not readily deliver what the business demanded.
“For the last two decades, legacy IT infrastructure held back businesses from innovating on their terms. The IT department has found itself having to say ‘no’ to new business opportunities too often. It wasn’t supposed to be that way,” said Christine Heckart, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of ecosystems, Brocade. “Modern New IP technologies unlock the power of the network as a platform for innovation enabling the IT department to be able to say ‘yes’ to all kinds of business opportunities that surface daily in today’s era of digital transformation. The network is the critical key to unlocking the power of digital transformation and freeing the IT department from legacy constraints that hinder innovation.”
Freedom from legacy ‘lights on’ approach critical to future innovation and performance
While digital transformation is a big priority, IT professionals are faced with making trade-offs that impact their ability to embrace new technologies and approaches. Eighty-seven percent of respondents are currently adopting digital transformation strategies, with 94% claiming their CIO views this as vital to achieving business objectives, yet almost four fifths (79%) state they are restricted in their ability to support it adequately. This is due to lack of budget (49%), security concerns (43%), the inflexibility of current systems (26%), and the time drain of maintaining legacy systems (22%). More alarmingly, almost a third (29%) of respondents say that the limits of legacy technology are preventing their organisation’s IT department from delivering even on immediate business demands, let alone enabling innovation for the future.
Unlocking the door to better future business performance
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 88% identified situations in the last year where the IT team has had to defer or decline requests that would have clearly benefitted the business, with over half (53%) saying that these situations resulted in missing short-term business benefits and 72% missed long-term benefits. According to the report, more than 70% of IT teams felt that if they had more opportunity to be flexible in their approach to technology, there would be clear business benefits, including increased competitiveness (36%), more time to focus on innovation (31%), and the elimination of shadow IT (30%). Respondents also claimed that the business’ bottom line would benefit, projecting that the ability to innovate to a greater degree could result, on average, a 12% increase in revenue and a 10% decrease in costs over the next 12 months.
Christine Heckart, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of ecosystems, Brocade. said:
“We know from experience, and our report confirms, how critical IT is to enabling innovation, but too many businesses are restricted in their ability to adopt digital transformation and drive this change. It’s clear that if IT departments could spend less time ‘keeping the lights on’, then they could devote more time to creating value, reducing costs and increasing revenues. Organizations need to be more fluid with their uptake and deployment of technology.”
As companies move to digitize their businesses, they need an underlying network infrastructure that allows them to innovate quickly. We believe the network must become a platform for innovation to develop, deliver and secure applications. This is best achieved through implementing network architectures that are software-centric, open and agile, such as the New IP.”
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