IT leaders are having a difficult time freeing up funds to invest in technology innovations to advance the business, according to a new report from IDG Research Services commissioned by IT services and solutions provider Datalink.

IDG surveyed 142 senior IT professionals at large enterprises in the U.S. in September 2017 and found that about one quarter rate their IT environments as fully optimized in areas ranging from application workload management to process standardization and team staffing models.

Thirty percent of respondents ranked their optimization level between 1 and 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, indicating room for improvement.

More than half said funding IT innovation is extremely challenging. Two-thirds of the IT budget is spent on “keeping the lights on” vs. innovation and business-advancing initiatives. This allocation is expected to shift over the next two years in favor of innovation/business advancing investments.

The balance of workloads currently on public and private cloud platforms is relatively even today and will not shift much over the next two years, the report said.

More than half the organizations that have deployed workloads to public cloud have brought one or more back in-house. This represents a 14 percent increase over those reported in 2016. The top four reasons for moving workloads back in-house were level of control over resources or data, compliance, reliability/ performance, and security.

Three quarters of the organizations (75 percent) are more cautious compared with a year ago when making the decision to move particular applications or workloads to public cloud. Security continues to be a primary concern before deploying workloads in a public cloud platform.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.