New VMware research: Businesses look outside the IT department for next wave of technology disruption

December 15, 2016
  • 68% of Middle East business leaders are seeing technology management move away from IT
  • Lines of business take charge of technology to drive speed, innovation and responsiveness
  • Yet Middle East organisations also face escalating costs and compromised security as a result

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today announces research finding that more than two thirds (68%) of Middle East business leaders believe the management of technology is shifting away from IT to other departments, as lines of business take charge of technology-led innovation in EMEA organisations.

The research, among 1,200 IT decision makers and heads of lines of business in eight countries, finds that this decentralization* of IT is delivering real business benefits for Middle East businesses: the ability to launch new products and services to market with greater speed (66%), giving the business more freedom to drive innovation (69%) and increasing responsiveness to market conditions (64%). There are also positives from a skills perspective, with the shift in technology ownership beyond IT to the broader business seen to increase employee satisfaction (72%) and help attract better talent (72%).

This move, however, is not without its challenges. Leaders from across the business believe this is causing a duplication of spend on IT services (62%), a lack of clear ownership and responsibility for IT (47%) and the purchasing of unsecure solutions (52%). Furthermore, this decentralization movement is happening against the wishes of IT teams, the majority (76%) of which want IT to become more centralized. In particular, IT leaders feel that core functions like network security and compliance (54%), storage (48%) and private cloud-based services (24%) should remain in their control.


“Middle East organisations are punching above the EMEA region’s average in decentralizing IT, to deliver business benefits for customers and employees – bringing products to market faster, driving innovation, and increasing employee satisfaction,” says Deepak Narain, Regional Presales Manager – Middle East and North Africa for VMware. “Middle East digital transformation is vital for enhancing the competitiveness of every Middle East organisation’s lines of business in the Internet of Things era and Digital Economy. However, deploying digital solutions alone is not enough. The Middle East C-suite needs to lead change management to bring together the IT team and lines of business to deliver digital success together.”

“It’s ‘transform or die’ for many businesses, with a tumultuous economic environment and radically evolved competitive landscape upturning the way they operate,” says Joe Baguley, vice president & chief technology officer, EMEA, VMware. “Managing this change is the great organisational challenge companies face. The rise of the cloud has democratised IT, with its ease of access and attractive costing models, so it’s no surprise that lines of business have jumped on this opportunity. Too often, however, we’re seeing this trend left unchecked and without adequate IT governance, meaning that organisations across EMEA are driving up costs, compromising security and muddying the waters as to who does what, as they look to evolve.”

The ownership for driving innovation within organisations is not disputed among business leaders.  Two thirds (70%) believe that IT should enable the lines of business to drive innovation, but must set the strategic direction and be accountable for security – highlighting the balance to be struck between the central IT function retaining control while also allowing innovation to foster in other, separate areas of the business.

“This isn’t ‘Shadow IT’ anymore, that’s yesterday’s story – this is now ‘Mainstream IT’,” continues Baguley. “The decentralization movement is happening, driven by the need for speed in today’s business world: we’ve never seen such a desire for new, immediately available applications, services and ways of working. By recognising these changes are happening, and adapting to them, IT can still be an integral part of leading this charge of change. The latest technology or application will only truly drive digital transformation when it’s able to cross any cloud, to be available at speed and with ease, within a secure environment.”

VMware is helping organizations across the region to drive innovative application delivery at speed, including Amadeus, a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry.

“Amadeus constantly innovates to keep our products and solutions ahead of the industry.  That innovation is driven by many parts of our organisation and we must embrace this in order to continue to shape the future of travel.  A Cross-Cloud infrastructure gives us visibility and management of multiple workloads across multiple cloud platforms – whether public, private or hybrid.  Cross-Cloud provides control for Operations while giving the business freedom to innovate,” said Wolfgang Krips, Executive VP Global Operations, Amadeus.

Decentralization definition

*The decentralization of IT is when any employee within any business department of an organisation, other than the IT department, is making IT purchases or installing or maintaining software. It can also include employees using non-IT approved software, such as Dropbox, without the involvement of the centralized IT department.


About the research

Specialist market research agency Vanson Bourne researched 1,650 IT decision makers 1,650 heads of line of business globally, in companies with 1,000+ employees in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden**, Middle East**, USA, Mexico**, Brazil**, China, Japan**, India, Australia**, South Korea, Singapore**, Indonesia**, Malaysia** & Thailand** using a hybrid approach of telephone and online interviewing during September 2016.

** Companies with 500+ employees in these countries

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