New focus on aligning IT with business strategy: IDC

IT departments in Australia now have greater choice in how software can be delivered to end users, and it will become increasingly important for organisations to support these new delivery models as well as maintain existing application portfolios, according to a new IDC report.

IDC’s Forecast for Management Survey 2011 has found that 17.5 per cent of IT decision-makers have committed to reviewing existing IT assets to align with the business strategy within the next 12 months.

“The shift in sentiment of IT decision-makers from flat-out cost reduction to alignment of IT and business priorities is great to see. Business units are now working with IT departments on solutions rather than just buying a cloud CRM with a corporate credit card,” said Vanessa Thompson, software analyst, IDC Australia.

The outcomes of these conversations will help articulate the direction and appetite for the new breed of enterprise applications based on service-oriented and multi-tiered architectures, the analyst firm reports. Multi-tiering breaks the application down into core components of the presentation layer, application processing layer and the data management layer and enables the application to be ‘built for the web’.

“The ability to abstract application layers creates flexible and reusable applications and opens the door to an agile enterprise,” said Thompson.

Further, IDC reports that it is no longer good enough to provide a ‘one size fits all’ application to lines of business, as requirements are often aligned to business priorities. While Software-as-a-Service applications such as file sharing services and online business suite functionality can be delivered with little or no intervention from the IT department, the challenge for organisations will be integrating existing application environments with software-as-a-service applications.  

“The appetite for a new breed of applications is real.  21.3 per cent of organisations in Australia have already deployed new business applications based on web 2.0 platforms, with an additional 17.2 per cent planning to do so in the next 12 months,” said Thompson.

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