CIO Priorities In today’s rapidly changing business environment, every industry—healthcare, education, retail, transportation, agriculture, government services, and more—is transforming and experiencing disruption at some, if not all, levels. Now more than ever, business leaders are looking for the tools that will help them navigate these changes to drive innovation and competitive differentiation. And since you and your IT leadership team are closest to the technology, they’re looking to you for answers.

Help us, FAST! Business leaders are calling on you and your IT organization to supercharge innovation by giving them IT solutions quickly. They want responsiveness from your organization, as a true partner and team. If you can’t partner with them on a solution, they’ll build it or buy it themselves, using shadow IT. In fact, according to a Harvey Nash report, more than 25 percent of overall IT spend is controlled by or managed outside the IT organization for 19 percent of CIOs surveyed.

[1] The business wants choice. They want A, and if they can’t have A, they want you to provide them with an equally desirable option B or C or D. They control budget—IDC states that line-of-business (LOB) buyers now fund 61 percent of IT projects.

[2] And they’ll buy what they need if they don’t think you’re offering a good option. Business users want their IT solutions to be simple and secure. They expect technology to stay out of the way of work. People don’t want to care about infrastructure when they go about their daily business, just as they don’t want to care about the nanometer process or the A8 processor when they use an iPhone. They’d like to simply pick up a device, use their applications, and get to their data. And they count on IT to make this happen for them.

Your True Mission

You know more about technology than anyone else on the CEO’s staff. Increasingly, you’re trying to apply your business and technology acumen to monetize IT assets, drive innovation, and create value throughout the enterprise. However, over time, your IT infrastructure has gotten so complicated that the CIO has inadvertently become the Chief Infrastructure Officer. And this makes it difficult to focus on what you know the business needs most: that is, to turn data into actionable information that can be acted on as effectively and efficiently as possible. What gets in the way of your efforts to enable the business? Let’s start with the appetite for apps and an easy, consumer-like IT experience that just works.

End users—both customers and employees—are consuming apps and data that add tremendous complexity to your IT environment. There are potentially thousands of business apps that you must install, monitor, manage, archive, restore regularly, test, and plan for disaster recovery. Complexity also comes from changing organizational structures and procurement processes; an increasing number of silos; intricate chargeback models; and the need to maintain existing investments in infrastructure and IT services. You’re dealing with these challenges, but the truth is, you know the business equals the technology. And the CIO’s real job is delivering those applications and services that make the business real. So in today’s world, you need to be the Chief Innovation Officer, clearing the way for technologies that will change the game for your business.

The Passage Through Every year, VMware meets hundreds of CIOs dealing with these same challenges. Many of them are thriving by embracing the promise of software-defined IT solutions. These types of solutions virtualize compute, networking, and storage and make them available to you in the cloud.

How? The power of a software-defined approach is what you might call the economics of simplicity, or cloud economics. You can realize the benefits of cloud economics in four key ways:

  1. Virtualization – Separating applications from the underlying infrastructure (compute, storage, and networking) allows you to keep the entire network-distributed application together in a segment. As a result, you can move and deploy it without having to tinker with its internal configuration from a networking perspective.
  2. Simplified management – With applications in virtual segments—whether that segment is a virtual machine, a virtual network, or a virtual storage type—you radically simplify the number of different types of things that must be managed in your data center.
  3. Automation – Instead of needing to automate the life of 3, 4, or 5,000 different applications, you need to automate the lifecycle of only a few segment types. And by automating the lifecycle of an individual segment, you can automate the lifecycle of all the applications you put into that segment.
  4. Choice – Once the application—and all that goes with it—is separate from the infrastructure, you can choose to run it in the cloud. That cloud doesn’t have to be a private cloud or a public cloud. You can deploy a hybrid cloud for flexibility and manage it as a single, unified cloud, using the same people, processes, and tool sets.

Why is the software-defined approach so compelling? Because the simplification it enables gets you closer to what you want IT to be: self-service, instantly provisioned, pay per use, elastic, and cost-efficient. Furthermore, it frees up IT budget, allowing you to redirect budget to innovation—innovation that drives your business’s top-line growth. Mission accomplished. Check out the article “Mobile-Cloud Technology Speeds Innovation” to discover how companies are leveraging cloud economics. – See more at:

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