QMT Features: April 2012
Blind spots in IT
Survey reveals IT consumerisation, mobility and cloud computing increases business risk and impacts IT maturity in manufacturing sector

Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, has released the results of an international study looking at the impact of business and employee driven IT trends and models on manufacturing. The CIO survey reveals how models such as cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), as well as trends such as the consumerisation of IT, social media and mobility are exposing new blind spots in IT management. One of the key consequences highlighted by the survey is how an overwhelming 85 percent of manufacturing sector CIOs worry that, as the consumerisation of IT gathers pace, it will lead to greater business risks.

The study of 520 CIOs highlighted how the consumerisation trend is already driving unrealistic expectations around the role of IT in 80 percent of manufacturing firms. Moreover, end users within these firms now expect IT to be able to address issues related to technology that sits outside the core infrastructure of the organisation. Some of these users also appear to be questioning the value of the IT department itself. For example, the majority of CIOs indicated that IT is not in the driving seat for enterprise mobility, with 71 percent stating there are projects forging ahead without the full involvement of IT.

“The forces of cloud, social and mobility are driving significant changes across most industries. In manufacturing, these forces have the potential to improve competitiveness by increasing collaboration with suppliers and customers whilst significantly reducing costs,” explained Michael Allen, director of application performance management at Compuware. “However, end users within manufacturing businesses do not realise that their demand for the technology that underpins these forces is creating new blind spots in the wider IT infrastructure. In turn, years of hard work in delivering high quality services supported by best practice processes are being undone literally overnight. When IT maturity is challenged there are inevitable consequences across the rest of business.”

69 percent of CIOs admitted a lack of transparency from external parties such as SaaS or cloud providers around the performance of their services is reversing IT maturity. This lack of visibility into external services also means 79 percent of IT departments are currently prevented from supporting SaaS and Social Media applications because they cannot provide service level agreements (SLAs) for them to the business. When it came to potential approaches for addressing these issues, 84 percent of CIOs indicated that deeper insight into end user experience does improve IT maturity.

Allen continued: “Manufacturers that are evaluating the benefits of mobility, cloud and SaaS are doing this because of the potential to move away from a focus on pure production capacity and towards a model capable of more effectively fulfilling customer demand. However, this model will never truly be achieved without the right level of insight and, ultimately, control over these areas of IT. In order to adapt to this changing environment, it’s critical to be able to extend best practice management beyond the firewall by first understanding the end user experience of applications and services that are delivered onto mobile devices or from an external third party supplier.”

According to the study, IT departments across large scale manufacturing firms today are struggling to cope with this changing application environment. 74 percent of CIOs state that support for enterprise mobility in particular is almost impossible due to complex factors such as multiple device types, browsers and networks. This is because employees are using external mobile operator networks, which makes it difficult to view and control end user experience. Considering this lack of insight and the potential reversal of IT maturity brought about by new IT trends, unsurprisingly, 76 percent CIOs indicated that the consumerisaton of IT will be restricted by the maturity of their application performance management capabilities. l

Methodology: Compuware commissioned Vanson Bourne, an independent research company to conduct a study looking at the impact of new IT trends and models on the application environment. In September 2011, the independent research firm interviewed 137 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from large manufacturing enterprises across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific, as part of a broader, cross-sector survey of 500 CIOs.
You can now view all QMT Magazine issues on your favourite tablet or smart phone.
Download the free Quality Manufacturing Today App from the Apple iTunes App Store or from QMT Magazine on Google Play.

Rob Tremain Photographer
Click above to see full page display and links to QMT articles.
Bowers logo
TCT Inspex 2016 logo
Control logo
Vision 2016 ad
MACH 2016 logo
Nikon logo
Aberlink logo
Creaform logo