... Not in the future, that is. IT is about to go through a great transformation. It has to, given the velocity at which technology is evolving.
IT expenditures will be happening more outside the traditional boundaries of corporate IT, says Gartner. Today, some enterprises already spend more than 50 percent of IT expenses outside of corporate IT. Business units often partner with third parties when they need a solution faster than corporate IT can deliver. Interestingly, it’s not about IT’s capability, rather it’s more about the innovations in the marketplace that are being created, affordable and easy to use.
What’s driving the change?
• First, says CIO.com “people are much more tech-savvy. They know what is possible. Everyone is trained that 'there's an app for that.'” Essentially, employees are figuring things out and building solutions themselves, or they know what they need and can source solutions themselves.
• Second, with the advent of social media, users can more quickly find the information they need to make decisions and create solutions faster than IT. Industry peer referrals, testimonials, YouTube tutorials, blogs, you name it – all help users in today’s 24/7 environment. The philosophy is to get it done now; they can’t wait for IT.
• Lastly, technology is easier than ever to use and it is less expensive, even free. Cloud computing and open-source technologies really enable the do-it-yourself mentality that is a catalyst for innovation.
What will IT look like in the future?
Most important, the need for IT is not going away; it will just look different.
• As in my recent post, we’ll likely see members of IT physically integrated into business units, so they can experience and understand the challenges, and be an on-site asset in terms of creating more immediate solutions. Says CIO.com, IT organizations must get far more deeply entrenched in the business.
• Traditionally, IT is often seen as a cost center and control center. Expect IT to become a true service organization, empowering users by supporting them, guiding them, educating them. In this new role, IT will help users learn the full power of an application or new technology for example.
• IT is like a good parent: Give people plenty of room while putting a few safeguards in place. Consider Kraft. “Kraft is virtualizing its applications environment so mobile workers can use the device of their choice. But users have to keep their versions of software up to date, and we keep track of that. If people are running software on Androids and it's not up to date after 30 days, we lock them out.” says Kraft Foods CIO Mark Dajani.
• IT will ultimately enable people to solve their own problems. Early adopters, rather than being seen by IT as rogue employees putting corporate security at risk, will become one of IT’s best partners. Says Rick Bauer with CompTIA, "The world is changing, and you have to be honest enough to acknowledge that your business customer is sometimes the most appropriate owner of a particular application. Instead of fighting to retain control, IT leadership should focus on managing risk and learn to spot where employees are adding value with their self-provisioned tools and services.”