IT ecosystems may vary from one organization to the next, and even though a handful of trends are seeing widespread use in today's market, it's rare to see computing assets laid out the same exact way in any two scenarios. While variety is alive and well in the world of IT, however, one thing is for sure in the digital age - business leaders are spending more time strategizing their tech outlooks and more money on executing the projects they deem necessary to compete in their fields.
If your board meetings seem to revolve more heavily around discussions of trends such as big data, data center optimization and bring your own device, you aren't alone. These phenomena are changing the faces of the private and public sectors and forcing organizations to leverage modernized IT solutions to stay afloat.
Man vs. machine?
In many cases, decision-makers are shifting their spending habits away from personnel and staff-based services and more in the direction of updated tech assets such as applications and virtualized infrastructure. Tech Republic recently examined the findings of "The State of IT," an annual report from Spiceworks, in which answers on a range of topics were given by 1,100 IT professionals.
The study showed that 60 percent of these respondents claimed to have no plans for hiring any additional tech staff in the next year, and while only 4 percent plan to reduce their staff, it appears that the urgency of having in-house IT expertise is tapering off. Spiceworks' content marketing manager, Peter Tsai, commented on the trend.
"We view this is a net positive thing," Tsai said. "When you're purchasing the use of a cloud service, you're in effect, outsourcing some of the maintenance that an IT [professional] would do internally."
Where funds go
Tsai makes a good point with regard to the modern IT dynamic - if your teams are overloaded with work, adding more people into the mix isn't always the optimal solution, especially when dealing with complex new trends. In addition, you'll often want to keep your in-house expertise dedicated to a set of tasks you don't feel comfortable outsourcing to a third-party organization.
With budgets balanced between internal staff support and guidance from trusted service providers, you'll be able to have the best of both worlds. After all, no organization should put all of its eggs in one basket when it comes to developing a next-gen tech blueprint.
"I need another set of hands to do helpdesk and desktop support so I can focus on my higher level projects. I don't think I can ask management for another 40 hour a week person, but there's days where I wish I had somebody so I could work on other things," said Nigel Hickey, an infrastructure administrator at National Specialty Alloys, according to Tech Republic.
Data is king
While a healthy dose of diversity can do any company good when faced with so many IT avenues, Market Realist asserted that big data analytics should be a main focus for organizations across sectors. Of course, achieving a high-functioning analytics system doesn't come easily - many other tech resources must be provisioned in order to integrate these platforms with the entire infrastructure.
Spiceworks' Tsai explained that virtualized environments are a step in the right direction for any big data effort. He also mentioned that continuity can see a boost from implementing these solutions.
"We virtualize now, and I'm hoping to use virtualization as a stepping stone to disaster recovery at a second failover site that either I manage or a software as a service provider manages," Tsai said, as quoted by Tech Republic.
By keeping a close eye on developing trends and ensuring that your spending profile balances internal staff support with outsourced expertise, you'll be well equipped for what's to come on the IT horizon.