View Article in Chamber's Digital Eversion
The old cliché still applies; the only thing that doesn’t change is that everything changes. This constant change, or evolution, is especially fast in the Information Technology profession. Better, smarter, faster and it doesn’t cost $6 million anymore.
Computing was once done by people in lab coats in glass rooms and people were lucky if they got a time slot to use that computing power. These information systems with rigorous controls eventually gave way during a revolution where computers became business tools for office workers.
Then they connected those computers together and the jinn were let out of the bottle. Information Technology was used to solve all kinds of problems and people with all that power on the desktop could now play minesweeper.
Specialisations developed to both reign in the data, now free to roam at large, and find some way to improve the efficiencies and costs for all that computing power not at use. The people in the lab coats in most ways decided to stick with the same methods of dealing with these new distributed computers. All the while, the power put in the hands of the users increased at an incredible rate. Today, your iPod has more computing power than the US Space shuttle did.
Today the uneasy truce that has evolved between those that oversee the IT budget, security, and operations of the technology and the users of the systems will now have to negotiate different terms again. Consumer technology has given people a myriad of services at the touch of a button on a screen.
This has increased the pressure on IT departments as business users find it frustrating that the power and ease with which they use technology in their personal lives is often a very different experience at work. IT departments are reaching the limits with the old model in the traditional IT department. This is already seen where people, not willing to wait on the IT department, go and find their own solutions be that in the cloud, or an outside provider.
So how can we in the age of austerity and ‘do more with less’ not starve our businesses of the innovation that breeds success and grow your capabilities?
Currently business needs tend to be wrapped up in process, ownership and coveted silos of influence. The IT department is no different. Breaking barriers between business-speak and IT jargon is a good first step. IT staff getting into the business and business users taking on more responsibility for their systems might take us further down the road.
More unnervingly there may be larger changes afoot.