by Radhika Nallayam

Is SDX a Fad? Indian CIOs Send a Signal

Jul 28, 20143 mins
BusinessEnterprise ApplicationsHRIS

CIO research shows that IT leaders have no plans to bank on ‘software-defined anything’ for anytime soon. 

Chris Gabriel, CTO of Logicalis Group and a strong SDN/SDX advocate was confronted by one of his colleagues recently. Surprisingly, Gabriel knew what the colleague would ask. In the last couple of years, he has faced many number of SDN naysayers. Here is what the colleague had to ask: “You know you have been pushing this SDN thing with a bit of excitement? Well, last week I read an article saying that SDN was like 3D-TV. All hype and fancy glasses. Here one day, gone the next.”

While Gabriel wasn’t swayed a bit by that statement, it seems like the number of naysayers of SDX from the Indian CIO community has only gone up.

According to CIO Mid-year review 2014, 85 percent of the Indian CIOs made it clear that SDX is not on their tech road map!

In fact, CIOs who have gone ahead and implemented SDX is just a miniscule 2.2 percent. (The numbers are based on CIO Mid-year review 2014, conducted last month).

Compare it with numbers thrown by the ‘state of the Indian CIO-2014 survey’, conducted nine months ago, the picture becomes clearer. Close to 38 percent of the respondents in that survey revealed that they will implement ‘software-defined’ technologies in the next six months. But less than 10 percent stuck to their SDX plans!

This implies that this technology has failed to create acceptance in the Indian market.

Even worse, the number of IT leaders who believe that SDX is a hype has doubled this year. While only 4.7 percent of them last year said that SDX is the most over-hyped technology, the number went up to 8.3 percent this year.

Interestingly, some of the recent buzz words like machine-to-machine, augmented reality, IoT, and 3D printing have got better rating by the respondents. While only 1.7 percent respondents believed that M2M is over-hyped, only 4.4 percent said IoT is over-hyped. Even a technology like AR with very niche applications has lesser number of CIOs who believe it is hyped.

SDX, when introduced, was projected to be the most transformational technology in the IT space. The promises were huge, so were the expectations. Two years down the line, the number of organizations that embarked on the ‘SDX journey’ remain surprisingly low. Gartner however identifies ‘software-defined anything’ as one of the top ten technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2014. With as many as 85 percent of the IT leaders expressing their reluctance toward this technology, it remains to be seen whether SDX will make any waves in the future.