Cisco report delves into the new data-driven wave of IT management

2 Nov 2018

Image: © Andrei/

New insights from Cisco reveal where IT leaders stand on transforming their operations.

 Cisco has launched its new IT Operations Readiness Index, revealing how data is transforming operations for organisations worldwide. It surveyed more than 1,500 senior IT leaders to understand where firms are on their journey.

Vice-president of IoT, blockchain, AI and incubation business at Cisco, Joseph Bradley, said: “Gone are the days of IT leaders relying on past monthly reports and hours upon hours of manual operational tasks to deliver results in the face of growing infrastructure complexity.

“Instead, fuelled by data and empowered by automation, IT can operate in real time, be predictive and rely on detailed data to have a true seat at the table, delivering strategic value for their organisation and for their customers.”

Four distinctive stages

As many IT departments spend their limited budgets on day-to-day business, innovative practices can be difficult to deploy. According to the report, there are four stages IT systems go through to alter operations: reactive, proactive, predictive and preemptive.

Companies at a higher maturity level report collecting data from wider areas of the business, taking advantage of analytics and automation to create a preemptive strategy. Using data, events such as outages can be predicted, while infrastructural optimisation can help avoid issues entirely.

Bradley explained: “Through analytics and automation, CIOs can evolve from blindly reacting to events – such as outages – to continuously monitoring and optimising their infrastructures based on predictions of future needs.

“As a result, they can deliver strategic outcomes for their business partners, with change moving from being surprising and threatening, to becoming something to control.”

According to the survey, 28pc of respondents’ IT budgets are spent optimising remediation operations, with 68pc of respondents set to increase that budget over the next year.

Data is helping decision-making

Many businesses are already relying on data to make decisions, with 40pc of respondents saying it brings value to the business. Only 14pc of businesses have reached the coveted fourth stage on the path and these are twice as likely to perform continuous automation than the least advanced organisations.

Only 26pc of those surveyed collect data on an ongoing basis, while most collection activities are still periodic. Security-related data is the area where the most collection is carried out, as 82pc of firms report collecting operational and performance data on their security infrastructure.

On a positive note, 70pc of enterprises have a chief data officer (CDO) and organisations employ more than 40 data scientists on average. 74pc of the most advanced organisations say that IoT data is critical to running their infrastructure more efficiently.

Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research said: “In the future, the most successful companies are the ones that have the best-quality data, AI algorithms to interpret it, and a CDO to ensure quality and consistency.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects