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  • A significant number of CIOs and IT directors believe that the phrase "IT department" will eventually cease to exist, according to a recent survey from Logicalis. There's no need to panic, however, because there will always be a huge demand—in fact, there will be a rapidly increasing demand—for tech professionals, especially those who combine IT skills with business-focused savvy. The accompanying survey report, "Establishing the Internal Service Provider: A Global Study of CIO Pressures and Priorities," depicts a dramatically evolving landscape in which technology leaders, managers and staff are getting more involved with ROI-impacting initiatives, while business units are making their own decisions about technology acquisitions. In the past, organizational leadership often took issue with internal users who circumvented IT to get the tech they wanted: a practice referred to as "shadow IT." Now, however, shadow IT is increasingly perceived as a logical means to an end in terms of addressing unfulfilled needs to support objectives. "It is clear that businesses don't want a technology solution," says Mike Martin, senior vice president of solutions and services for Logicalis US. "They want their business needs to be met. That means the CIO's role must change from that of a technology provider to one that is laser-focused on delivering IT services that meet line-of-business users' needs." More than 177 global CIOs and IT directors took part in the research.

  • At the heart of operating a business and managing IT systems is the critical balance between performance and security. Despite the introduction of increasingly sophisticated tools and technologies designed to ratchet up results in both areas, CIOs, CISOs, and other IT and business managers face growing and often daunting challenges. According to a recently released report from McAfee, "Network Performance and Security," the stakes have never been higher for enterprises looking to protect digital assets. However, the majority of respondents consistently opt for performance over protection. What's more, there's often a belief that enabling security protections such as firewalls adversely affects network performance. As a result, some organizations go so far as to disable key features and leave others turned off. "Unfortunately, turning off important firewall features because of network performance concerns has become a common practice," says Pat Calhoun, general manager of Network Security at McAfee, part of Intel Security. Here are some of the key findings from the report.

  • An integrated asset management and IT service management solution has eliminated many inefficiencies at the Pittsfield Public School District's IT organization.

  • In 2015, IT budgets are forecast to increase by the largest amount since the financial crisis of 2008, according to a new study by the Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB), a member-based advisory company. Capital expenditures, however, will remain flat, Titled "2015 IT Budget and Benchmark Survey," the report draws on the experiences of 166 IT executives from organizations representing $75 billion in IT spending. Participants were from the following regions: the Americas (74 percent), Europe/Middle East/Africa (22 percent) and Asia-Pacific (5 percent). These organizations represent various industries, including manufacturing, retail, insurance, leisure/entertainment, logistics, construction, banking, food/beverage, high-tech and government. "It's encouraging to see a bright outlook for IT budgets in 2015," says Andrew Horne, managing director at CEB. "CIOs will focus on making IT quicker to adapt to rapidly changing digitization opportunities, and prioritizing investment in improving the digital customer experience." The research is part of CEB CIO Leadership Council membership.

  • Building an IT organization that supports innovation, agility and growth is essential, and the right framework can unleash opportunities for business success.

  • Trying to keep the bad guys out of your corporate network isn't even the primary goal any more. Instead, it's preventing them from getting what they really want.

  • In an ideal world, the migration of technology resources to the public cloud should make life much easier for the IT department. In the cloud, tech employees are supposed to oversee infrastructure—and users gain access to apps—in a streamlined, automated environment that encourages self-service. Unfortunately, it's hardly an ideal world when it comes to cloud deployment, and the majority of IT departments are struggling with the transition, according to a recent survey from 2nd Watch. As a result, most companies are either hiring outside service firms to help transition to public cloud workloads, or are evaluating these providers. "Many organizations encounter operational challenges after migrating applications to the cloud with their existing tools and service providers," says Joel Rosenberger, executive vice president of managed services at 2nd Watch. "There's a perception that managing IT workloads in the cloud is a snap, but clearly that's not the case. … Companies are now looking externally for help with integrating processes and tools to manage workloads in the cloud to ensure operational excellence." More than 500 IT directors and executives took part in the research.

  • A clear majority of global organizations are either already implementing DevOps to produce applications or are planning to do so, according to a recent survey from Rackspace and Vanson Bourne. The accompanying report, titled "DevOps Adoption," reveals that teams using DevOps are increasing new-feature delivery, business efficiencies, app uptime, customer satisfaction and innovation. That helps create a more agile organization that can respond more swiftly to business and technology changes. "The momentum behind DevOps is driven by a perfect storm for disruption based on Internet business and collaboration technologies, open-source software and cloud computing," Chris Jackson, CTO of DevOps services for Rackspace, wrote in the report. "These technology shifts have placed new pressures on existing IT models and created opportunities for businesses to get value to customers faster, diversify the number of services they offer and use data more proactively to serve the business better." An estimated 700 IT decision-makers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia took part in the research.