Tuesday, 21st May 2019
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81% of CIOs find mounting IT complexity leading to increase in IT support issues

Burden of IT support growing as a result of increased user expectations and lack of understanding from the business.

A significant number (81%) of CIOs believe the complexity of businesses’ existing IT infrastructures has led to an increase in IT support issues, according to research released today by Trustmarque Solutions Limited (“Trustmarque”). The research also revealed that over three quarters (82%) of CIOs believe that IT support has become a growing burden on modern IT departments. As a result, many CIOs see the need to support numerous technologies and IT services as not just a challenge, but as a drain on resources – with the majority (86%) stating that IT management has become more complex over the last five years.
Supporting legacy and cloud adds to complexity
Modern IT landscapes are increasingly complex; CIOs are dealing with the impact of cloud and mobile, and at the same time managing legacy technologies. The need to manage and support myriad technologies and services is therefore becoming more challenging for CIOs and their organisations. With services and technologies – both new and legacy – being delivered via the cloud as well as on premise, many businesses are working with a number of different vendors with numerous SLAs in place. As a result, over half of CIOs (58%) are finding it difficult to offer a consistent level of IT support across their business.
“Providing comprehensive, consistent IT support in today’s complex IT world is a huge challenge for CIOs. It’s unsurprising many are finding IT management a growing burden,” said Mike Henson, Director, Cloud and Managed Services, Trustmarque. “Particularly where there is a lot of legacy technology, CIOs have an important decision to make – whether to continue to support legacy IT, or explore migration to the cloud – where support costs can be considerably lower. Today, IT might be easier to use than ever, but it’s also much more complex to manage and support. The business IT model has shifted, digital experiences are high on the agenda, along with a desire to consume rather than build IT. This shift has caused considerable strain on CIOs’ time, resources and budgets.”
End-users fail to appreciate the challenge for IT
At the same time as the demands from the business for digital transformation grow, the expectations of individual end-users simultaneously increase. As a result, the majority of CIOs (82%) believe the number of support ‘tickets’ raised has increased over the last five years. Modern employees demand round the clock access to ‘always on’ IT, but there is a gap between the expectation of using IT and the reality of its delivery. As a result, 81% of CIOs think that end-users typically fail to understand the complex management challenge the IT department faces.
The need to innovate rises up the CIO agenda
The research found a majority of organisations (85%) were part or fully outsourcing IT services or areas, in an effort to simplify management needs. The most commonly outsourced area is the IT service desk (47%), followed by application management (41%), infrastructure management (40%) and network management (40%). When it comes to drivers behind outsourcing – cost (56%), a lack of in-house skills/expertise (46%), the optimisation of existing IT resources (44%), and increasing both organisational agility (41%) and flexibility (37%) were most commonly cited. Interestingly, almost half of CIOs (44%) said they opted to work with a managed service provider to deliver greater technology innovation. Clearly, contemporary IT departments are subject to many demands from the business in order to simply ‘keep the lights on’, which can leave little time for innovation. Indeed, over three quarters of CIOs (77%) stated it is a priority to reduce the proportion of internal resource devoted to supporting 'run the business' IT, thereby freeing them to invest more in transformational IT.
“In today’s increasingly connected world, business IT is unpredictable – changing to reflect varied business needs and the ways in which modern employees want to work. Many CIOs struggle to balance the need to run business IT as usual, while at the same time delivering innovative new services to demanding users. Clearly, CIOs recognise the growing need for continued innovation within their organisation – but also recognise that a lack of internal resources and skills can hamper this ambition. As their remit grows and their role changes from that of a builder of systems to a broker of services, more CIOs are engaging with partners as a way of continuing to support the vital, ongoing business IT functions, while freeing resources that will enable them to pursue more innovative projects,” continued Mike Henson.
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