The joy and pain of buying IT

So much to do, with limited resources – and then there's cloud

1. About you and your organisation

1.1 Which part of the world are you based in?

 

1.2 Which of the following best describes your role?

1.3 How large is your organisation?

1.4 Which of the following best describes your organisation's core business?

2. IT procurement – How it works in your organisation

2.1 To give us some initial context, how important are the following drivers for your business?

 
Key focus area
Secondary focus
Little or no focus
N/A (already in good shape)
Unsure
Cost reduction
Increased business agility
Greater level of innovation
Digital transformation
Better risk management (in security and compliance)

2.2 How often does your organisation use the following when procuring IT solutions and services?

 
Often
Sometimes
Never
Unsure
Open invitation to tender (ITT)
ITT to selected suppliers
Framework agreement
G-Cloud

 

2.4 When making IT investments, how often do the following happen?

 
Frequently
Sometimes
Rarely/never
Unsure
Procurement/finance gets involved, and skews decisions towards cost, regardless of value
Senior management get involved, and skew decisions toward cost, regardless of value
We are forced to buy from an incumbent supplier, regardless of whether it’s the right choice
We build or commission something, when an off-the-shelf solution would be better
We buy something off-the-shelf, when we really need a bespoke solution

2.5 How much do the following statements apply to your organisation?

Our business strategy is...
Fully
Partially
Not at all
Unsure
Well-defined
Understood across the workforce
Updated as market/competitive conditions change
Updated as technology advances create new opportunities
Our IT strategy is...
Fully
Partially
Not at all
Unsure
Well-defined
Understood across the IT team
Understood (well enough) across the business
Updated as the business strategy or climate changes
Updated as technology advances create new opportunities

2.6 How much is the business challenged or held back because of the following management and cultural factors?

 
Significantly
To a degree
Not at all
Unsure
Entrenched world views that are old and outdated
Driving the business based on outdated KPIs
Unwillingness to take risks to advance the business
Unwillingness to invest to advance the business
Reluctance to challenge the status quo
‘Not invented here’ syndrome
Political games and conflicts

2.7 Against the above background, to what extent does the IT function contribute to meeting goals in the following areas?

 
Major contributor
Some contribution
No contribution
Detracts from goal
Unsure/NA
Cost reduction
Increased business agility
Greater level of innovation
Digital transformation
Better risk management (in security and compliance)

2.8 When IT is perceived to fall short, how often is it down to the following?

 
Frequently
Sometimes
Never
Unsure
Unrealistic expectations on the part of business people
Unwillingness of business people to engage or provide support
Lack of engagement and understanding on the part of the IT team
Genuine shortfalls in how well the IT team is doing its job
Other (please specify)

3. Different ways of accounting for and paying for IT

3.1 What is your organisation's preferred financial model for funding IT?

 
Capex strongly preferred
Capex preferred
Neutral
Opex preferred
Opex strongly preferred
Unsure
Current preference
Future preference

3.2 Is it generally considered natural for your organisation to take advantage of financing, leasing, or subscription options in relation to the following, rather than buying things outright?

 
Yes, quite natural
Unnatural, but can happen
Too unnatural to happen
Not relevant to us
Unsure
Vehicles, buildings, plant or machinery (or related capacity)
Workplace accessories (coffee machines, pot plants, tropical fish, etc)
Office equipment (telephone systems, fax machines, photocopiers, etc)

3.3 Thinking of core IT infrastructure needs, is it (or would it be) generally considered natural for your organisation to take advantage of any of the following?

 
Yes, quite natural
Unnatural, but can happen
Too unnatural to happen
Not relevant to us
Unsure
Equipment leasing or financing
Managed services (for on-site equipment)
Dedicated/bespoke application hosting services
Cloud infrastructure or platform services
Software as a Service
Cloud-based managed services

3.4 Picking up on the mention of cloud, and the public cloud delivery model in particular, how would you characterise the default attitude of the following towards it?

 
Obsessed with using it
Positive
Neutral
Sceptical
Dead against it
N/A (don’t have such people)
Unsure
Senior business management
Senior IT management
Software developers
IT operations staff
Security and compliance specialists
You personally

3.5 Whether delivered via the public, private or hybrid route, how important is adopting more service-centric, cloud delivery models when keeping up with more dynamic demands?

3.6 Do cloud delivery models (whether public, private or hybrid) make things easier or harder in the following areas?

 
Much easier
Easier
Neither easier nor harder
Harder
Much harder
Unsure
Responding quickly to new and changing requirements
Service level management (performance, availability, etc)
Data protection (backup, recovery, archiving, etc)
Calculating the lifetime cost or ongoing TCO of solutions
Knowing where and how to allocate costs (i.e. who pays for capacity)
IT related planning (capacity, resources, etc)
Budgeting and accounting in general

3.7 Coming back to the business objectives we mentioned earlier, to what extent do cloud delivery models contribute towards meeting these goals?

 
Major contribution
Some contribution
No contribution
Detracts from goal
Can’t generalise
Unsure/NA
Cost reduction
Increased business agility
Greater level of innovation
Digital transformation
Better risk management (in security and compliance)

3.8 Overall, how would you sum up your experience with cloud delivery models?

3.9 Zooming out, do you see a role for the following in your plans and activities?

 
Already using
Will become important
Don't see a role
Jury out at the moment
Cloud brokerage services, allowing you to mix and match public clouds easily
Private cloud architecture, allowing you to create your own clouds on premise
Hybrid cloud architecture, allowing you integrate/manage all of your clouds together
Strategic consulting services, to help you figure your way through this whole cloud thing
Systems integration services, to help you deal with cloud implementation practicalities
Managed services, to help you operate and support your cloud empire
OK, that’s the end of our main survey, but we have a few additional questions on your experiences with specific cloud services and service providers. We would love you to continue and tell us about the good, the bad and the ugly of cloud, but feel free to finish now if you have had enough of surveys for today!

4. Your experiences with specific cloud service options

4.1 What experience have you had with the following cloud services?

 
Used successfully
Used with challenges
Not used
Amazon AWS
Google Cloud Platform
Microsoft Azure
IBM Softlayer
UK Cloud
Other infrastructure or platform services (please specify)

 

4.3 Have you used public cloud services in relation to the following?

 
Dev/Test
Pilot/PoC
Production
Virtual Machine hosting
Containers/serverless computing
Data storage (block, file, object)
Database management systems
Big Data systems in particular
Advanced networking functions
Identity and access management
Machine Learning / AI systems
Deployment and operations tools
Development tools

4.4 How much of a consideration (where relevant) are the following when selecting a strategic cloud service or platform?

 
Major consideration
Secondary consideration
Not considered
Not relevant
Unsure
Comprehensive security and access management
Ability to control geographic location of data
Option to link directly to your corporate network
Management facilities, e.g. automation, usability, reporting
Integration capabilities, e.g. connectors, open APIs
Stack, hypervisor, container model flexibility

4.5 And thinking of the provider itself, how much of a consideration are the following when considering a key or strategic partner?

 
Major consideration
Secondary consideration
Not considered
Not relevant
Unsure
Cultural fit; values and priorities aligned with yours
‘Customer-friendly’ contracts and commercials
Clear and transparent charging that isn’t overly complex
Operational fit with your IT delivery and support processes
Formal Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Demonstrable track record of good service availability
Customer references relevant to your business
Openness on policy, process and matters of compliance
Relevant certifications and accreditations

 

4.7 As you continue to evolve your IT environment, which of the following, if any, would you put at the centre of your strategy and plans?

 

Many thanks for taking part!