The commercial market became transformed from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market many years ago. Subject to a growing pressure to perform, corporate operative units have been taking more liberties, also including those in technical fields. However, IT departments in large organizations, regardless of whether corporate or public, are invariably stuck in their old ways.
A topic is addressed, the requirements are mostly processed with diligence, in liaison with the relevant technical experts, after which the most suitable solution is bestowed upon the internal client.
But the world has changed, and the IT departments that have still not adapted to this change need a rethink. According to current media reports, essential trends such as mobile access , Cloud or Bring YourOwn Device (BYOD) represent a major and partly insurmountable challenge for traditional CIOs. In particular, the classic IT departments are severely challenged when faced by requirements related to mobility.
Specialized departments, the actual users of IT solutions, insist with increasing vehemence on solutions that meet their requirements, and are frequently unhappy with the IT performance. Thus, Cloud based solutions are currently often utilized without keeping internal IT departments in the loop.
In many cases, a new direction is needed for IT departments, as called for by leading analysts with increasing frequency. This requires observation of the ongoing market challenges:
- Establishment of security guidelines, coordination of the implementation process and monitoring
- Integration of existing and new internal and Cloud based solutions into a homogenous corporate IT (Hybrid-Cloud)
- Coordination of basic IT services
In addition to the shifted emphasis from system implementation to coordination and support (IT as integrated technology), this new direction also affects perspective and evaluation, which are increasingly based on corporate productivity and usefulness, and less on the number of servers and staff.
Many large (public) institutions benefit from central information systems. However, there is need for more individualised access (e.g. BYOD).
This trend is not, however, universally valid: according to a report in the online edition of InformationWeek, General Motors is reducing the share of IT outsourcing from 90 to 10 percent within the next three years. In her latest blog on the USA, Andrea Di Maio, a Gartner Analyst, regards this as a potential political aspect triggered by the local job market.
If one were to abide by the Chinese saying: “When the wind of change blows, some will build protective walls, whereas other will build windmills“, IT still needs to take a more active role in the change process, and the direction in which the wind of change blows will determine its future role and importance.