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European enterprises say cloud is critical to innovation, yet millions are being spent on unused cloud services

European enterprises say cloud is critical to innovation, yet millions are being spent on unused cloud services

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European enterprises are spending £29.48 million on cloud services and 42% say the cloud has been critical to digital innovation initiatives in the last two years, according to the 2019 European Insight Intelligent Technology Index (ITI). However, the survey of 1,000 enterprises across Europe showed that 30% (£8.8 million) of this cloud spend is on services that are not utilised. Respondents identified the following top three challenges for managing cloud spend: determining best-fit workloads for public, private and hybrid cloud (44%); planning and allocating budget for cloud consumption (39%); and lack of visibility of used services at the cost centre, workload and application level (36%). Based on these issues, wasted spending is likely to be even higher as organisations struggle to optimise their cloud investment.

“Cloud continues to be a mission-critical enabler for agile and digital business, but it needs the right approach,” commented Wolfgang Ebermann, President, Insight EMEA. “A robust operating model, that provides oversight and continual optimisation of cloud environments, is critical. Under-utilised technology has been a problem for decades, so it’s not surprising to see the problem spread to the cloud. However, by putting the right controls in place, organisations can optimise cloud consumption and ensure they only pay for services they are using.”

The ITI research also highlighted that investment in digital innovation is increasing. Enterprises invested an average of £32.23 million on digital innovation in the last 24 months, and plan to invest £42.12 million in the next two years. With seven out of 10 respondents stating that it will be very or extremely important for corporate IT to provide consumer-like experiences, it’s clear that there will be a focus on empowering employees with technology. In fact, 74% of CIOs said their organisations link the provision of modern technology to attracting and retaining talent. The report also indicates that organisations are, and will continue to, invest in the intelligent use of data. 46% of respondents stated that the use of advanced analytics have been critical to digital innovation over the last two years.

This year’s report does highlight the need for caution around digital innovation projects. 66% of respondents said they feel that IT is being set up to fail as it takes on more responsibility for transformational projects, while still keeping core systems running effectively – compared to 57% in 2018. Unless there is a change in corporate culture, with responsibility for digital innovation truly shared across the business, this trend is likely to increase.

Pressure on IT teams doesn’t only come from the need to deliver digital projects, but from keeping costs and security under control. Asked to choose their top three challenges around digital innovation, 46% of respondents chose monthly costs (e.g. operational expenditure), with 44% selecting upfront costs (e.g. capital expenditure), and 38% choosing insufficient budget. Similarly, 60% of respondents said security is the main factor that keeps them up at night and 68% say it is the biggest challenge in globally managing IT operations.

“The strategic importance of IT as a key enabler for future business success is clearly becoming more understood at board level,” continued Ebermann. “The role of the CIO is clearly evolving from managing IT to business partner. They have become the Digital Transformation Change Agent and a core member of the executive board. Yet the CIO and IT cannot solely be held responsible for digital innovation; the entire business has a role to play. Without enterprise-wide support and ownership, organisations won’t be able to fulfil their digital ambitions.”

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