Lists. More lists of predictions for what will happen in 2009 and, again like our top trends fro Verizon, oriented towards how the network will be the fundamental basis of prosperity next year.
It’s a racing certainty that CIOs and IT management will be more accountable than ever and will need to have very robust business cases to deliver to their CFOs and boards in order to get any budget whatsoever.
Moreover they are going to have to justify not what productivity gains more IT will bring for an organisation but also how by investing in IT can actually bring down overall spend. Not much of an ask then….especially of people who have traditionally been criticised, rightly or wrongly, for their lack of knowledge of the business overall.
Network performance management software firm NetQoS says that CIOs who understand how the network is impacting application delivery will be in a better position to ensure the IT organisation is supporting business operations optimally. And able to solve the conundrum.
Here’s what the firm thinks should be the list of priorities for CIOs and IT management in 2009
1 Rethink the way they view investments, as math trumps culture. ROI and cost savings messages will finally break the inertia in network engineering, where many times salary increases are driven by certifications versus real business value.
2 Be more accountable, and will look to management tools to drive efficiencies into their operations..
3 Be more involved in reducing overall budgets, and demonstrating how IT spend is benefiting the business.
4 Increase in the number of unified communications deployments with technologies such as video and web conferencing/collaboration–and a corresponding decrease in business-related travel.
5 Turn to service level agreements (SLAs) to help determine whether their external service providers are living up to their service guarantees.
NetQoS believes that when organisations are forced to slow down on new technology acquisitions, optimisation and best practices and processes become more important. Performance comes first it says. But performance should mean not just simply driving the resource more. These resources need to be available, reliable and cost-effectively utilised.
Technologies such as telepresence and indeed effective unified communications can certainly help in reducing travel and in making dispersed and mobile teams more effective. That said they both involves a big investment in infrastructure, involving spending money that firms might want to sit on and use for opex purposes as business inevitably contract in 2009.
Making UC work will involve not only network upgrades but also significant investment in devices and certainly apps. And then there is system integration. How many businesses have the skills to put all the pieces of the jigsaw together?
That said NetQoS is bang on the money re SLAs which, argues the firm, have hitherto focused on application availability, rather than also looking at application delivery. It advises that CIOs and IT Managers will need to ensure that their SLAs focus on application delivery as well as application performance. Good advice.