Time for IT to Evolve

It is time for IT to changeMark McDonald over on Gartner’s blog network wrote a great piece this week titled Everything is up for grabs, making it a great time to be in IT.

In the post, Mark argues that everything in the world of IT is up for grabs and things are changing.

In it, he argues these key points:

  • The enterprise is up for grabs
  • IT’s traditional role is up for grabs
  • The application space is up for grabs
  • The Infrastructure and Operations are up for grabs
  • The IT organization is up for grabs

Jump over and read Mark’s article…he’s spot on.

Everything in IT IS up for grabs…as I’ve been saying for quite a long time.  See my posts titled What’s wrong with today’s IT?Building Tomorrow’s Organization – without today’s IT? and The diminishing role of IT and the CIO (?) for a few examples.

The business world is changing and the old approach to IT will no longer work.  You can’t centralize everything. You can’t control everything.

And the faster IT leaders and professionals understand that, the faster IT groups can restructure and refocus.  I like how Mark says it here:

The possibility of refocusing people formally engaged in operating the IT infrastructure to evolving and innovating the enterprise creates an opportunity to define IT as a new center of excellence around enterprise productivity and performance.

Love it.  Absolutely love it.

Now…let’s hope more CIO’s and IT groups start realize that everything IS up for grabs and start innovating and evolving to become tomorrow’s IT group.

  • http://yellowmagpie.com Joseph Condron

    The changes in IT are happening rapidly. Soon employers will be picking and choosing from a global workforce.

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  • http://www.quantmleap.com Shim Marom

    Hi Eric, see another perspective, relevant (I believe) to this discussion, in http://www.economist.com/node/17388298. I think, if I understand it correctly, that it somehow disagrees with your point.

    • http://ericbrown.com Eric D. Brown

      Thanks for the link Shim.

      I’ll take a look at the economist article soon in more detail. Upon first glance, it seems that the argument is being made that the IT industry is going to see some benefits in the coming years.

      I agree that that assessment…but I don’t necessarily think a lot of IT groups are ready to take the lead in realizing those benefits. I think many IT groups are still mired in basic operational aspects of IT that they aren’t staffed for or focused on these areas currently.

  • http://midwestitsurvival.com jfbauer

    I can’t help but see the repeat of a familiar high-level pattern:

    most 80s = centralized IT around single, expensive computing platforms
    early 90s = decentralize IT with the proliferation of PCs and servers
    mid 90s = movement back to centralize as groups/business units saw costs to have systems and support staff exceeding their budgets plus growing commodity of IT skills
    late 90s = birth of business on the Internet re-decentralize because of new skill-sets and rapid new technology growth in new areas (web servers, etc.)
    00s = .com crash = re-focus on centralizing, cost containment

    Now decentralizing focus due to reduced IT budgets while tech savvy user community is demanding more tech, faster, thus SaaS, cloud, represent opportunity to deliver more service with less $$$.

    Maybe I’ve been in IT too long, but there seems to be a pendulum effect of centralize, decentralize and back every few years since the 80s.

    • http://midwestitsurvival.com jfbauer

      Your post actually prompted me to expand my comment into a post on my own blog here: http://bit.ly/aUCdlR

    • http://www.quantmleap.com Shim Marom

      Interesting and logical perspective John, you’ve articulated very well what I’ve been thinking about yet found it difficult to pinpoint to-date.

    • http://ericbrown.com Eric D. Brown

      Thanks John….great stuff as always…just posted a comment to your blog.

      I agree with you actually…I hate the back and forth of centralized vs non-centralized IT…but I think that’s the wrong debate to have.

      The role of IT should one that helps the organization use technology rather than implement, build and control technology. Now…perhaps that’s how your IT group works…but not how many of the IT groups that I’ve worked with have operated. Their idea of IT is keeping servers running and controlling all technology.

      I just don’t think controlling technology should be the focus of IT today or tomorrow.

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