In a recent MarketPulse survey, IDG research found that 87% of IT leaders believe that it is very important or critical to leverage an optimized, scalable, shared IT services platform. The same survey found that only slightly more than one-third ranked their organization\u2019s ability to build a such a platform as \u201cvery good.\u201d Yet, the organizational need for a modern IT services platform has never been greater given today\u2019s swiftly changing customer, employee, and partner needs.\u00a0\nWhy You Need an Innovation Platform\nA solid IT services delivery platform can help grow the business\u2019s top line while managing the bottom line through automation that grows agility and resiliency. Such a platform can help add revenue opportunities through new lines of business and new customer experiences. This is achieved by giving the business the ability to react quickly to change, through greater time for innovation, faster development times, and ultimately faster time to market. With less time needed for manual tasks, an innovation platform allows teams to deliver more quickly and in smaller increments, which grows the organization\u2019s ability to experiment and innovate.In addition, the flexibility that a service delivery platform provides allows teams to add advanced technologies like machine learning, AI and IoT that further accelerate the business\u2019 ability to understand and react to changing customer needs. Experimentation, in turn, produces innovation that helps the company address change at the speed of the market. An IT services delivery platform also helps technology leaders manage the bottom line through automation that can simultaneously optimize for cost while ensuring the strategic use of its resources.\u00a0 For example, organizations can conserve resources when not in use \u2014 and meet spikes in demand \u2014 through autoscaling; they can cut waste from delivery pipelines and spare cycle times from problem resolution with greater standardization and security controls.\nKey IT Service Delivery Platform Considerations\nWhen establishing an IT service delivery platform, it\u2019s critical to have the CIO\u2019s involvement. Their strategic, budgetary and cultural tone-setting voice plays an important role in ensuring that the incorporated automations drive the expected agility, productivity and business dividends.\nWhen building a platform to support business agility and innovation, CIOs should consider automation that serves developers, customers, and IT operations. Consider platform elements that:\n\nSpeed innovation with automated provisioning. Giving developers a self-service solution, like an AWS Service Catalog, means they can provision their needed assets without disrupting IT operations or their development flow. This allows them to experiment and innovate faster while ensuring environmental consistency.\nSeamlessly service customer demand. Cloud automation, using AWS Auto Scaling for example, can be used to dynamically meet peaks in customer demand while scaling down to conserve resources when demand ebbs. This allows CIOs to better manage to their budget while addressing changing customer needs as they occur. In this same vein, automated failover can help assure that systems are always available, providing consistent customer value, while reducing the risk of data loss.\nAddress security needs. Cloud-based automation increases system standardization via templates for infrastructure configuration, through AWS CloudFormation, for example. Using standard builds, teams can manage through infrastructure as code (IaC), treating assets as interchangeable components. In addition, an IT service delivery platform can help automate system upgrades for the latest patches and with automation, continuous compliance can be achieved. \n\nCloud is a Top Strategy\nCloud is foundational to enable each of these key considerations. By automating processes across the service delivery pipeline, technology teams speed processes, eliminating human error and establishing repeatability. Moreover, they improve technology leaders\u2019 ability to address changing customer needs with agility, helping the business remain more agile and competitive.\nSo, it may come as little surprise that IDG found in its MarketPulse research that cloud computing is a leading strategy among the surveyed organizations. Specifically, IT leaders cited cloud management, cloud security, and infrastructure monitoring as top priorities for infrastructure services over the next 12 months.\nImplementing a cloud platform, like AWS, that can fully underpin the organization\u2019s IT services delivery is an important step for CIOs. Yet, IDG finds that many organizations struggle with this step, due to legacy manual processes, the breadth and depth of AWS services and the need for specialized talent who understand AWS tools and technologies.\nFinding an experienced partner with advanced skills can help address talent shortages and knowledge gaps, ensuring cloud scalability, automation, standardization and more to help the business speed innovation and time to market.\nInterested in learning more about IT service delivery goals for the upcoming year? Access the full IDG report here.