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Logicalis shines light on importance of data to CIO plans

Customers want to use data to chart the right strategies – but that is nowhere near as straightforward as it sounds

Customer experience, innovation and operational efficiencies are the top three things that CIOs are looking for, according to Logicalis.

Sharing findings from its 2021 Global CIO Survey, The changing role of the CIO: Agents of change, the channel player said it was clear that data analytics was becoming ever more important to CIO strategies.

Firms have no problems generating data, with petabytes of it being produced across the globe each day, but being able to use that effectively is a major challenge.

The Logicalis findings underlined the task that most CIOs are facing, and areas where their channel partners could help, with more than half of the information gathered by customers being classed as “dark data”, which is generated, processed and stored but not revisited.

Unlocking potential insights from data was seen as key to ensuring that digital transformation strategies hit the mark, and at a time when many customers are reviewing their strategies in light of the emergence of hybrid working and greater cloud adoption, sparked by the experiences of the pandemic.

Mark Benson, chief technology officer at Logicalis UK&I, said a lot of CIOs were looking for guidance with their strategies.

“The pandemic has brought on an incredible amount of uncertainty, giving businesses no choice but to reassess the way they operate on a day-to-day basis. Organisations must work flexibly to meet the needs of both their partners and customers,” he said.

“Identifying and using the right data to carry out a successful digital transformation is crucial to business speed and agility and gaining a competitive advantage,” Benson added.

There is a real desire by CIOs to increase agility, with 85% of respondents wanting to do more on that front, with many signalling that new digital platforms and operating models were also a priority. For many, the answer to that has been cloud, which increases agility and speed, with 59% of CIOs admitting they now host most of their services and technology in the cloud.

However, the Logicalis survey also highlighted the dangers of getting carried away with the “everyone is using the cloud” narrative, which has become established over the past year.

There is still some hesitancy around moving to the cloud, the survey found, and when pushed on the reasons why those in that camp expressed concerns about complexity some admitted to a lack of expertise.

The answer to that, as illustrated by many that had gone to the cloud, was to work with a managed service provider (MSP). Logicalis found that 97% of CIOs were using external services to some degree and understood the value of working with a third party rather than trying to struggle through with internal resources.

Earlier this year, Logicalis pulled together its Ireland, UK and Channel Islands operations under one centre of excellence banner to make the business more responsive to customer needs.

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