By Frank Slootman - 2014-03-28
IT is at a crossroads. Much of the IT organization’s infrastructure responsibilities are moving into the cloud. Its previous control of applications is moving to the line of business. So what is left? How is IT going to exist, persist and thrive in the face of these fundamental changes?
IT should begin by positioning itself as the backbone of the modern enterprise. The IT organization in this modern enterprise is NOT just another corporate service or department in the same vein of facilities, HR and so on. Let me say this again: IT is not a department! Think of IT as the ‘new manufacturing’. But what does that mean?
Enterprises and institutions are, in effect, 'cloud-ifying' their business, meaning that applications and business infrastructure is delivered through a cloud-hosted platform. This is most visible in online banking, entertainment, social media, news and retail but it will inexorably take over every walk of life. The economic imperative is overwhelming, and the service experience much superior. Even services not normally associated with the cloud are on the move. We see it within education, government, and medical. The technology is here, and all that remains is its application.
This IT evolution is exactly why the cost-obsessed culture around IT seems so incredibly myopic. The real opportunity – imperative, really – is for IT to enable the very essence of what modern institutions will – and must – become. IT needs to be elevated, upgraded in talent and infrastructure. IT needs to be repositioned, as nothing will be more important in the decade to come. IT has the power, and can be a catalyst to drive change, not a department that has to be hauled into the future, kicking and screaming.