The research, taken from a survey of UK based IT decision makers (ITDMs), found that increasing efficiency is a top priority for 53 per cent of IT leaders in 2015. Budget restrictions are the main driver behind this need for efficiency, with just 31 per cent of organisations expecting their IT capital expenditure budgets to increase in the coming year, with over two thirds (69 per cent) predicting that budgets will stay flat or decrease.
Despite budgets remaining flat, there is a clear need for change: less than one in three (31 per cent) ITDMs are very confident that their existing network infrastructure will be able to cope with the demands likely to be placed on it in the next 12 months. However, with budgets tight, IT leaders are struggling to manage this issue. Thirty three per cent of IT departments are prioritising improvements to existing infrastructure to support business growth in 2015, while 32 per cent are focusing on simply keeping their existing infrastructure up and running for another year.
Longer-term, the research found there is a strong appetite among IT leaders for more innovative approaches to networking. This includes moving to the new IP, which is necessary to support the growing demands of mobile technology and cloud computing. Forty per cent of respondents said they are planning to deploy software defined networking (SDN) within the next five years, with 30 per cent likely to do so in the next three years. Thirty four per cent of organisations are looking to adopt network functions virtualisation (NFV) within five years, with 27 per cent keen to do so before 2018.
However, there is still a lack of knowledge about these technologies among some businesses. Many of the IT leaders surveyed admitted that they are still unsure of their potential benefits: 37 per cent of respondents said that they do not fully understand SDN, with 45 per cent saying the same about NFV.
Marcus Jewell, EMEA vice president for Brocade, said, ‘It is clear from this research that IT departments are under growing pressure to do more with less. With the majority of network architectures predating today’s most influential technologies – from cloud services to mobile computing – it is not surprising that many organisations simply do not have the infrastructure they need to support the business effectively. With budgets remaining tight, the focus for many in 2015 will be on driving greater efficiency.’