The pace of change in information technology today is greater than ever. This research section includes analysis of current trends in IT from the perspective of financial and strategic management. Reports in this section include analysis of strategic issues facing IT decision makers, such as use of cloud computing, the role of the CIO, and the use of IT for strategic advantage.
Some of our most popular advisories on IT trends and strategies are shown below.
The Economic and Strategic Benefits of Cloud Computing
Does SaaS save money? Based on our latest survey, we find organizations that have largely migrated to the cloud spend less on IT as a percentage of revenue and on a per-user basis. Savings come not only from a reduction in data center spending, but also from lower IT personnel costs. Moreover, because cloud-based systems reduce the effort needed for ongoing support, cloud adopters tend to devote a higher percentage of their IT spending to new initiatives. The cost savings, combined with strategic benefits in speed, scalability, and agility, argue in favor of organizations moving aggressively to the cloud. (19 pp., 6 fig.)
IT Printer/Printing Expense Benchmarks
Project Management Office Adoption Trends
The corporate printing market is in a state of reinvention. Printer and printing expenses as a percentage of the IT budget is trending downward and there has been a dramatic decline in the number of printers per user. With the changing environment, IT organizations that have not reassessed their printing strategies over the past five years should do so. This study establishes three benchmarks that enable organizations to assess their print strategies. The benchmarks include printers per user, printer/printing expenses as a percentage of the IT budget, and printer/printing expenses per user. We examine the five-year trend in these benchmarks as well as variances by organization size and sector. We conclude with recommendations for optimizing printer and printing costs. (16pp., 9 fig.)
It has become common for organizations to impose some degree of standardization on its project management processes in an effort to increase success rates. In this study, we examine the trend toward adoption of project management offices (PMOs), a best practice that has reached maturity and proved its worth. We present recent adoption trends, examine the influence of size and sector on adoption, and provide recommendations for how to measure the success of the PMO. (11 pp., 5 fig.)
Disaster Recovery as a Service May Be in Your Future
August, 2015The ability to recover from scheduled or unscheduled downtime is becoming more affordable due to an increasing number of disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) providers. Over the past 18 months, the number and scope of DRaaS options has grown, and more managed service providers are building out cloud-based disaster recovery service operations with varying costs and capabilities. This report covers the key components of a DRaaS solution, the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based disaster recovery, and key vendors in this growing market. (11 pp., 4 fig.)
Long-Term IT Trends in the Post-Recession World
Now that IT budgets have begun to recover from the Great Recession, it is important to consider how the world has changed. What are the long-term trends of the current era? We present our findings in four parts. First, we document changes in the mix of spending within the IT operational budget since 2007, showing a dramatic shift in how IT organizations are allocating resources. Second, we examine trends in outsourcing, use of contingency workers, IT staffing, and overall IT spending. Third, we present data from companies that have aggressively moved to the cloud to get some idea of what the future will bring. We conclude with recommendations for navigating the trends of today. (20pp., 12 fig.)
Security Incident Management Adoption Trends
Computer Economics research shows adoption of security incident management is only moderately mature, despite the apparent escalation in threat levels over the past year, and that there is plenty of room for broader and deeper adoption of this IT management best practice. This is a practice that every IT organization should embrace with some level of rigor. In this study, we introduce the best practices and take a look at adoption trends for security incident management by organization size and sector. We also introduce some of providers of security incident management systems and services. (14 pp., 5 figs.)
From VAR to Solution Provider: Five Strategies for Business Transformation
The traditional VAR business has become more challenging with declining product margins, increasing competition, and lower-cost alternatives to proprietary products. These pressures and others are forcing many VARs to grow their businesses from product sales to more comprehensive solutions built on a richer set of services and recurring revenue models. In this report, we outline five strategies for making the transformation from VAR to solution provider. (12 pp., 7 figs.)
Understanding Cloud ERP Buyers and Providers
Not all ERP systems that are labeled “cloud” are the same. At the same time, vendors need to realize that not all ERP buyers are the same. The study provides an overview of ERP cloud vendors and describes the two major categories of buyers in this market: first-time buyers looking for their first ERP systems and established companies replacing their legacy systems. We also segment cloud ERP providers into two categories: cloud-only ERP providers and traditional vendors that have added cloud or hosting as deployment options. We conclude with recommendations for buyers and providers who seek to serve these markets. Two appendices provide our analysis of key ERP vendors in each category. (32 pp., 6 fig.)
Data Center Spending Benchmarks and the Case for Consolidation
Now that IT operational budgets are on the mend, IT organizations are once again assessing their data center strategies. In this study, we start with an assessment of data center spending and provide benchmarks that enable IT organizations to answer the question: Is our data center spending in line with our peers? Benchmarks include data center spending as a percentage of total IT spending and data center spending per physical server. We also provide benchmarks on virtualization rates and operating system mix. Finally, we demonstrate the potential cost-savings from consolidating data centers and servers to help IT executives make the case for data center consolidation. (26 pp., 16 fig.)
Current Trends in IT Chargeback Practices
IT executives today are being challenged to become more cost transparent and show their value to the business. Adopting a robust chargeback strategy can be an important step in that direction. This study provides data on the frequency and level of IT chargeback practices among IT organizations. We look at the four-year trend in the percentage of organizations charging back IT expenses and the average percentage of IT budget being charged back. We also assess the influence of organization size and sector on chargeback practices. Our analysis includes a discussion of methods, purpose, and best practices for implementing chargeback systems. (15 pp., 7 figs.)
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