By Doug Garaux, Architect, Cloud & Data Center Consulting, Logicalis US

For some time now, CIOs worldwide have battled shadow IT, struggled to meet significant technology demands from line-of-business users, and wondered how they will remain relevant members of their organizations’ executive teams.

According to a recent study of more than 420 CIOs conducted by Logicalis earlier this year, change is in the air. The shift from technology-defined to service-defined thinking is gaining momentum among the world’s leading IT professionals as 2015 comes to a close. And with 2016 just around the corner, CIOs’ moves toward a service-defined strategy are heating up. While no two CIOs are at the same place along this journey, many are being driven by a combination of similar factors, including:

  1. Relief from Shadow IT: Propelled by the threat of shadow IT, CIOs are being forced to re-align their IT strategies to better serve the needs of their LOB colleagues and transform their IT departments in a way that makes them the logical first choice for IT service procurement.
  2. LOB On-Demand Expectations: Delivering a consumer-like IT experience at work requires a whole new way of thinking among CIOs; it requires an underlying shift from IT as a provider of “always on” technology to a department that supports a service-defined enterprise able to offer an array of a la carte computing experiences when and how the organization’s users need to access them.
  3. Desire for Job Security: To balance demands among line-of-business leaders as well as the corporate C-suite, today’s IT professionals must increasingly rely on cloud-based services. Implementing a converged infrastructure where networks, storage and servers can be managed as one is the first step in the evolution toward this service-defined infrastructure.
  4. CIO Relevancy: Tomorrow’s CIO must become both a business partner to the organization and a service provider to its internal users, creating a portfolio of user services and experiences, an agile and responsive IT operation, and a more affordable and sustainable technology consumption model than what formerly existed.  It’s a transformation journey that, if done correctly, will result in a service-defined enterprise enabled by a service management strategy that defines value based on the business outcomes driven by IT rather than the technology itself.
  5. Increased Agility, Decreased TCO: Driving business value requires a services-led approach to IT, something that starts with the implementation of a software-defined data center.
  6. Technology Blueprints: A software-defined data center (SDDC) is a key element within a service-defined enterprise, and the result of a well-planned IT transformation journey in which all components of a data center are virtualized to provide the best security, availability, performance and change management at the lowest cost.  Control of a SDDC is fully automated by software freeing IT to focus on working more closely with line-of-business customers.
  7. Evolving Service-Defined Strategies: As IT departments transform into internal service providers, a new type of skill set with an emphasis on melding technological understanding with business acumen will be required.
  8. Aligning IT with Business Priorities: CIOs need to create a catalog of services and map the relationships between business-critical applications and IT infrastructure to quickly examine and respond to line-of-business service requests. ITSM tools designed to manage enterprise services across a portfolio of organizational needs provide the answer.
  9. Outsourcing Objectives: As CIOs look to expand capabilities without increasing internal staff, the use of managed services is quickly becoming a necessity. The key to success, experts say, is to choose a partner based on skill and experience, not just price.
  10. What CEOs, CFOs and LOB Want: The ultimate goal is for corporate IT organizations to become brokers of technology services that meet the needs and expectations of their organizations’ users by delivering IT with the same speed and agility they expect – and get – in their outside-of-work consumer lives.

 If you’d like to learn more, download the Logicalis survey results, watch as Logicalis explains the CIO’s shift from “technology-defined” to “services-defined” thinking, then hear CEO Vince DeLuca discuss the transformation in technologies, operational and consumption models needed to create a services-defined experience. You can also explore an infographic that examines the shadow IT phenomenon and read a Logicalis white paper: “Why Every CEO Wants to Lead a Service-Defined Enterprise and Why the CIO Needs to Make it Happen”: http://ow.ly/VAOqX.