SOURCE: Rackspace Hosting

Rackspace Hosting

June 03, 2015 07:19 ET

Rapid Pace of Technological Change Makes IT Decisions More Challenging, Rackspace Study Finds

Nearly Two Thirds (62 per Cent) of Surveyed IT Decision-Makers Have Invested in Hardware or Software Their Organisation Has Never Used Because of This Fast Pace of Change

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - June 03, 2015) - Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX), the #1 managed cloud company, today announced results of a new study that reveals two thirds (66 per cent) of surveyed IT managers agree the rapid pace of technological change is making decisions about IT investment more difficult than 10 years ago. The study, which polled 250 IT decision makers across the UK, found that as a result of this rapid pace of change, 62 per cent of IT decision makers have invested in hardware or software that has never been used by the organisation.

John Engates, CTO, Rackspace says: "Technology has undoubtedly transformed the way we work and has become intrinsically linked with how businesses function and run but it is also evolving at a much faster pace than ever before. Whilst the promise of IT transformation presents exciting opportunities for businesses, the sheer number of options facing IT departments is daunting. And the impact of IT failure is more public and more punitive than ever before. This is an industry-wide challenge."

IT Department Challenges

The challenge extends right from bringing in the appropriate tools to effectively manage business applications and infrastructure, through to implementing the right technology for employees. Of those surveyed, more than half (51 per cent) had deployed technology within the company that employees have never used or received the full benefit from. One of the reasons for this may be that nearly three quarters (74 per cent) have bought technology that was more difficult to use than originally thought. Significantly, respondents that invested in difficult-to-use technology were more likely to go over budget (74 per cent) than those who managed to avoid it (26 per cent).

In addition, with long software update cycles quickly becoming a thing of the past, IT departments are being forced into weighing up whether to risk business disruption to update systems. Of those surveyed, 32 per cent left employees unable to access servers, 22 per cent caused a website to crash, 19 per cent left employees unable to access the internet and 18 per cent left employees unable to access emails.

Engates continues: "It's an exciting time for IT departments. On the one hand technology is enabling them to become part of the business conversation around increasing efficiency, improving productivity and adding real value to their organisations. On the other hand, as a business critical function, there appears to be a feeling of vulnerability in terms of making a potentially damaging decision.

"Most organisations are now at a stage where they cannot feasibly be responsible for expertise across all the technology they use in their businesses. We hear this from customers everyday - they want a trusted partner to help make decisions around buying and managing the right IT. This enables them to focus on adding that business value."

The Rackspace study found that there were some key learning opportunities for IT decision-makers, including:

  • Start with your 'What': What is the business issue you need to solve? It may sound simple but understanding what you need and why you need it will lead to better decision making in the long term
  • Do your due diligence: According to 42 per cent of respondents, they would do more background research before investing in new technology
  • Set goals: Think about the goals you want to set for the project - not just your usual project goals, but also the end business goal, like cost cutting, increasing productivity, or increasing customer engagement
  • Get a second opinion: 28 per cent of respondents wished they had sought a second opinion. Speak to peers, customers and partners - the chances are they will have done something similar before so their experience will be invaluable for making the right decision
  • Get expert advice: An expert will also make sure you have the right infrastructure and people in place for your implementation. 32 per cent of businesses we spoke to would make sure they had the right staff before introducing a new technology
  • Education is critical: Make sure employees fully understand the benefits of the technology you are implementing. 41 per cent of respondents we spoke to claimed they would take more time educating employees on how to get the best out of new technology
  • Ongoing evaluation: Have a set timetable for evaluating how the project is going and benchmark against the goals you set when you first made the purchasing decision. This will help you to see where your successes lie and what you need to tweak or improve

"But, no bad decision is ever actually wasted -- taking the positives out of decisions you regret is key to success, and learning from mistakes can ultimately help to make your business stronger," Engates concludes.

To hear how Rackspace's most innovative customers and partners like Phillips, GHD, CERN, VMware, Elevaate, Hortonworks and CrowdCube tackle problems such as scaling their business, managing big data and navigating digital trends come to Rackspace:: Solve this Thursday 4th June at the Emirates Stadium.

About Rackspace
Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX) is the #1 managed cloud company. Its technical expertise and Fanatical Support® allow companies to tap the power of the cloud without the pain of hiring experts in dozens of complex technologies. Rackspace is also the leader in hybrid cloud, giving each company the best fit for its unique needs -- whether on single -- or multi-tenant servers, or a combination of those platforms. Rackspace is the founder of OpenStack®, the open-source operating system for the cloud. Headquartered in San Antonio, Rackspace serves more than 300,000 business customers from data centres on four continents. It ranks #6 on UK Best Companies to Work For and #53 in the Sunday Times Best Companies. For more information, visit http://www.rackspace.com. For more information, visit http://www.rackspace.co.uk/.

About the research
Survey of 250 IT decision makers carried out by Bilendi. 100 respondents were from organisations with 1,001 or more employees, 100 respondents were from organisations with 251 to 1,000 employees, 50 respondents were from organisations with less than 250 employees.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements about Rackspace survey results that may suggest trends for the industry; any statements relating to expected or predicted behaviors of consumers and the impact of cloud computing; any other statements of expectation or belief directly relating to Rackspace business derived from the survey results; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include a substantial margin of error in the survey results, inconsistencies in respondent's understanding and Rackspace's analysis of survey questions and results, the possibility that expected benefits from any shift in consumer behavior may not materialize as expected; the achievement of expected operational results from any shift in consumer behavior; changes in the economy, technological and competitive factors, regulatory factors; and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, filed with the SEC on May 11, 2015. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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