Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Decline and Fall of Traditional IT

IT (Information Technology) as we know it came to a fork in the road several years ago. The traditional IT department used to deliver technology with a service component. Now we provide service with a technology component.

What does this really mean? Let me provide several examples of the transition from information technology to information services:
  • The IT department used to deliver technology projects. Now the department delivers project management services. These services include IT functionality, but not exclusively.
  • IT departments used to build a complex infrastructure of networks and servers and workstations. Now the department delivers an enterprise architecture articulating how everything fits together.
  • Staff members in IT were the back office geeks. Now the department trumpets service-orientation with world-class help desks and sophisticated escalation processes.
  • Security was a deny first, enable later process. Now the department defines security by corporate policies. These policies follow national and regional privacy laws, enable multi-layered authentication for a variety of roles, and facilitate freedom of information legislation.
  • IT departments used to hand-craft software to meet every nuance of an organization's processes. Now the department staff are master negotiators working with a sea of vendors to deliver information services written by a vast array of industry subject matter experts who have never set foot inside the organization.

These are the facts crafting our new reality. The implications for the future of IT are undeniable. The decline and fall of traditional IT is complete. Organization do not need, nor do they want, a traditional information technology department. What they crave is a world-class information service organization.