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A Brave New World Without IT?

        posted by , August 14, 2012

Your business may feel that your IT department sucks. Common complains are that IT teams are slow, bureaucratic, expensive, out-of-touch with business needs and resistant to innovation.

IT vendors have developed new marketing strategies that capitalize on business user dissatisfaction with IT departments.

IT vendors are building products designed from the ground up to be marketed directly to business users — direct-to-business IT sales. And business users are responding.

When business users are told that they can deploy, configure and use tools without having to involve IT — they often jump at the chance. In many cases, they're willing to bend rules or flex their political power to do it.

There are 4 factors that are driving the business to challenge IT's authority over technology:

1. Widespread dissatisfaction with IT departments

I'm not going to candy coat this — many business users feel that IT departments are filled with draconian administrators who are resistant to change (and generally make everything expensive and slow).

Examples might sound familiar:

- why can I upgrade my browser at home in 5 minutes but at the office we're still using IE 7?
- why can't I use the latest mobile devices?
- why do we need an army of contractors for seemingly minor projects?
- why is IT telling me we can't outsource our infrastructure to the cloud when I just read how secure it is.

2. A tech savvy business

Technology used to be a strange and foreboding thing. Something that only a hardcore nerd could comprehend.

As lifestyles have become technology focused (social media, mobile devices etc ...) — business users have become more tech savvy.

3. Technology is the business

Across all industries — technology is increasingly viewed as a source of revenue as opposed to a cost.

Business users will follow the revenue. If technology is the revenue driver — business users will want to drive technology.

4. Technology enablers

Practically every major technology trend of the last 5 years has made it easier for the business to manage IT without the IT department.

IT outsourcing, SaaS, cloud computing — all make it easier to replace in-house IT functions with vendors.

What this means

As the importance of technology increases it no longer makes sense to divide organizations into two mega silos — business & technology. It's likely that industries will eventually gravitate away from this model.

This doesn't mean the business doesn't need IT people — it's more of an organizational transformation.

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