'Bigfoot' SDN sightings and Internet of Whats? highlight Cisco survey

IT feeling left out as businesses run roughshod with application rollouts

SDN and "The Internet of Things" are two of the hotter topics in the industry today, thanks to industry coalescence and Cisco marketing, respectively. But Cisco admits that less than half of those who work in IT are even vaguely familiar with "The Internet of Things."

And one-third say they've seen an actual SDN deployment "as often as they've seen Bigfoot, Elvis, or the Loch Ness Monster."

These are some of the stop-you-in-your-tracks statistics compiled in Cisco's latest survey, the Global IT Impact Survey released this week.  The Cisco study queried 1,300 IT professionals in 13 countries to measure the relevance and impact of IT and networks on business.

[WEIGH IN: Weighing Cisco's prospects for 2013]  

Even though SDN sightings are rare, IT is preparing for SDN. Seventy-one percent are planning to deploy SDN solutions in the next 12 months for cost savings (33%) and scalability of infrastructure (33%).

When asked to gauge their readiness for Internet of Things applications and deployments, 48% said they believe it will open up new business opportunities - even though they don't know what it is. If IT doesn't know what it is, is it relevant or impactful to the business IT supports?

Business is betting so. Three-quarters of the respondents say business leaders and other non-IT teams roll out new applications without engaging IT either "all the time" or "sometimes," the Cisco study found. And this comes at a time when IT is deploying more applications than it was a year ago.

The Cisco survey found that, even though IT is in monthly contact with line of business leaders, almost 40% of respondents say they are brought into the planning and deployment process either during or the day before an application rollout. And when the application doesn't work properly and user experience suffers, IT gets the call.

Leading causes of slow rolling new applications are budget, data center infrastructure readiness, cloud readiness, and bandwidth or other network limitations, the Cisco study found. The network just may not be ready for that line of business applifation.

Or IT might just be lazy. One-quarter cited "general procrastination" as the leading cause, the Cisco study found.

BYOD readiness lags as well. Forty-one percent claimed their networks were not ready to support BYOD policies while 38% said they were not ready to support cloud deployments. This, even though survey respondents ranked cloud readiness as the most important network initiative to their business in the upcoming year, and the most difficult over the past year. Converging IT technology and operations technology is the second most important initiative, followed by data center consolidation and virtualization, which also ranked the second most difficult over the past year.

And like last year's Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey found, security again was selected as the No. 1 roadblock to a successful implementation of cloud services or mobility - 80% cited it as a challenge.

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