CIOs across industries agree nearly unanimously that supporting application modernization demands greater availability, scale and performance from their edge-to-cloud infrastructure.

That’s according to NTT research for our 2022–23 Global Network Report: 94% of CIOs agreed with this statement.

A cloud-first strategy places new stresses on IT operations. No organization will “rip and replace” their legacy hardware overnight. Software-defined infrastructure needs to be integrated and supported with minimal operational and zero business disruption.

So, to make their cloud-based applications consistently and securely available to users across locations and devices, organizations need access to expertise in managing their hardware and software as efficiently as possible.

New complexities bring new responsibilities

We’ve found that our clients are committing a large portion of their IT budgets to infrastructure availability – and that’s before they look at their growth priorities, let alone innovation. Now, as the shift to software-defined infrastructure gathers pace, they face the added complexity of supporting a hybrid environment where software as well as legacy and other hardware must function cohesively to support their changing business demands.

Add to this the constant pressure to innovate and to balance the need for agility against the cost of risk, and they are moving into uncharted territory.

Software asset management is harder than it seems

As software-defined infrastructure technologies become more prevalent, IT operations have to start harnessing automation, machine learning and analytics to make their applications available consistently across multiple technologies.

Software asset management is crucial to achieving compliance, utilization and cost control – because in addition to minimizing downtime, you also have to consistently manage risks relating to noncompliance, inefficient usage and planned procurement.

The adoption of subscription software and software-driven infrastructure could be affected more by your organization’s operational readiness than by budget availability. Having a robust strategy for software asset management is therefore essential to maintain control and business continuity.

Choose a service partner to overcome skills and resource challenges

In this environment, visibility and control of your licensing estate are paramount, but hard to achieve without skilled resources who can make the right decisions at the right time.

Yet, there is a global skills shortage. Many CIOs are struggling to fulfill their business ambitions with their current internal resources and capabilities.

Choosing a service partner with a collaborative approach and the skills and tools to support your operations therefore becomes more important than ever.

What the research says

We asked S&P Global’s 451 Research to provide insight into how IT operations select a support services partner to keep their technology assets up and running while enabling streamlined and simplified operational change.

The criteria used include a service partner’s experience and ability to provide the correct tools and services to support software-defined infrastructure while creating operational and cost efficiencies.

Download the full 451 Business Impact Brief.