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Container infrastructures currently have the highest investment priority, as a study by the IT management provider SolarWinds shows. However, the study also shows different opinions between the IT department and management.

Most German companies currently want to use cloud computing to tackle digital transformation. At the same time, the cloud also poses the most significant challenges for many users. This is shown by the current study SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2018.

Topics such as automation and containers are also important, but many users have problems optimizing performance here. At the same time, the potential of new technologies such as machine learning or artificial intelligence should be advanced.

86 per cent of the German IT managers surveyed state that cloud/hybrid IT is one of the five most important technologies in their own company’s IT strategy. According to Solarwinds, there is a significant increase compared to previous studies. The optimization of hybrid environments is also classified as necessary in this context.

An optimized infrastructure no longer only offers more performance but also paves the way for new technologies such as ML or AI. However, both technologies are currently still at the bottom of the list of priorities.

Conversely, automation tops the list when it comes to which technology has the most significant potential to create productivity/efficiency benefits and achieve the highest ROI over the next five years. This distinguishes Germany from all other countries where the study was carried out, where ‘cloud and hybrid IT’ always takes first place. German IT professionals also see the IoT as an important topic.

Many technologies are still being introduced from a more functional point of view. As the study shows, around half of all German companies have not optimized their IT environments for peak loads. More than a third of administrators and IT leaders report that at least 50 per cent of their time is spent on reactive maintenance and troubleshooting. Newly introduced cloud technologies are also creating additional complexity here.

And users are increasingly countering this complexity of hybrid infrastructures by investing in containers. Forty-one per cent of those surveyed rated containers as the most critical technology for optimizing a hybrid infrastructure. Thirty-three per cent of those surveyed named containers the most crucial technology for the next three to five years. A year ago, in the same survey, only 24 per cent stated that they wanted to deal with containers in the next 12 months.

It is not only technological problems that slow down an optimally aligned infrastructure. An inadequate corporate strategy also causes poor performance for 55 per cent of those surveyed. Thirty-six per cent see the main problem with system optimization in their infrastructure.

These shortcomings in corporate strategy usually begin with the fact that there is too little cooperation between IT experts and company management.

Management and IT departments also have different opinions about which technologies to invest. For example, IT considers the need for AI for digital transformation secondary importance. On the other hand, the business magazine Fortune concludes a survey of managing directors showed that 81 per cent of CEOs see AI and machine learning as a priority for their company.

As IT professionals continue to prioritize cloud computing and hybrid IT, adopting these technologies has created challenges in optimizing system and application performance.

“Today’s IT industry is about transformative technologies such as AI, machine learning, blockchain, etc. These technologies are unquestionably important, but this year’s study shows that IT professionals are investing in technologies that help Keep operations running day-to-day continue to be a priority,” commented Joe Kim, executive vice president and global chief technology officer at SolarWinds. Accordingly, many companies would opt for initiatives with better immediate value creation.

When ranking the most critical technologies for digital transformation in the next three to five years, IT professionals ranked cloud/hybrid IT as number 1. Automation ranks first today for the most significant potential for productivity/efficiency benefits and ROI.

However, investment in AI and ML will become increasingly important over the next three to five years: 49 per cent of respondents said AI will be their top priority in three to five years, while 45 per cent of respondents said ML would be the top priority (compared to today 31 per cent and 38 per cent).

This is also reflected in cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, current in such AI technologies and capabilities. According to SolarWinds, “This allows users to leverage existing investments in cloud offerings to experiment with and deploy AI-based services across their enterprise.”

A summary of all the study results is available on the SolarWinds IT Trends Index website. This year’s report for Germany is based on a survey conducted in December 2017, in which 127 IT professionals, managers and executives from small, medium and large companies from both the public and private sectors in Germany took part. In addition, users in North America, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom were also surveyed, with 803 respondents


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