IT Governance

The Transfiguration of IT

According to a survey by Avanade, 79 percent of C-level respondents believe that they can make “better and faster decisions” if they do not involve IT. Another 90 percent said their companies have non-IT departments that partially or entirely make technology decisions. Are businesses trying to tell us something? Colin Barker writes for ZDNet about the implications.

A New Form

Barker sees that IT managers are slowing being repackaged as “service brokers.” In this light, IT no longer directly handles every facet of technology, but they become gatekeepers for facilitation and can quickly locate the expertise that customers need. IT would look across the business to understand broad goals and objectives, and then it would source the talent needed to push those goals. This sounds like a model that can actually work, but Barker warns against a “two speed” strategy:

One of the big issues that the research highlighted is the danger that companies will adopt a “two speed” IT strategy. The old legacy systems will continue to distract the agenda for IT staff; some 36 percent of IT staff’s time is currently spent managing and maintaining legacy systems, so IT staff must balance the support of legacy systems with the need to continuously innovate in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Even though virtually no IT managers actually refer to themselves as “service brokers,” they are increasingly acknowledging that it is a pretty accurate job description. The more people understand how much potential for good IT has, the more they come looking for help. In this sense, I think it might be appropriate to start calling them “business concierges.” Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Just remember to give me credit!

You can read Barker’s post here:

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