Data from 451 Research’s latest Voice of the Enterprise survey indicates that 67% of enterprises will increase spending on software defined infrastructure (SDI) in 2016, resulting in a 14.4% increase in overall spend. SDI involves the virtualization of all hardware resources, combined with elastic scaling and management automation. As such, it is realized via the implementation of multiple technologies and products. Though server virtualization has been and remains the customary starting point for most enterprises, additional software-defined approaches have emerged in recent years, including software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined storage (SDS). The majority of respondents to the study (65%) cited improved agility and flexibility as the top benefit of SDI.
Considerably more respondents in the Q4 2015 survey projected spending increases for infrastructure software technologies associated with SDI than those projecting decreases. About 37.4% and 26.9% of enterprises are increasing spending on Software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined storage (SDS) respectively, versus less than 3% planning to curb budget allocations for these two technologies. VMware (66.3%), followed by Cisco (39.2%) and Microsoft (28.1%) standout as lead vendors in SDI.
“As every business becomes a digital business, decision-makers are looking to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their overall IT environment; this is encouraging decision-makers to explore new IT delivery models.” said Simon Robinson, Vice President of Research at 451 Research.
However, just 21% of organizations have implemented SDI in their environments today, and there are hurdles to broader adoption. For senior management, low maturity is a top barrier to SDI adoption while for non-senior management, lack of internal skills tops the list.
451 research’s advice to enterprises and vendors alike for achieving successful implementation of SDI: “To achieve successful implementation, decision-makers should first conduct an audit of their internal skills and look to fill any gaps. Meanwhile, vendors should aim to play a more proactive role in communicating requirements and presenting case studies to help overcome these barriers,” added Nikolay Yamakawa, Senior Analyst at 451 Research.
The inaugural Voice of the Enterprise: Software-Defined Infrastructure study focuses on end-user trends in technologies and products associated with software-defined infrastructure strategies. Based on research conducted with over 900 IT professionals worldwide, the quarterly study combines 451 Research’s analysis with responses from a panel of more than 28,000 senior IT buyers and enterprise technology executives.