There’s been much talk over the last month about the future of IT. The North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) recently released it’s State of Technology industry report, in conjunction with the Outlook for IT annual meeting in Charlotte. The speaker at the meeting was Wilmington’s own Michael Smith, who is a vice president with Gartner, a leading industry analyst firm.
Smith pointed out that the world of IT, especially as it pertains to its role throughout business, has been evolving, and nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the bottom line: the budget. He took this notion further in several articles published recently, and said that:
Every budget is an IT budget; every company is an IT company.
While IT has been running around maintaining systems and defending against intrusion, other departments have been using their budgets to acquire systems and services that normally would have fallen under the IT department’s realm. In essence, each department has engaged with or become its own IT department, and pays for these technologies and services from its own budget.
That’s about to change.
As the cloud becomes more critical to a business’s ability to innovate and be cost competitive, IT is being called in to corral all of these different systems and applications. Take the marketing department, for example. For years, marketing has been chasing new technologies that are now as intricate to its success as print ads used to be. The more marketing needs to prove ROI, the bigger the role played by statistics and data. And the bigger the role played by data, the bigger the need for technology.
In essence, it means that your company has or will become an IT company, whether you are in medicine, construction or finance – or technology. Businesses are confronting a fully digital world, and that is true for departments outside of IT just as it is for companies outside of the technology industry. The responsibility for budgeting for IT expenses should be distributed as enterprises transform into digital businesses. This may mean that some of the marketing team’s budget is tagged as an IT expense, and fed to the IT department.
Going to the cloud has driven much of this need. The vast majority of the applications developed and often outsourced by marketing, for example, exist in the cloud. This is because the cloud has enabled new business models, transformed business processes, and changed the dynamics of departmental use of technology. It is driven by the need for “everywhere” computing and always-on uptime.
Market research firm IDC predicted that the worldwide cloud market, which encompasses private, public and hybrid clouds, will jump from $95.8 billion in 2014 to $118 billion in 2015, and reach $200 billion by 2018 (read more about it at http://bit.ly/1woam9G).
But that doesn’t mean you should be managing your infrastructure from the marketing department. Gartner predicts that within a year or two, a re-consolidation of technology will begin, and what was IT will become simply the technology department. That is where support will be managed, strategy will be developed, and budgets will realign.
It’s time to get ahead of the game and reconsider who is managing your technology. If you’re hyper distributed, and each department is making its own decisions, it may be time to look for some strategic support of your own.
Shaun Olsen is the CEO and President of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.CloudWyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or 910-795-1000.
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