There is currently a big debate going on: in one camp you have the risks to Cloud based technologies: Data connectivity is critical to access these systems; Concerns over security; reliability of systems. In the other camp the benefits; reduced costs and better cashflow; better services; access to enterprise level software.
Gone are the days when an IT department was simply about fixing PCs and asking the FD for even more money to purchase more / newer / faster hardware. Departments may shrink a little; however, any new infrastructure will still require configuring, maintaining and sourcing in the first place. Businesses will still want their efficiency gains. Their Website / e-Commerce platform integrated into their CRM which in turn needs to be integrated with the Finance systems. IT departments will still have to manage desktop PCs and the ever growing gadget list; smartphones and iPads spring to mind. They will also have to look at the increasing number of Operating Systems they have to manage, integrate and train on. But what they need now more than ever is strategy, and to be fair, this isn;t something that most IT departments are associated with, especially when recent stats show that 70% of an average department’s time is spent fixing/maintaining.
Is the IT Department Dead?
Many hosted providers would have us think so… but I don’t believe it is. It is clear the IT Department is not dead, it’s just changing shape, focus and function, BUT it does need to get more strategic.
- They now have more choice so sourcing is critical
- They have more to manage (how many electronic items does the average employ now have?)
- They have more integrating of systems to deal with
- They still have the infrastructure to manage, even though they may no longer need to build it
- Businesses are demanding even more
Now more than ever what is needed is a clear, well thought out technology strategy to ensure the business strategy is clearly aligned with the technology strategy. It’s not just about kit and licenses, or whether to outsource or keep in-house any more.