Two thirds of enterprises will increase spending on software-defined infrastructure (SDI) in 2016, according to 451 Research.
This will result in a 14.4% increase in overall spend on SDI, which involves the virtualisation of all hardware resources, combined with elastic scaling and management automation.
Though server virtualisation has been and remains the customary starting point for most enterprises, additional software-defined approaches have emerged in recent years, including software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined storage (SDS).
The majority of respondents to 451’s study (65%) cited improved agility and flexibility as the top benefit of SDI.
Considerably more respondents in the Q4 2015 survey projected spending increases for infrastructure software technologies associated with SDI than those projecting decreases.
About 37.4% and 26.9% of the 900 IT pros surveyed said they are increasing spending on SDN and SDS respectively, versus less than 3% planning to curb budget allocations for these two technologies.
VMware (66.3%), Cisco (39.2%) and Microsoft (28.1%) were identified as standout vendors in the SDI space.
“As every business becomes a digital business, decision-makers are looking to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their overall IT environment,” said Simon Robinson, VP of research at 451 Research. “This is encouraging decision-makers to explore new IT delivery models.”
However, just 21% of the organisations surveyed had implemented SDI in their environments, and there are hurdles to broader adoption.
For senior management, low maturity is a top barrier to SDI adoption, while a lack of internal skills tops the list for non-senior management.
“To achieve successful implementation, decision-makers should first conduct an audit of their internal skills and look to fill any gaps,” advised Nikolay Yamakawa, senior analyst at 451 Research. “Meanwhile, vendors should aim to play a more proactive role in communicating requirements and presenting case studies to help overcome these barriers.”