F5 Study Shows 75 Percent of Organizations See IT-as-a-Service Becoming Commonplace

F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the results of the F5 Networks 2011 Journey to ITaaS Study. This survey summarizes enterprises’ attitudes about and progress toward implementing IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS)—a business model in which stakeholders select and self-provision IT services on demand. With the static data center model of the past lacking sufficient agility to support today’s myriad user types, complex applications, and increasing demands on IT, enterprises are showing support for the idea of ITaaS as they move toward a dynamic data center model.

“ITaaS is a promising option for many enterprises, given the range of demands placed on data centers, which traditionally aren’t flexible enough to adapt to the requirements of today’s applications,” said Karl Triebes, CTO and SVP of Product Development at F5 Networks. “Users are increasingly demanding support for a variety of applications with multidimensional needs. This requires additional functionality and automation capabilities that are typically inherent in dynamic data centers and associated with ITaaS.”

Modern enterprises are successfully leveraging virtualization to consolidate systems and reduce costs; however, they are also finding that virtualization increases the complexity of managing IT resources. In addition, they must deliver applications to market faster by provisioning computing resources more quickly. With the ITaaS business model, IT services are abstracted, virtualized, and available to business stakeholders on demand. Accordingly, a dynamic, automated data center model is proving to be increasingly important for enterprises’ success.

“Traditionally, the data center is a siloed environment, but IT must now reinvent the way data center elements are assembled to deliver applications,” said Schalk Theron, CIO at SpringCM. “Users now typically want to obtain a service without having to call and ask someone for it. ITaaS is doing just that—providing a catalogue of services to users and allowing them to self-provision applications. The time has come for IT to think in business terms and move at the speed of business. This is done by automating and aligning technology to match business demand.”

The survey found that at least 67 percent of enterprises have implemented or are in the process of implementing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and that 15 percent of enterprises have implemented or are in the process of implementing chargeback capabilities, setting the stage for full-scale ITaaS across enterprises. In addition, nearly 75 percent of respondents believe that the shift to ITaaS will take place in the next three to five years.

Other findings include:

  • IT managers see the value of ITaaS: Three out of four IT managers say that their organization’s philosophy and needs align with an ITaaS framework.
  • Data center automation has reached critical mass, paving the way for ITaaS: Eighty-five percent of IT organizations surveyed have virtualized or are in the process of virtualizing their servers. Thirteen percent are close to being able to perform long distance live migrations of their environment, and 19 percent are close to a full self-service provisioning model.
  • Enterprises believe ITaaS will be widely adopted: Eighty percent of IT managers believe that ITaaS will become mainstream.

About the Survey

The F5 Networks 2011 Journey to ITaaS Study was commissioned by F5 to gauge the importance and attractiveness of the concept of ITaaS to enterprises worldwide. Conducted in July 2011 by MarketTools, Inc., the survey included 538 responses from enterprise IT professionals. These survey results were also cited in an F5 executive presentation at the recent VMworld 2011 conference. A SlideShare presentation that expands on the survey results can be accessed at http://links.f5.com/oENTdm.