CIOs believe cloud, SaaS, consumerisation and mobility increase risk

Business models such as cloud computing and trends such as the consumerisation of IT, social media and mobility are exposing performance blind spots in IT management, a CIO survey has revealed.

Business models such as cloud computing and trends such as the consumerisation of IT, social media and mobility are exposing performance blind spots in IT management, a  CIO survey has revealed.

A lack of transparency in the performance of cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) is adversely affecting the ability of IT departments to support the business, according 64% of over 500 CIOs, including 100 from the UK, who were polled by technology performance firm, Compuware.

The business is signing up to new services with little or no involvement of the IT department, said Michael Allen, director of application performance management, Compuware.

This means the IT department and service desk have little visibility and understanding of what is going on. But they are the ones the business calls on when things go wrong, Allen told Computer Weekly.

The maturity that has been built in many companies in the past 10 years, in processes and tooling to support apps running in datacentres or closely-managed hosting services, is no longer appropriate.

Because IT is not involved, the business are not necessarily making sure they are getting the visibility, availability, performance and quality required, said Allen.

When problems arise, it is difficult for IT departments to determine whether the fault is with the company’s internal infrastructure or third party service providers. “They are running blind,” Allen said.

Very few service providers give customers any meaningful visibility of availability and performance of their services.

“However, some of the smarter providers are beginning to realise they can differentiate their services by offering greater transparency,” he said.

The survey reveals 73% of IT departments are prevented from supporting SaaS and social media applications, because they cannot provide associated service level agreements to the business.

Consumerisation of IT is another issue highlighted as a CIO concern, with 77% of respondents saying they are worried that the trend will lead to increased business risks; and 73% saying consumerisation will be restricted by the maturity of their application performance management capabilities.

IT departments will be reluctant to embrace mobility and the myriad of consumer devices and browsers users are demanding if they are not able to protect their brand with the same level of maturity they have built up in managing the traditional set of applications, said Allen.

The survey shows 64% of respondents say enterprise mobility projects are forging ahead without the full involvement of IT.

The survey shows a fundamental change taking place in the enterprise application environment from fixed to mobile, in-house to on the web, said Allen.

This means organisations have to shift to measuring performance and availability at the point of consumption, for both in-house and cloud-based applications, he said, to keep user satisfaction high and at the same time protect brand and revenue by enabling better availability and support.

Such systems could also enable organisations to know in advance what level of performance users can expect if they were to expand into new territories by monitoring response times from internet and mobile service providers before making any commitment or investment.

Consumerisation is also less of a challenge, said Allen, if organisations use cloud-based systems to test applications across thousands of mobile devices and over 500 browser permutations before deploying them.

It is possible for IT departments to regain control, he said, but it requires a fundamental shift from measuring internally to the mobile device used to consume the application.

Read more on Mobile networks

Data Center
Data Management