Cloud and DevOps have finally broken through the hype and gone mainstream. This transition is leading business, DevOps, and IT professionals to feel that they may not always need formal IT, according to a new survey by ServiceNow.
The survey asked more than 1,800 respondents around the world about the evolution of IT. Respondents were an equal mix of traditional IT, DevOps, and business professionals. All were mid-to-senior managers within large global companies.
Breaking Through the Hype
The big news is that for the first time, a majority of respondents said that a cloud platform would be their first choice for a new application deployment. While cloud adoption has been on the rise for some time, this seems to represent a tipping point.
The days of enterprise IT organizations taking an on-premises-first attitude appear to be over. In fact, 77% of respondents predicted that they would be cloud-first within the next two years.
In addition, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed (94%) said that they were involved with DevOps in some capacity, with a majority (76%) saying DevOps is a major factor driving the move to cloud-first.
These findings mean that for a majority of enterprise organizations, both the broad migration of production environments to the cloud and the wide-spread adoption of DevOps within the enterprise are no longer hype and are, in fact, a reality.
The second bit of surprising news from the survey, however, points to the changing role of IT as a result of this transition — and the risk to IT organizations that fail to evolve.
The Changing Role of IT
The shift to cloud and the adoption of DevOps significantly alters the role that IT must play in the enterprise. The survey identified three findings that point to this fact:
- Nearly 90% of respondents who have completed the cloud-first transition believe that their current IT staff lacks the skills required as they continue to progress.
- By the same margin, most organizations feel that cloud could be a replacement for a formal IT organization, at least in some circumstances.
- Over half of the respondents reported that non-IT teams within the enterprise routinely go around IT to deploy applications into the cloud.
The move to the cloud has been growing for the last several years, but these results signal that it has finally reached the point where the IT organization must evolve its role in the organization to remain relevant.
IT: The Essential Organization
This survey, however, sheds light on one more important fact — a fact that offers a clear direction to IT organizations evolving for the future.
It clearly indicates that business and IT professionals both see an emerging skills gap and the need for the role of IT to evolve. However, that result doesn’t mean that they see IT as irrelevant. In fact, the survey shows the exact opposite.
A substantial majority of respondents (72%) indicated that shifting applications to the cloud actually raises IT’s relevance to the business. Moreover, almost seven in 10 feel that IT will be completely essential in the future as organizations complete this transition to a cloud-first model.
The Intellyx Take
On the surface, this survey appears to present contradictory results: that business units are going around IT and deeming it unnecessary, while at the same time saying that it is becoming more relevant and essential to the organization.
The reality is more complex.
Business units are taking greater control of their technology deployments, even if they must do so by force or under cover of darkness. They are clearly communicating that they no longer need IT involved in many parts of day-to-day operations.
At the same time, however, they are becoming increasingly wary of cloud sprawl and the risks it represents. They further recognize that they have transitioned the low hanging fruit and that as they move more foundational and critical applications to the cloud, the stakes will grow.
The message to IT is clear: evolve from a custodian into an enabler. IT must get out of the way of the simple and mundane and refocus on a more strategic set of priorities: enabling agility, speed, and scale — while ensuring sustainability.
IT will continue to be an essential organization within the enterprise, but only if it can evolve into this new role.
Copyright Intellyx LLC. ServiceNow is an Intellyx client. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this paper. Image credit: ServiceNow.