Mobile and the cloud: Where does IT stand today?

IT sometimes gets so lost in the down-and-dirty details of day-to-day operations that it can lose sight of what the competition is up to and where your colleagues stand. With that in mind, Spiceworks put out its annual all-things-IT report. Huge this year: the cloud and mobile, as always.

Let’s just get this out of the way: This report looks slick. It’s as much fun to scroll through as it is useful. man-smartphone

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get done to what’s important: The trends that companies are facing (and will be facing soon if they aren’t), according to Spiceworks.

The cloud

In a relatively short amount of time, the cloud has gone from something very few IT personnel trust to a very important aspect of almost every business.

According to the report, 61% of companies have adopted the cloud, and a further 8% will in the coming six months.

And the smaller the company, the more likely it is to use cloud services:

  • 74% of companies with fewer than 20 employees had adopted the cloud or were scheduled to
  • 68% with 20 to 99 users were in the same boat, and
  • 75% of respondents between 1oo-249 employees had or were planning to move to the cloud.

“The cloud” covers a lot of ground, though. The top services these companies have moved to the cloud were:

  • web hosting (80%)
  • email (58%), and
  • productivity solutions, such as file-sharing, collaboration or productivity suites (51%).

Companies that were planning on adopting cloud services in the next six months were focusing on three key areas: online backup and recovery, productivity solutions and infrastructure.

Mobile

One trend that has and always will go hand-in-hand with the cloud is mobile devices. Whether it’s part of a BYOD program or company-owned, mobile continues to be a huge part of the overall IT landscape.

Smartphone adoption was 74% among all respondents, and tablet adoption wasn’t far behind at 63%. That makes an average of 92 smartphones and 38 tablets that IT supports per organization.

A popular method for supporting these devices: BYOD.

Overall, 68% of organizations supported BYOD, whereas 32% didn’t.

Smaller companies – perhaps realizing that they need whatever tools available to compete – had the highest rate of BYOD, with 83% supporting the option of users bringing their own devices.

Final word: The department

So the trend continues: IT is being called on to support more services and devices than ever before. But are the resources really there to do it?

The good news, according to Spiceworks, is that it looks like departments will continue to stay at current levels – for the most part.

According to the report:

Budgets are also going strong for the most part, with the average IT spend coming to about $253,000. The amount spent on IT is also expected to:

  • grow for 42% of organizations
  • remain at the same level for 28%, and
  • shrink for 18%.

Where you stand

The beauty of IT is that each group has its own way of doing things and its own unique duties. Comparisons between departments and organizations aren’t always apples-to-apples.

That said, you may want to use these figures to show higher-ups in your organization what others are doing in a similar situation (all results are sortable by company size).

The important thing: Emphasize that IT can be a revenue generator that boosts the bottom line. If other organizations realize that and are investing accordingly, perhaps yours should as well.