Five Trends Shaping the Future of IT

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IT Costs

Trend 1: Greater focus on IT costs

It's inevitable that a greater focus on IT costs will play a key role in shaping the future of IT. It's been over 10 years since business colleagues buying consumer products and services first started to question why they receive lower spec IT equipment at a higher cost from the corporate IT department. And now as companies require more and more technology to function, especially those that are transforming to digital enterprises, those IT costs will continue to rise. The increased use of third-party service providers (cloud or IT services) will reduce the burden somewhat but it will not be enough for IT organizations to escape the scrutiny of the CFO and CEO, and the need for greater financial stewardship.

When we think about the future or even the present of IT, it's easy to get caught up in the vendor, analyst and media new-technology buzzword frenzy. Words and phrases such as cloud, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data, bimodal IT, DevOps, wearables and the quantified self, the consumerization of IT, BYOD and personal cloud services, and shadow IT all seem to get the headlines over the operational evolution required for many corporate IT organizations. Plus, many of these technologies/ideas are nothing new. For instance, the consumerization of IT has been around since June 2004 and is thus three years older than the Apple iPhone. Sometimes, it just takes time for new innovations and practices to permeate their way into your average corporate IT organization.

Look at the adoption of cloud, for instance. How long did it take for cloud to finally start its rapid ascent in the enterprise IT space? It can be hard to change the IT status quo, even when the technology itself is changing rapidly around it. And even when the technology does change, there are often people issues (beyond having the right technical skills and knowledge) to address. Again, using cloud as an example, it really is a case of "step away from the technology" for the IT professionals that have previously been more hands-on in the corporate data center. Now the IT professionals responsible for the infrastructure, platform or software delivered by third-party cloud service providers need to be more focused on service quality, costs, contracts and integrations.

In addition to responding to the impact of technology changes, corporate IT organizations and those within them need to better understand what IT really is – that IT is a business capability, not a department. And that the IT itself is not the required "end" – it's merely the means to an end, with the end being some form of positive business outcome. So, according to Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies, it's time to think differently about IT and what we ask of IT employees. While there will always be new technologies to watch and then adopt, there will also be fundamental changes required in the way that IT organizations work in partnership with business colleagues. In this slideshow, Lahav has identified five technology and operational trends that will help corporate IT organizations deliver better business outcomes via the optimal use of technology.


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