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CIOs Say Better Integrated, More Simplified IT Environment is No. 1 Competitive Need in Dell-Sponsored Study



* Organizations are leveraging IT to enhance operational efficiency, reduce implementation period and improve customer service
* CIOs are being challenged to simplify IT while keeping their IT ecosystems agile and within budget

Organizations across Asia-Pacific and Japan need simplification in order to make best use of information technology when competing in today’s changing business environment.

That’s the primary message from chief information officers through a custom survey commissioned by Dell and conducted by IDC, the results of which were announced here today. This sponsored survey includes responses from nearly 40 IT executives from leading organizations in China, India, Japan and Australia. The lack of an integrated IT environment was identified by participants as the No. 1 factor in terms of limiting their full use of technology to compete most effectively.

David Marks, Asia/Pacific Consulting director for IDC, said, “Ongoing concerns about the economic environment are causing many organizations included in the survey to evaluate their expenses and the role IT plays. These CIOs said they need to overcome disparate and complex IT environments, but lack the necessary management tools to do so.”

According to the survey, CIOs identified business agility, expanded business requirements, regulatory compliance, assessing and quickly absorbing mergers and acquisitions, and retaining talent as key challenges amidst shrinking IT budgets. Marks said, “As CIOs work to simplify IT and achieve these things, they expect their IT vendors, given their vast experience in managing IT, to help them make informed choices. In fact, a vendor’s ability to offer and implement solutions is a key criterion for evaluation.”

The survey feedback is consistent with what Dell is hearing directly from customers and acting in multiple ways to address, according to its CIO, Steve Schuckenbrock.

“IT complexity costs companies at least 70 per cent of their IT budgets which they spend just maintaining their current infrastructure,” Schuckenbrock said. “That leaves 30 percent, or less, for IT that drives the business forward and that’s just not good enough.”

Schuckenbrock said next-generation network servers and storage systems, as examples, are helping to change that: they are powerful, reliable, cost less and require less energy, making them more environmentally friendly. Virtualization software is enabling more efficient use of computing capacity by employing idle time and unused space, even on existing servers. Dell realized the benefits of virtualization by reducing its 20,000 servers to 518 physical servers and 5,000 virtual servers to improve processor utilization by 30 percent, reduce application deployment from 45 days to four and saving $29 million.

Schuckenbrock added, “Cloud computing will change how applications and other software are stored and accessed, and improve the economics of IT services by changing how they are purchased, provisioned and managed"

Simplification reduces investment and promotes agility
CIOs surveyed said business silos in their organizations have resulted in a proliferation of disparate systems and technologies. To overcome this, they are simplifying IT by standardizing environments and adopting service-oriented architectures. They are also consolidating hardware purchases with a smaller number of selected vendors and reducing the numbers of applications they employ.

The role virtualization, a relatively new tool in data center IT, plays varies across the four countries. In this sponsored survey, for example, CIOs surveyed in China were adopting virtualization solutions more gradually than their counterparts in Japan, which was identified as being the leading user.

Marks said, “Simplified IT, including virtualization, enables organizations to be more agile, and we are seeing more demand for this now. The solutions the CIOs will deploy are those that enable applications or resources across countries and geographies, new product lines, new customer segments and overall increased computing capacity, without having to make significant investment.”

Green IT
CIOs in this survey identified green IT, data center transformation and the use of new media as top three areas that can enhance their organizations’ competitiveness in the coming year.

These CIOs said their organizations have several green initiatives underway, with better energy tracking and reduced consumption leading in emerging economies. The CIOs in the more mature economies have diversified green programs, led by recycling and greenhouse-gas emission initiatives. They agreed environmental sustainability is “very important” to their roles, and that the importance of green is likely to intensify.

According to the sponsored study, IT vendors that offer a full-lifecycle approach to green IT are best positioned to provide environmentally responsible and energy-efficient products, design and implement data centers that use less electricity, and help organizations recycle their hardware.

A white paper about the sponsored study is available upon request from Dell or IDC.

About Dell

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