MSP Today Expert Feature
January 10, 2013

Cloud Computing and Managed Services Top the Tech Issues Executives are Discussing

Managed service provider (MSP) and IT solutions company Logicalis (News - Alert) has unveiled its Top 10 Tech Trends to Watch study. The report looks at the social media conversations of CIOs and CTOs at the end of 2012 to determine the most important buzzwords and trends executives are chatting about. The cloud was at the top of the list, of course, but managed services also made the cut.

While the cloud is at the forefront of most C-level executives' minds, a number of sub-topics are also being discussed, including managed services for the cloud. Logicalis found that CIOs and CTOs are examining the importance of hybrid clouds as well as moving applications to the cloud, and of course debating the benefits of private versus public clouds.

Mobility is another hot topic, and an increasing number of mobile devices being brought into the business world raise concerns about security and access to corporate IT systems. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend raises management issues as well.

"Logicalis commissioned a significant BYOD study in late 2012 that showed the U.S. is ahead of other countries in asking employees to sign BYOD agreements, something that CIOs and CTOs are surely discussing now, at the start of a new year," said Mark Kelly, vice president of communication & collaboration at Logicalis.

BYOD, along with natural and other disasters, have also made security a hot topic of discussion, regarding both physical and system data security. Vendor management is another item of interest, from asset to contact management as well as outsourcing, And big data has created a variety of challenges for executives, especially regarding computing horsepower for data-intensive operations along with storage issues.

Social media itself is also on the minds of executives, and has evolved into "the world's fastest, largest and most accurate focus group," said Lisa Dreher, vice president of marketing at Logicalis. "CIOs and CTOs are clearly learning to tap these resources to see what IT trends they need to plan for and to find out what strategies their peers have employed that they too might want to adopt."

Data center efficiency also ranks high on the list of executive concerns, and Logicalis hosted a five-part series of discussions on the topic, covering issues like data center optimization, cloud computing, network rationalization, managed services and sunsetting old IT assets. And with data centers at the center of most corporations, innovation has come into play as CIOs and CTOs re-think end user computing and evolve their applications and infrastructures before demand even arises.

IT executives are also realizing the advantages of outsourcing mundane and routine tasks to experienced third parties like MSPs, freeing them to focus on core business initiatives. Finally, storage discussions are also on the minds of many executives and storing and managing data is a top topic of interest.

"There's no better way to find out what's on customers' minds than to tap into their social media buzz and hear just what they're talking about," said Dreher. "Hearing first-hand what topics and concerns CIOs and CTOs are posting in blogs, forums, Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert) gives us critical information that we can use to tailor our services to meet their needs. It's something every company should do at periodic intervals throughout the year, but particularly as the year winds down. End-of-year discussions like these indicate clear trends that can drive innovation."

Edited by Brooke Neuman